Decision day for Antigua Bermuda Race

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(May 13, 2019; Day 6) – Six yachts are expected to finish the 2019 Antigua Bermuda Race today, beginning with Afansay Isaev’s Grand Mistral 80 Maxi Weddell (RUS) at around midday taking second place in Line Honours, but Weddell will be outside the IRC corrected time set by SHK Scallywag.

Three yachts are in a tight battle to win the Warrior Trophy for the best elapsed time after IRC Correction as Pata Negra (GBR) skippered by Andy Liss, Peter Grueterich’s Xpatriate (USA), and Kevin McLaughlin’s Rye (USA) are all in contention with 114 miles or less to go.

At 0900 AST, Pata Negra was 83 miles from the finish and leading under IRC. Xpatriate has been really catching Pata Negra over the last 24 hours, cutting an eight hour lead down to just over one hour. Xpatriate was 114 miles from the finish and second in IRC. Rye was 93 miles from the St David’s Lighthouse and estimated to be just over two hours behind Pata Negra after IRC time correction.

“We are a crew that has been sailing together on various boats for many years,” commented Peter Grueterich, skipper of Xpatriate. “We know each other very well and get along great. We trust each other and have great respect for one another.

“When we finally got the seaweed off the rudder, the boat sails pretty fast! Xpatriate is not in its lightest form as we are bringing lots of cruising stuff with us to our home port in Riverside (CT), but we picked a good course on the left side of the rhumb line and stuck with it.

“We also have a good set of complementary skills across all watches which makes it so much easier. We are really looking forward to Bermuda to enjoy rum, ice cold beers, and a great dinner at my favorite pub, and of course stick our feet in the pink sands.”

The 10 yachts still racing are experiencing super downwind conditions with warm air and ocean and bright sunshine. Atlantic rollers will be providing a sleigh ride towards Bermuda, but there are still some holes in the breeze and with the overall win hanging in the balance, avoiding the light patches will be crucial to the competing teams.

The third edition of the 935-mile Antigua Bermuda Race will start on the May 8 and is organized in association with Antigua Sailing Week and is supported by the Bermuda Tourism Authority. Yachts of 40-feet and over will be racing under the IRC Rating Rule, MOCRA and the CSA Racing Rule, with the latter amended to permit boats to use their engines, subject to a time penalty.

The 2019 Atlantic Ocean Racing Series will consist of five races: RORC Caribbean 600, Antigua Bermuda Race, Transatlantic Race 2019, Rolex Fastnet Race, and Rolex Middle Sea Race. Three races, including the Transatlantic Race (weighted 1.5), will be required to qualify.

Source: Louay Habib / sailingscuttlebutt

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