Pata Negra Overall Winner

With all yachts accounted for in the 2019 Antigua Bermuda Race, Giles Redpath’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR), skippered by Andy Liss, has posted the best corrected time under IRC, winning the Warrior Trophy. In a dramatic finish for second place, Peter Grueterich’s xP-44 Xpatriate (USA) corrected out to take runner-up by just 21 minutes after over five days of ocean racing. Kevin McLaughlin’s x-55 Rye (USA) was third. Antigua Bermuda Race Chairman, Les Crane was dockside at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club to welcome finishing yachts.

The crew of Pata Negra win the Warrior Trophy for best IRC boat on corrected time in the ’19 Antigua Bermuda Race

“Only one member of the crew was over 25 and we came together after Antigua Sailing Week,” commented Pata Negra’s skipper Andy Liss. “Some of the crew will help me deliver Pata Negra to Newport for the Transatlantic Race and others will be sailing boats across the Atlantic in the ARC, and private deliveries. The crew for this race are a great bunch and we have become firm friends. We are delighted to continue the winning tradition for Pata Negra.”

A close second place overall in IRC for Peter Grueterich’s XP44 Xpatriate © Louay Habib

“Everybody has been just awesome on the race. It’s a small boat for six days on the water but we just get along great, we had fun all the way!” said Xpatriate’s Peter Grueterich. “I knew it was very, very tight between us and Rye, and it was an excruciating finish as it seemed so long get there. When we heard from Les Crane that we had got second, I was completely floored. There was an outburst of joy from the whole crew. This has been an incredible race, with great organisation. The whole idea of a race to finish the Caribbean season is just perfect. After clearing customs in St. Georges we had a party until 4 am with other competitors. We look forward to telling our stories in the Yard Arm Bar at the Riverside Yacht Club.”

Peter Grueterich’s XP44 Xpatriate © Ted Martin

Kevin McLaughlin (Rye) laughed out loud when he heard that Xpatriate had beaten them to second place by just 21 minutes. “After 5 days and nights at sea, to be that close is just amazing,” commented Kevin. “Third is great for us but – holy smoke that’s close! With just three crew we did three hours on, three hours in the cockpit ,and three hours rest. It was a nice race but with also a lot of challenges. Friday night was intense; we had a massive squall just after dark and torrential rain with the wind all over the place hitting 30 knots. The last 24 hours we did really well, especially the last night was fast sailing. This has been a great race for us and we are so happy to be in Bermuda.”

Kevin McLaughlin’s X55 Rye – Top Photo: © Louay Habib/ Bottom photo: © Tobias Stoerkle/https://www.sailing-photography.com

Pata Negra was also the winner of the CSA Cruising Class and Xpatriate second. Third was Morgen Watson and Meg Reilly’s Pogo 12.50 Hermes (CAN).

“Boat speed out of Antigua was up to 15 knots and we thoroughly enjoyed the race,” smiled Hermes co-skipper Morgen Watson. “We had a few problems with weed on the rudders and Raucous crossed the line just in front of us, but to get on the podium is just great.”

On Tuesday 14 May, with most of the international fleet safely moored at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Goslings Rum provided a rum tasting in the Trophy Room of the famous club in Hamilton, Bermuda. The welcome drinks party included a full range of complimentary rums and cheese board. Sailors tasted Goslings Black Seal, Gold, Old, Amber and the new Silver rum.

The Prize Giving for the 2019 Antigua Bermuda Race will be held at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club on Thursday 16 May at 18:00 local time. For more information: www.antiguabermuda.com

Winner of The CSA Traveller’s Trophy

Congratulation to Pamala Baldwin and crew of the Antiguan J/122 Liquid on their win of the CSA Traveller’s Trophy 2019.

They’ve raced in all the key regattas this year, including Grenada Sailing Week, RORC Caribbean 600, St. Marteen Heineken Regatta, BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, Les Voiles De Saint Barths, and Antigua Sailing Week.

Scallywag’s Saturday Night Fever

Supermaxi SHK Scallywag (HKG) is expected to finish the Antigua Bermuda Race tonight, Saturday 11 May. Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR) leads the fleet after IRC time correction. Alfred Mylne ketch Mariella (ANT) leads the CSA Cruising Class. All yachts racing in the 935 nautical mile race are experiencing fast-reaching conditions towards Bermuda.

