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.
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."
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!"
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