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2020 Antigua Bermuda Race - A true blue ocean adventure

by Louay Habib 23 Nov 2019 14:46 GMT 6 May 2020
Yachts from 12 countries were on the startline of the 2019 Antigua Bermuda Race © Tobias Stoerkle -

The fourth edition of the Antigua Bermuda Race will start from Antigua May 6th 2020. The 935nm oceanic race is managed by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in association with Antigua Sailing Week, and supported by the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Goslings Rum. The race is designed to suit a wide range of yachts and crew, with memorable parties both in Antigua and Bermuda.

After leaving Antigua the fleet pass Barbuda and will be out of sight of land until the finish in Bermuda. The race is an experience of about 1,000 miles of tropical Atlantic sailing - a true blue ocean adventure. Sailing in the deep, competitors will experience reaching conditions in warm oceanic swell and a magical night sky.

Canadian Pogo 12.50 Hermes II has raced in all previous editions of the Antigua Bermuda Race and co-skipper Meg Reilly confirms that the team will be back for their fourth race, having come third in class last year.

"Every year I look forward to the Antigua Bermuda Race and I think Hermes does too," smiled Meg Reilly. "She gets to stretch out her legs and surf some real ocean waves. The first few days of the race are basically a guaranteed sleigh ride. Reaching in the trade-winds, Hermes effortlessly coasts between waves, impressing her crew as she holds double-digit speeds so gracefully. With the perfect sail plan and trim, she drives herself; and all you need to do is just sit back and enjoy the ride. We encourage more sailors to apply to join our crew for this event or others through the Caribbean season. Hoping to build on our podium position in 2019!"

The 935nm oceanic offshore race is open to IRC and CSA Racing Yachts, Cruiser Racers, Super Yachts, and Multihulls. Classic yachts and double handed teams have their own category, and a secondary motor sailing handicap in the CSA Classes, allows yachts to use their engines and still get a result, subject to a time penalty. The Antigua Bermuda Race is governed by CAT 1 World Sailing Offshore Safety Requirements, with additional requirements for offshore communications.

The Antigua Bermuda Race is timed to coincide with the end of Antigua Sailing Week, when many yachts are planning to sail north back to North America or east from Bermuda across the Atlantic Ocean. The origin of the modern Antigua Bermuda Race is as a feeder race for the 2017 America's Cup, however the course from Antigua to Bermuda is a long established route for oceanic yachts.

Over the last three editions of the race, conditions have ranged from the thrill of surfing down Atlantic rollers at full speed, to glassy calms where tactics and strategy coming to the fore. The Antigua Bermuda Race delivers a transatlantic experience without the time and logistics required to cross the great ocean.

Maxime Grimard and Gilles Barbot will be taking part in their third race as Skipper and Project Manager on Whitbread 60 Esprit de Corp III. The objective of their sailing team, Atlas Ocean Racing, is to develop and promote Quebec sailing internationally.

"The Antigua Bermuda is a great race for the sailors who want to have a first offshore racing experience and get a taste of the Atlantic Ocean," commented Maxime Grimard. "It fits perfectly with our racing program, putting an end to the Caribbean series before doing some spring maintenance in Canada, and then heading to Europe for the summer. In 2019 we used the race as mandatory training for our crew that will take part in the 2020 Transat Quebec St Malo, and we'll use the 2020 edition for the crew that will do the RORC Transatlantic Race in November 2020. We're really looking forward to another great edition of the race thanks to the amazing work of the organizers. Going back to Bermuda is also very special for our team as we usually get to meet with our friends around some genuine Gosling's Dark 'n Stormy!"

The 2020 Notice of Race has been published and the online entry portal is now open for competitors. Whole Boat Race charters with an owner's rep. are available, as well as Head Boats offering individual crew places on a competing boat - a great way to experience the event and meet new people.

For more information visit the Antigua Bermuda Race website:

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