The most westerly team in the Antigua Bermuda Race is Arnt Bruhn's German Class40 Iskareen © Ted Martin

The most westerly team in the Antigua Bermuda Race is Arnt Bruhn’s German Class40 Iskareen © Ted Martin

After the first night at sea for the international fleet in the Antigua Bermuda Race the pace is relentless. The leading teams Warrior and Varuna are now over 300 miles offshore, blast reaching through two metre swell in the Atlantic Ocean. Warrior was observed to be hitting a top speed of 25 knots last night. At 1200 UTC on Day Two, the turbo-charged Volvo 70 Warrior, sailed by Stephen Murray Jr. had averaged 18 knots since the start of the race and will achieve a 24 hour run of about 450 miles; well inside record pace. Jens Kellinghusen’s German Ker 56 Varuna is also set for a 400 mile run in 24 hours. Varuna is 30 miles behind Warrior but is estimated to be leading the fleet after IRC time correction.The most easterly of the chasing pack is Giles Redpath’s British Lombard 46 Pata Negra, skippered by Oliver Heer. Pata Negra’s crew include Gareth Glover, two-time skipper in the Clipper Round the World Race and the rest of the crew are all Oliver’s friends from Switzerland, and will be celebrating his 30th birthday today: “I love to sail, but it does take me away from my friends and family, so when I knew I would be at sea for my 30th, what better way to celebrate than with friends racing to Bermuda!” commented Oliver before the race.

The most westerly team is Arnt Bruhn’s German Class40 Iskareen. Arnt has competed in over five transatlantic races, winning his division on numerous occasions. After the Antigua Bermuda Race, Iskareen will compete in the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta, racing 3,900 miles from Bermuda to Hamburg, organised by the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) of which Arnt Bruhns is a member. Arnt will then take part in the solo Route du Rhum Race this November. Of the six German teams racing to Bermuda, Iskareen is second on the water behind Varuna. Sebastian Ropohl’s JV52 Haspa Hamburg and Joachim Brünner’s Andrews 56 Broader View Hamburg are locked into a match race, as are two German Swans; Hanns Ostmeier’s Swan 45 High Yield and Michael Orgzey’s Swan 48 Dantes.

The vast majority of the fleet are to the west of the rhumb line, putting in additional miles to avoid an area of high pressure that is expected to arrive from the northeast tomorrow (Friday 11th May). At the moment, the strategic decision is to decide how far west to go to achieve the best performance. Eric de Turckheim’s French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine, skippered by Laurent Pages has positioned closer to the rhumb line than the leaders; they will be hoping to stay in good breeze and sail less miles than the leading boats.

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Organised by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in association with Antigua Sailing Week and supported 
by the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Goslings Rum
The turbo-charged American Volvo 70 Warrior, USMMA Sailing Foundation © Paul Wyeth/

The turbo-charged American Volvo 70 Warrior, USMMA Sailing Foundation © Paul Wyeth/

Skipper Oliver Heer is celebrating his 30th birthday on board Giles Redpath’s British Lombard 46 Pata Negra © Ted Martin


Nordseewoche  at 2010 Rund Skagen (Photo courtesy of Rund Skagen)

Nordseewoche at 2010 Rund Skagen (Photo courtesy of Rund Skagen)

The 28th of May 2012 heralds the start of the Pantaenius Rund Skagen race, part of the North Sea Week 2012, the only German race series that takes place on the open sea and is so testing that it attracts international participation. Each yacht will set off with a Yellowbrick aboard, a satellite-based tracking system that has already proven its worth in many regattas and rallies.
Approximately 80 yachts are expected to participate in this year’s Pantaenius Rund Skagen regatta, and each yacht will be fitted with a race tracker system from Yellowbrick, enabling live, real-time race coverage on the Internet.  All that viewers need to follow the fleet online is Adobe Flash.  The Yellowbrick race tracker provides positional data, yacht names, yacht information, crew details, course and route, waypoints and much, much more.

The Pantaenius Rund Skagen is held every two years as a part of the international North Sea Week yacht racing event and is considered to be one of the most challenging open-sea regattas. The route crosses through three very different areas of sea: the North Sea from Heligoland to Hanstholm which is a shelf sea, with heavy sea and ground swells accompanied by prevailing westerly winds, then comes the Skagerrak, an Atlantic strait with water depths of up to 1000 metres and flat bays on Jutland’s coast, such as the Jammerbugten (loosely translated as the “Bay of Lamentation” for good reason), and finally, after rounding the Skaw buoy, the yachts enter the Baltic Sea, a body of water that is temperamental but never boring, with many opportunities to employ clever tactics before finally reaching the finishing line in Kiel.
The demanding regatta lived up to its expectations in every respect in 2010: of the 87 registered yachts, only 54 crossed the start line due to a forecast of inclement weather.  Of these 54, only 30 reached Kiel.  With Beaufort Force 7 gales gusting to Force 8 from the North, an air temperature of around 12 degrees Celsius and water temperatures of between 4 and 6 degrees, Mother Nature was harsh and uncompromising as she separated the wheat from the chaff.  It remains to be seen what the Pantaenius Rund Skagen 2012 has in store for its participants, but whether it be storm or calm, it will definitely be exciting. 

Follow the action live at

Every year at Whitsun around 1500 yachtsmen and several tourists gather at Heligoland to be part of the “Nordseewoche“ event. The North Sea Week is the biggest offshore yacht racing event in Germany. The Nordseewoche also offers the less experienced yacht’sman a fantastic opportunity to get into the race scene. Next to the ORC races the “Family-Cruiser-Cup” offers a relaxed atmosphere – sailing and winning without a rating certificate and without spinnaker or gennaker. And all sailors will catch up at the “boot Regattaparty” afterwards to celebrate together. The main sponsors are the international boat exhibition “boot Duesseldorf” and the SE Spezial Electronic AG. In 2012, the Nordseewoche is again organizer for the International German Championships for offshore sailing!