Racing Blue Dawn

When Yann Iythgoe was hired on by the owner of Antares Blue Dawn to deliver his boat across the Atlantic, racing the ARC flotilla wasn’t in the plans. But as everybody knows, when you have more than 1 boat sailing on the same course, it’s always a race.

Blue Dawn
left Bermuda 3 hours after the ARC rally boats and not only caught up with the leading boats but with Main and Genoa, passed the 3 lead boats – a Hanse 53, Amel 54, and a Beneteau 57 – with a side wind of 20 knots and reaching sailing speeds of up to 10 knots.

“We arrived before the ARC boats in Horta in the Azores half a day before the first participants who came in groups – the first 4 were a Hanse 53, Amel 54, Oyster 54 & Beneteau 57. We had a little bit of everything during this trip. Still, our average speed was 7 knots, which is more than I expected and also more than I thought since we were doing around 5 knots when using the [40HP Volvos] engine(s) (1600 to 1800 RPM to save fuel), ” explains Yann.

The first 3 days after leaving the USVI’s saw very calm conditions with long swells, with 1 day of light wind from the front, followed by 3 days with 15 – 20 knots of wind from a 120* angle until Bermuda.

They continued to have good side winds for 3 days after Bermuda (20 knots), then calm or light side winds until the Azores (Horta). The sea was slight all the way.

From the Azores to Cadiz, Spain, they experienced 2 days of wind from 45* or less between 5 and 15 knots, then 4 days with 80 to 100* wind between 18 & 35 knots. The state of the sea was 1 meter and increased to 3.5 meters.

It took Yann and his crew of 3 a little over three weeks to sail Antares 44i Blue Dawn from St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands to Cadiz, Spain. That’s 6.5 days from St Thomas to Bermuda – 10 days from Bermuda to Azores – 6 days from the Azores to Cadiz, Spain.

“The top speed was 16.2 knots (we did 17.8 knots on the previous delivery from Brazil to Trinidad). With the Main & Genoa and with a side wind, we reached slightly over 10 knots max.”

“The general impression and feeling on board were very, very positive, and I sailed many catamarans. She is above average from other catamarans of her kind. She’s comfortable and fast,” Yann says about his impressions about the Antares 44i.

“The performance and attitude at sea are very positive. She is a big upgrade for the owner from his previous catamaran.”