At 0700 AST Saturday 11 May, all competitors in the Antigua Bermuda Race have passed through the area of light winds and are experiencing fantastic reaching conditions, speeding their progress to the finish line off St David’s Lighthouse, Bermuda. SHK Scallywag, skippered by David Witt, leads the fleet. Scallywag has 140 miles to go with an expected finish time around dusk tonight. SHK Scallywag will be outside the race record, but the mood on board is still upbeat, as navigator Miles Seddon reports via satellite link:

“We are bouncing along at 15 knots, tight reaching towards Bermuda, expecting to be off the finish line around 5pm local time on Saturday. After a slow and painful time ghosting along through very light winds, we are now through and into the nor’ easterly winds and pointing directly at the finish line. It has become a little cooler, which means it’s much easier to sleep below deck now. We are all looking forward to Bermuda!”

In the race for Line Honours, SHK Scallywag is 124 miles ahead of Afansay Isaev Maxi Weddell (RUS), which is 365 miles from the finish. Gilles Barbot’s Volvo 60 Esprit de Corps IV (CAN) has found great breeze to the east of the fleet and is third on the water with 375 miles to go.

Currently leading the IRC Racing Class – British Lombard 46 Pata Negra © Tobias Stoerkle/https://www.sailing-photography.com

British Lombard 46 Pata Negra, skippered by Andy Liss leads the IRC Racing Class. Peter Grueterich’s xP-44 Xpatriate (USA) is second, and Morgan Watson & Meg Reilly’s Pogo 12.50 Hermes II (CAN) is third.

Pata Negra has 380 miles to go and is trucking along at close to 10 knots of boat speed, flying their Code Zero. “It’s great to be back in good wind,” commented Pata Negra’s Andy Liss via satellite link. “We are having a pleasant race. After the power-reaching and great conditions at the start, then the light winds, it was very testing. We were searching for speed and wind rather than the course, with a man in the crow’s nest for three hours, searching for our best course around the holes.”

Leading CSA Cruising Class in the Antigua Bermuda Race – Carlo Falconne’s Mariella © Tobias Stoerkle/https://www.sailing-photography.com

Carlo Falcone’s 1938 Alfred Mylne ketch Mariella leads the CSA Cruising Class by under three hours after time correction from Pata Negra. A fantastic duel is on-going for third place, between Hermes II and Henry Rourke’s double-handed Open 40 Raucous (SUI). During the area of light winds, Hermes II elected to sail west, while Raucous headed north, passing their rivals. Whilst the two yachts are 40 miles apart (east-west) their distance from Bermuda is almost exactly the same, as is their speed.

CSA leader Mariella sent in a report via satellite and it seems that the Italian/Antiguan crew on board have had success with the fishing rods! “A little update from Mariella. So far, so good. The old lady loves the angle of the wind and she keeps moving fast considering her age. On board Mariella we have an amazing menu based on two beautiful fresh wahoo!”

Track the fleet:

All yachts are fitted with YB Trackers. Follow the front runners, an individual boat or the whole fleet via the website at: http://yb.tl/a2b2019

Finding the Mojo

The 2019 Antigua Bermuda Race entered a new phase on the second night (Thursday 9th May) of the 935 mile race to Bermuda. The international fleet encountered a pressure ridge over a thousand miles wide, right across the race course. Race leader, Supermaxi SHK Scallywag (HKG) came to a grinding halt and watched the rest of the fleet close the gap until they too lost the breeze.

Scallywag’s tactic of sailing almost 175 miles west of the rhumb line looked to work in their favour as the easterly going ocean current did at least work in their favour. However, during the night, it was snakes and ladders as one boat after another lost or gained in the patchy breeze. Behind the leader, teams are still using their own strategies to maximise performance and get through the light air and make it to the fresh breeze north.

Afansay Isaev’s Maxi Weddell (RUS) was approximately 100 miles behind the leader © Tobias Stoerkle https://www.sailing-photography.com

At 1400 AST on Day Three, SKH Scallywag was back in the breeze, making 15 knots of boat speed, with 400 miles to go to the finish. Afansay Isaev Maxi Weddell (RUS) was approximately 100 miles behind the leader. The chasing pack were enjoying tight racing with only 18 miles of separation between the next five boats: Esprit de Corps IV (CAN), Pata Negra (GBR), Maremosso (GER), Challenger (CAN), Raucous (SUI).

