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.

For more information visit: https://www.antiguabermuda.com/

Follow the fleet via YB Tracking: http://yb.tl/a2b2018
Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/antiguabermudarace/

@antiguabermudarace
Twitter: #antiguabermuda
@antiguabermudarace
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/pwpictures.com

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

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

 

After navigating the first two stretches of water, the English Channel and the North Atlantic, Groupama 34 is dominating this Tour de France à la Voile with a 55-point lead over the second boat. In the past 35 editions of the Tour, it would seem that such a performance has never been matched before. Franck Cammas certainly isn’t letting it be said that he has already won the Tour however. Mathematically, the skipper of Groupama 34 is right, as there are still nearly 2/3 of the points to be distributed in the Mediterranean section of the race. As such, anything is still possible.
M34 ©Groupama
Though some observers were beginning to cast some doubt over Groupama sailing team’s ability to win this Tour, the three races contested at Saint Gilles Croix de Vie will have given them a cold shower, with three superb victories secured by Franck and his crew, as Bretagne Crédit Mutuel lament a poor day’s racing.

As has often been the case since the start in Dunkirk, the crew of Groupama 34 got off to some good and not overly risky starts, made fast headway, manoeuvred to perfection and opted for the right tacks with a very inspired Tanguy Cariou calling tactics: “It’s true that we’re very quick in the light airs. The crew is highly focused too”, explains a cheerful Franck Cammas, surprised when he’s asked if he can let some other competitors win sometime. “If we could win everything, we wouldn’t deprive ourselves of it. Don’t think for a minute that it’s easy though. The general level is very high and the results of the races are often uncertain just moments before the finish”.

Surrounded by a superb crew combining experience, youth and above all determination, the skipper of Groupama 34 is also reaping the rewards of excellent preparation and a training programme, which included the team from Dunkirk, skippered by Daniel Souben, who is currently lying in third position some eight points shy of second place.

The only surprise for Franck Cammas is his ranking in the offshore sprints: “I expected us to perform better in the offshore races, which are our speciality”. It should be noted though that they have won 3 out of 6…

Ultimately, of the 36 factors awarded, Groupama 34 has won 20 of them. That equates to the exact same number as those remaining in the Mediterranean stage…

Between now and Saturday however, the skipper is returning to Lorient to get some rest and also to spend some time at Groupama sailing team’s base, where the C-Class catamaran, aboard which he will be contesting the World Championships at the end of September in Falmouth, is in the process of being assembled.

Next meeting on 20 July in Roses, Spain, for the final week of racing in the 36th Tour de France, which will draw to a close in Marseille on 28 July.
Provisional overall ranking in St Gilles Croix de Vie:

1. Groupama 34 with 868 points
2. Bretagne Crédit Mutuel : – 55 points
3. Courrier Dunkerque : – 63 points
4. Sodebo : – 81 points
5. OmanSail : – 99 points
6. TPM : – 177 points
7. Genève : – 187 points
8. Nantes St Nazaire : – 204 points
9. Normandie : – 242 points
10. Martinique BE Brussels : – 272 points
11. Iskareen : – 284 points
12. Bienne Voile : – 329 points