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Antonina Wins 2009 Atlantic Cup Rally

The nineteen sailboats in this year’s Atlantic Cup offshore sailing rally from Tortola to Bermuda reached in northeast  to southeast winds for the 850 mile passage. Sailors enjoyed spinnaker runs, glorious sunsets, and fresh-caught tuna, punctuated only briefly by fresh winds and lumpy seas. The Atlantic Cup is an annual event sponsored by the Cruising Rally Association. It provides friendly competition, shared weather information, crew lists, and twice daily radio chats to boats returning the US and Canada from their winter cruising grounds.

Antonina, a Cherubini Schooner, sailed by Vince Archcetto from New Jersey was the Overall Handicap Winner for the event. The classic schooner manned by a crew of four outsailed its handicap to beat out Clover III, a Swan 56, under the command of skipper David Fraizer who was first to finish. Gil Smith and his crew on Joy For All, a Farr 50 were the second boat to finish. Fado Fado, a Leopard 46 catamaran, with Denis McCarthy on the helm, arrived third. The Rally fleet of nine boats completed the passage in 98-121 hours.

For the first time, the ralliers departed Tortola from Nanny Cay Resort and Marina.  “The hard working team at Nanny Cay made it very easy for participants to get ready for the long passage. The fact that Nanny Cay Marina has skilled tradesmen on site makes it all much easier." said Steve Black, Founder and President of the Cruising Rally Association.

All ralliers received a warm welcome at the St. Georges Dinghy and Sports Club in Bermuda at the end of the rally and most departed for the eastern seaboard of the U.S. within 48 hours of arrival.

The fleet was divided into three divisions. In addition to the Rally Class, there were two Cruising Classes. Six boats entered the Cruising Class to enjoy a cruise in company to Bermuda.  Four other boats (Karina, CatAway, Didi Mau, and Fruition) sailed directly to the United States from Tortola in 8-9 days. All classes received the same safety, weather and communication benefits. The five boats in the cruising class (Black Rose, Club Carp, Entrepreneurship, Eva Marie, and Harmonii) that sailed to Bermuda received awards that recognized their achievement of safely completing the open ocean passage.

The results of the Rally Class were:

1

Antonina

Cherubini Schooner

Vince Archetto

2

Clover III

Swan 56

Neal Finnegan

3

Joy For All

Farr 50

Gil & Joy Smith

4

Fado Fado

Leopard 46 Cat

Denis McCarthy

5

Special Delivery

Taswell AS 58

Bill & Diana Quinlan

6

Nana Maria

Tayana 58

Mark & Janel Seier

7

Zafu 444

J 44 CR

Mike Scott

8

Sapphire

Jeanneau 54DS

Bill & Linda Knowles

9

Dancing in the Dark

Island Packet 485

David Heaphy

The Cruising Rally Association returns to Nanny Cay later this year with the Caribbean 1500, slated to start on November 2. The 2009 Caribbean 1500 Rally will be the 20th annual running of this event making it the largest and longest-running offshore cruising rally in the Americas.  Black, president and founder of the Cruising Rally Association, anticipates a record entry of returning ralliers for the anniversary activities.
With wireless transponders on each yacht, positions were broadcast via the satellite network six times each day, every four hours. Each boat’s track was displayed on the Caribbean 1500 website (www.carib1500.com ) using software customized to incorporate features from Google Earth.  The transponder program is sponsored by Davenport & Company, LLC.

The Cruising Rally Association, founded by veteran solo sailor and sailing event organizer Steve Black, is widely supported by a number of leading companies. These include Davenport & Company, LLC, Nanny Cay Resort & Marina, West Marine, Blue Water Sailing Magazine, Switlik, OCENS, ICOM, and World Cruising Ltd.

For more information on future rallies and seminars, visit www.carib1500.com.

About Cruising Rally Association:
The Cruising Rally Association, founded in 1990 by Steve Black, manages a year-round calendar of offshore cruising rallies and Ocean Sailing Seminars. Over 750 cruisers and future cruisers attend the CRA events each year. Black has sailed in all parts of the Atlantic, including three solo transatlantic races and more than 40 rallies. He served as executive director of the US Sailing Association before founding the Cruising Rally Association which he has headed for the last 18 years.

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