Please select your home edition
leaderboard with question mark E6 launch 2021

'Auf Wiedersehen' Bermuda: Atlantic Anniversary Regatta fleet set off for Hamburg

by Louay Habib, Atlantic Anniversary Regatta 8 Jul 2018 19:28 PDT 9 July 2018
The AAR fleet near the Bermuda start line, with Rambler 88 taking the lead in the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta © John Singleton

Blessed with superb conditions, the international fleet enjoyed 15 knots of SSE breeze, with warm air and ocean swell. Two miles east of Bermuda's iconic St. David's Lighthouse, the intrepid fleet of sailors, from 14 different countries, set off bound for Hamburg, 3,500 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. A highly competitive start was followed by a flexi-course, PRO Stefan Kunstmann sent the fleet on a two-mile windward leeward course around laid marks, with a fetch to a turning mark, before the fleet headed out into the Atlantic under spinnaker.

George David's American Maxi Rambler 88 led the fleet away at an astonishing speed. Under full main and A3, Rambler 88 was flying over 800 square metres of sail area. With a high level of squall activity in the starting area, Rambler 88 put in two uber gybes to chase the rain-storms. The Maxi Racer is the hot favourite for Line Honours, and there was no holding back Rambler 88, which unleashed full power, pounding through the surf at 20 knots of boat speed. Jens Kellinghusen's German canting keel Ker 56 Varuna V was second on the water, ten miles behind Rambler 88. Boris Hermann's German IMOCA 60 Malizia - Yacht Club Monaco is third.

"Heading to the start along the Great Sound, the inshore waters of Bermuda are crystal clear and turquoise." commented Boris Hermann, Skipper of Malizia - Yacht Club Monaco. "The start was not as easy for us, as it is more difficult to make tight manoeuvrers with an Imoca short-handed, but everything ran like clockwork and as expected. The boat's acceleration is fantastic, but we were a bit too high, so after the new GFS Model came in via satellite, we then changed to the big spinnaker for faster boat speed. The mood aboard is good, the watch system has started, and I am looking forward to not sweating as much as when I race solo!"

Catherine Pourre's French Class40 Eärendil got a good start to lead the division after four hours of racing. Mathias Mueller von Blumencron's RED was just two miles behind, and Sönke & Arnt Bruhn's Iskareen was in third place. All of the fleet are north of the rhumb line, the Azores High is positioned far north and extremely well established. A low pressure system, which has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Chris is expected to make its way north along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Whilst the AAR fleet are unlikely to experience the full effects of Tropical Storm Chris, stronger winds are forecast later in the race. Susann and Kay Wrede's Swan 44 Best Buddies started the race in the Cruising Division six days ago, and is currently one thousand miles ahead of Rambler on the water.

Four hours into the race the vast majority of the fleet were experiencing double-digit boat speed. Torsten Grotjahn's Swan 44 Dantes and Hanns Ostmeier's Swan 45 High Yield were bring up the rear. However, all of the fleet are out of sight of Bermuda, the next land they are likely to see, will be The Lizard, Cornwall UK, 2,800 miles across the Atlantic.

NRV Commodore Andreas Christiansen watched the start of the race, having exchanged burgies with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Commodore, Jon Corless. "The NRV and the RBYC have an association which started fifty years ago." commented Christiansen. "We have been given a great welcome in Bermuda, and congratulate the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club for playing host to such a prestigious race."

For more information visit

Related Articles

Atlantic Anniversary Regatta farewell
Several yachts celebrate 150th Jubilee of the Norddeutschen Regatta Verein It was a spectacular scene when the legendary luxury ship EUROPA 2 positioned herself in front of the iconic Elbphilharmonie on July 29, 2018. Posted on 30 Jul 2018
Varuna succeeds in Bermuda Hamburg Race
A happy birthday for Jens Kellinghusen in the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta On July 21, 2018, which marks the birthday of Varuna VI's owner and skipper, Jens Kellinghusen (NRV), the Race Committee confirmed that Varuna's overall win of the Bermuda Hamburg leg after corrected time is not at jeopardy anymore. Posted on 22 Jul 2018
Malizia wins Line Honours in AAR Hamburg Race
Last chapter of an epic 3,500nm transatlantic rivalry It was the last chapter of an epic 3,500nm transatlantic rivalry between Jens Kellinghusen's Varuna VI, and Boris Herrmann's Malizia - Yacht Club Monaco. Posted on 18 Jul 2018
AAR Bermuda Hamburg Race
The epic bow-to-bow battle of Varuna vs Malizia The first days of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta's final leg were truly breathtaking: After Line Honours favourite Rambler 88 had to retire from the race due to a rudder issue, Varuna and Malizia rose up to the challenge of taking Line Honours. Posted on 12 Jul 2018
The chase is on at the AAR Bermuda Hamburg Race
With Rambler 88 retired, who will get line honours? With the retirement of Line Honours favourite Rambler 88 from the transatlantic Atlantic Anniversary Regatta, the cards have been shuffled for the remaining 15 racing yachts. Posted on 11 Jul 2018
Rambler 88 retires from AAR Bermuda Hamburg Race
All crew reported safe Rambler 88 navigator Stan Honey advised the Race Committee of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta that at 01:32 UTC on July 10, 2018, she had contact with an object in the water, and lost the port rudder. Posted on 10 Jul 2018
AAR Bermuda to Hamburg Race preview
Bermudian youth sailors and local partners meet with renown participants of Bermuda to Hamburg Race The subtropical island of Bermuda is globally known for its heartfelt hospitality and pristine sailing conditions, which all 150 participants of Atlantic Anniversary Regatta (AAR) were lucky enough to experience first-hand in the past few days and weeks Posted on 7 Jul 2018
Audio interviews with top navigators
Ahead of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta Bermuda-Hamburg Race Audio interview with Stan Honey, navigator for George David's Rambler 88 and Jean-Luc Nelias, navigator for Eric de Turckheim's Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine, just 48 hours before the start of the AAR Bermuda to Hamburg Race. Posted on 6 Jul 2018
AAR Bermuda to Hamburg Race preview
Final offshore race of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta series The Atlantic Anniversary Regatta (AAR) is part of the grand celebrations for the 150th anniversary for the Norddeutsher Regatta Verein (NRV), Hamburg, Germany. Posted on 5 Jul 2018
One-week countdown to Atlantic Anniversary Regatta
Excitement mounting at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club The excitement at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club was mounting on July 2, 2018, when Swan 441R Best Buddies started the second and final leg of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta (AAR). Posted on 3 Jul 2018
North Sails 2021 Innovation - FOOTERSOUTHERN-SPARS-OFFICIAL-SUPPLIER-52-SS728-X-90 BottomHella Dual Colour Floodlights - 728 x 90px - 6 jpg Bottom