Open 60 wins Guadeloupe-Antigua Race setting the scene for next seven days at Antigua Sailing Week 29/4/06

Nick Black and his eight-strong crew aboard the Open 60 Pindar AlphaGraphics crossed the English Harbour finish line on Thursday evening winning the Guadeloupe to Antigua race.

Although no records were broken on this 42-mile feeder race across the Caribbean Sea to Antigua Sailing Week due to the wind dropping off as the fleet approached the finish, Team Pindar AlphaGraphics scooped both line honours and the corrected time race win from the 12-strong fleet.

In a generally moderate breeze averaging out at 14kts, Black and his super-fast crew, including solo record-breaking yachtsman Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss), took two hours and 51 minutes to complete the course, just 33 minutes slower than Bob Millar’s 140ft super maxi Mari-Cha IV who set a record of two hours, 18 minutes and 42 seconds in 2004.

Commenting on the race Black said: “This was a great result for us and exciting start to the week. Both the boat and crew are looking in really good shape – it was just a shame that the wind tailed off a bit towards the end which took away any record hopes.”

This impressive Antigua debut sets the scene for the next seven days when, competing in the Racing Big Boat Class, Pindar AlphaGraphics will be up against the likes of Maxi yacht Titan 12 – the boat that won the inaugural Yachting World Round Antigua Island Race last year – Pindar’s Volvo 60 skippered by Loz Marriott, Rosebud – a TP52 – and the Farr 60 Numbers.

Another noteable crewmember to join Black and Thomson this week aboard the Pindar AlphaGraphics Open 60 team is world class sailor Brian Thompson, who says “The Open 60 is a fantastic class and I’m really looking forward to seeing its performance as a ’round the cans’ racing boat this week.”

Pindar’s second yacht, the Volvo 60 Pindar arrived into Falmouth Harbour on Thursday morning having made the 5,400 voyage across the Atlantic from Gosport, UK. Speaking from the dock, skipper Loz Marriott commented: “It was a pretty slow delivery but eventful all the same. The crew bonded really well and on occasions picked up some strong winds reaching a top speed of 26.5 knots and a 24 hour run of 367 miles.” He continued “Ideally we would have liked to have arrived a few days earlier to allow more time for preparation, but we’re very much looking forward to the week ahead and getting in some competitive sailing.”