Sailors praise ‘Antiguan welcome’

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Photo and story by Edwin Gifford

A “super race” and a “great welcome”. Those were the words from the owner of the Palanad 3 boat which finished the 2735-mile RORC Transatlantic Race on Tuesday with a phenomenal elapsed time of 10 days, one hour, 43 minutes and 18 seconds.

Up to last night, Olivier Magre’s Class40 vessel had scored the best corrected time under IRC to claim the trophy after showing blistering pace in the event.

“We pushed the boat hard, maybe at times a bit too much,” admitted sailor Luke Berry. “We had the smaller spinnaker up in 38 knots for example.” 

Magre was racing with two of the best Class40 sailors in the world in Berry and Corentin Douguet.

Enjoying a cold beer dockside, Olivier commented, “We are overjoyed to arrive in Antigua to such a great welcome, it has been a super race.

“The boat performed really well; very quick but also very safe, with tremendous acceleration. If it was not for the sargassum weed, I am sure we would have finished inside 10 days – it is a superb boat.”

The annual race departed from Lanzarote’s Puerto Calero on January 9.

Magre continued, “I remember the start from Puerto Calero so well; the boat was singing in big conditions and we had a great battle with our sistership Redman.

“I have sailed with Corentin before and it is always special, he is a great sailor. This was my first time with Luke; he is a great communicator, always in a good mood and a tremendous sailor.”

He added, “I would like to say a big thank you to Lanzarote, Antigua and to the RORC. This has been a super race and really well organised.”

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