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AAR Bermuda to Hamburg Race - Preview

by Louay Habib, Atlantic Anniversary Regatta 5 Jul 2018 13:12 PDT 8 July 2018
George David's Maxi Rambler 88 ahead of the Bermuda start © Tim Wright

The Atlantic Anniversary Regatta (AAR) is part of the grand celebrations for the 150th anniversary for the Norddeutsher Regatta Verein (NRV), Hamburg, Germany.

The Bermuda to Hamburg Race is the final offshore race of the regatta series for the AAR, following on from the 2900 nautical mile RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada. The AAR is the first ever offshore series crossing the Atlantic Ocean in both directions.

George David's American Maxi Rambler 88 is the hot favourite for Line Honours. This will be David's second West to East Transatlantic Race in Rambler 88. In his previous yacht, Rambler 100, David claimed Line Honours and a world record for the route from Newport, RI to the Lizard Cornwall (6 days 22 hours 08 mins 02 seconds). For the 2018 Bermuda to Hamburg Race, sixteen members of the Rambler 88 team have competed in the America's Cup or Volvo Ocean Race, winning both of the prestigious trophies on many occasions.

The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is a hive of activity as the international teams prepare for the 3500nm race. The Bermuda to Hamburg Race features 17 teams with over 150 sailors from 14 different countries, racing under the IRC and ORC Rating systems and under Class40 Rules. World Class professional sailors and passionate corinthians are relishing the prospect of a rare opportunity to race west to east across the Atlantic Ocean.

Top talent from Germany includes Jens Kellinghusen's Ker 56 Varuna, which will be representing the NRV. Boat Captain Tim Daase has represented Germany in the America's Cup and the crew includes some of Spain's best offshore sailors, inlcuding Volvo Ocean Race winner Chuni Bermudez, and Guillermo Altadill. Boris Herrmann's German IMOCA 60 Malizia will be racing fully crewed. Boris is a member of the NRV, and will be competing solo in the Route du Rhum later this year.

French hopes of victory rest with two outstanding yachts. Eric de Turkheim's Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine was the overall winner for the RORC Transatlantic Race, Teasing Machine's crew includes Volvo Ocean Race winner Laurent Pages, and the outstanding French navigator, Jean-Luc Nelias.

Catherine Pourre's French Class40 Eärendil is one of a trio of Class40s racing. Eärendil tasted victory in this year's RORC Caribbean 600 and The Atlantic Cup. Mathias Mueller von Blumencron's German Class40 RED was the winner of the RORC Transatlantic Race, and Arnt and Soenke Bruhns, racing Iskareen, were the division winners for last month's Antigua Bermuda Race.

Corinthian teams include Hans Oestmann's German team racing Lombard 46 Hamburg LinesMen. The company's main business is to secure and cast the lines of commercial ships visiting the Port of Hamburg. For the Bermuda Hamburg Race, Hamburg LinesMen will be casting off their own lines racing in the Atlantic Ocean back to their home port. Two Corinthian entries are keeping up a tradition that dates back over 100 years.

Andrews 56, Broader View Hamburg and JV 52 Haspa Hamburg belong to the Hamburgischer Verein Seefahrt (HVS). Established in 1903, the HVS encourages young sailors to go to sea, to develop teamwork, fairness, and leadership. Joh. von Eicken's German Swan 56 Latona, will be skippered by family member Dr. Benjamin Hub. Christopher German Opielok's TP52 Rockall V will be also be racing. Both yachts will continue a long history of offshore racing under the burgee of the NRV.

For one Corinthian team in the Bermuda to Hamburg Race, the adventure has already started. Susann and Kay Wrede's German Swan 44 Best Buddies started the race on July 2nd, as the sole participant in the Cruising Division. As an estimate, Best Buddies should have over a thousand nautical miles head start once the racing fleet start the Bermuda to Hamburg Race on Sunday, July 8, 2018 at 12:05pm noon ADT.

All yachts in the race are fitted with a YB Tracker, which will give position reports and more through a free-to-use player application. Over 6500 'armchair admirals' have entered the Virtual Race.

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