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Hetairos wins the Round Antigua Race

by Louay Habib 14 Mar 00:32 GMT 11-17 March 2024
The 218ft (66.45m) Dykstra/Reichel Pugh ketch Hetairos - 2024 Superyacht Challenge Antigua © Claire Matches

The stand-alone Round Antigua Race marked the start of racing at the Superyacht Challenge Antigua. 15 knots from the east, with a relatively smooth sea state, provided glorious sailing conditions. Brilliant tropical sunshine sustained for the circular course of 46.8 nautical miles.

The 218ft (66.45m) Dykstra/Reichel Pugh ketch Hetairos was the first to start in the pursuit race. Skippered by Graham Newton, Hetairos took Line Honours, completing the Round Antigua Race in an elapsed time of 03 Hours 49 Mins and 30 Secs. Hetairos narrowly missed breaking their own race record by just three minutes and 22 seconds.

The overall winner of the Round Antigua Race was calculated using the new ORC Time Over Distance Weather Routing scoring method. Hetairos was the winner by eight minutes and 12 seconds after time correction from Hummingbird.

"This year we had lighter winds than 2022 when we set the record so we moded the boat differently," explained Hetairos Skipper Graham Newton. "On the record run, in over 18 knots of wind, we were preserving the assets a little bit. This year with lighter winds, we thought the only way to have a crack at the record was to run Code Sails rather than our Jib Top. Before the start, our prediction was we would be 15-20 minutes outside record pace. Half way around we were six minutes inside the target time. However, the last few miles was a close beat and as Hetairos draws nine metres, going close inshore to get lifted was not an option. The owner was on the helm for the whole race and the crew performed really well, it's hard to say where we might have made up three minutes."

The Swan 90 (27m) Hummingbird, skippered by Josh Hill, was taking part in their first race under new owners on board. Hummingbird started with amazing precision, crossing the start line just one second after the gun. Hummingbird finished the race in an elapsed time of 05 Hours 05 Mins and 30 Secs.

"The whole team enjoyed a perfect Caribbean day, 15 knots of easterlies with the owner on the helm for 80% of the race." commented Hummingbird's tactician Ian Walker. "Everything went well with good spinnaker hoists and drops; the training came in and I don't think we left too much out there. To finish eight minutes behind on corrected to Hetairos, on a course which suited them with lots of fetching and reaching, we are happy with our performance. The Hummingbird team is looking forward to the next race, competing against Freya, another Swan 90, we should have some great racing."

The first race day for the series to decide the 13th edition of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua starts Thursday 14th March with racing off the South Coast of Antigua.

The Superyacht Challenge Antigua is hosted by the Admiral's Inn and Antigua Rigging in association with National Parks Antigua.

For more information about the Superyacht Challenge Antigua visit the dedicated website: superyachtchallengeantigua.com.

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