Morgan Watson & Meg Reilly sent in a blog from on board their Pogo 12.50, giving a taste of the light conditions, and more importantly sharing the knowledge of how to keep Hermes II (CAN) going:

“It was hard to see the Open 40 Raucous approach and pass us, and even harder not to follow them jib reaching due north,” commented Meg Reilly. “But we were patient and held our course, preparing for the best positioning for the wind holes ahead. So we worked with what we had. Sure the Code Zero would’ve been perfect, but we don’t have that sail (yet). So we tried double-slotting with the jib and a reefed staysail, and then eventually we hoisted the A3 with full staysail and have been running that combo at hot angles ever since. Currently squeezing 6-7 knots boat speed in breeze not too much stronger than that. Driving must be fine-tuned and precise to maintain momentum and keep the kite filled. Small light air patches ahead, but with a slow residual swell and a slightly reachy angle, we can keep Hermes moving ahead.”

Morgan Watson & Meg Reilly’s Pogo 12.50 Hermes © Ted Martin

The international fleet racing in the 2019 Antigua Bermuda Race is expected to reach the fresh winds north of their position during tonight, (Friday 10th May).

Track the fleet:
All yachts are fitted with YB Trackers. Follow the front runners, an individual boat or the whole fleet via the website at: http://yb.tl/a2b2019

Race Website: https://www.antiguabermuda.com/
Go to the official race website for all the latest news, blogs, results and updates throughout the race. Photos and videos can also be viewed here.

Social Media:
Catch all the action from the start and updates throughout the race via social media:
Facebook: @antiguabermudarace
Twitter: #antiguabermuda
Instagram: #antiguabermuda

Approaching Mother Nature’s Speed Bump

Blast reaching in the tropics is hard to better, and for the first day and night of the 2019 Antigua Bermuda Race, the international fleet have had their fill. However, Mother Nature is about to deliver a speed bump that will bring a tactical and skillful element to the 935 nautical mile oceanic race to Bermuda.

All yachts in the race have been eating up the miles in solid trade winds. Supermaxi SHK Scallywag (HKG), skippered by Australian David Witt, is set for a 24 hour run of over 400 nm, within striking distance of race record pace. Miles Seddon, British navigator on SHK Scallywag checked in just before dusk on the first night: “We are just passing Anguilla, leaving the Caribbean behind. Top speed so far has been 26.5 knots.”

The rest of the fleet has a velocity made good of between 11-8 knots, set for a 24 hour run of between 200-280 miles – fast going by any standards.

Over the next 24 hours, the fleet are set to finish their thrilling trade winds ride as they encounter an occluded front across their path to Bermuda. Cold air from a mature low pressure system further north is overtaking the warm trade winds. The overall effect is a trough, or pressure ridge in which the fleet is likely to encounter light head winds. However, the mixture of cold and warm air can also cause localised squalls giving sudden significant wind shifts in both direction and speed.

The occluded front may be the reason for race leader SHK Scallywag’s western route. Heading to the west of the trough should keep the SHK Scallywag in the breeze. The big picture is juggling the extra miles west to gain more wind, with less miles heading north, but less wind. Scallywag’s enormous rig and huge sail area should keep her going even in the lightest of breeze.

For the remainder of the fleet, racing in light airs can also be very rewarding. Keeping the boat going, even when the speedo is barely moving leads to a big percentage speed gain. The first boat to get through the ridge will extend on the fleet.

In the IRC Racing Class, Afansay Isaev Maxi Weddell (RUS) is leading the pack on the water, chasing Scallywag. Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR) skippered by Andy Liss is leading the fleet after IRC time correction. Gilles Barbot’s Volvo 60 Esprit de Corps IV (CAN) is second, and Pogo 12.50 Hermes II (CAN), co-skippered by Morgan Watson & Meg Reilly is third.

In the CSA Cruising Class, Pata Negra has the upper handed, but the wily fox, Carlo Falcone is stalking his prey. Carlo Falcone is racing his classic 1938 79ft Alfred Milne yawl Mariella with an Italian and Antiguan crew. The fast-reaching conditions so far have been ideal for Mariella, currently placed second in CSA Cruising.

Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR) skippered by Andy Liss © Tobias Stoerkle: https://www.sailing-photography.com

Track the fleet:
All yachts are fitted with YB Trackers. Follow the front runners, an individual boat or the whole fleet via the website at: http://yb.tl/a2b2019

Race Website: https://www.antiguabermuda.com/
Go to the official race website for all the latest news, blogs, results and updates throughout the race. Photos and videos can also be viewed here.

Social Media:
Catch all the action from the start and updates throughout the race via social media:
Facebook: @antiguabermudarace
Twitter: #antiguabermuda
Instagram: #antiguabermuda

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© Caribbean Sailing Association 2018