Swede Björn Hansen, skipper of the Nautiska Racing Team and a 12-time entrant in the regatta, was the last skipper to arrive, landing last night during the opening reception. His travel schedule from Europe was badly delayed due to Hurricane Joaquin. The No. 1 seed in Group B, he and his crew are practicing this morning while Group A begins racing.
Group A takes to the water at 9 am (ADT) with Ian Williams’ GAC Pindar team squaring off against Blythe Walker’s Team RenRe. Other Group A matches in the first flight include reigning champion Johnie Berntsson’s racing team versus Phil Robertson’s Waka Racing, American Chris Poole’s RipTide Racing versus last year’s runner-up Eric Monnin’s Swiss Match Race Team, and the youngest skipper in the fleet, Joachim Aschenbrenner, against Dean Barker’s SoftBank Team Japan.
Around 12:30 pm Group B is scheduled to head out and the organizers hope to complete the first four flights in as well. The first flight in Group B features Bjorn Hansen’s Nautiska Racing Team against Adam Minoprio’s BlackMatch team, Keith Swinton’s Black Swan Racing against Christ Steele’s 36 Below Racing, Nicolai Sehested’s Tre-For Match Racing against Reuben Corbett’s Corbett Racing, and Taylor Canfield’s US One versus Francesco Bruni’s Artemis Racing team.
The Bermuda Weather Service is forecasting breezy conditions with the possibility of showers throughout the day.