Stephen Murray Jr’s American modified Volvo 70 Warrior took line honours in the Antigua Bermuda Race, crossing the finish line at 7.57:48 local time on Saturday.
Warrior’s time of 2 days, 18 hours, 32 minutes and 48 seconds is a race record, smashing their own mark, set last year, by over 24 hours, much to the delight of Murray.
“It’s great to be here,” he said. “That was a quick ride, thrilling and exciting. We did half of the race in the first 24 hours. After that it got a little slower and more challenging as we got close to the high. This is a my favourite racecourse; predominately downwind in good pressure, it’s warm and really nice sailing and this race is on our list for as long as we can do it. We have good competitors this year so we had our work cut out to win on corrected time.”
Jens Kellinghusen’s German Ker 56 Varuna finished the race just under four hours behind Warrior. After IRC time correction Varuna has set the time to beat and the impressive performance has made Varuna strong favourites to win overall under IRC and lift the Warrior Perpetual Trophy.
“A very enjoyable race with fast conditions for the most part, with the wind shutting down just as we were about to finish the race,” Kellinghusen said. “At the start of the race, we discussed how important it was to sail as fast as possible while we had good wind so as to reduce the impact of the light winds forecast for the finish. The wind was non-existent as we finished.”