AIRFORCE Three-Peats J/105 AXA XL International Challenge Cup

Every November for three days, the Bacardi Keelboat Regatta is held in Bermuda. The J/105 fleet is an invitational-only event, as they race with a combined Bermuda and international crew to compete for three awards: Bermuda and International Divisions and the Overall AXA XL International Challenge Cup series. In addition to Bacardi’s sponsorship, the J/105s were competing for the AXA XL International Challenge Cup, a sponsorship supported by one of Bermuda’s largest re-insurance companies (their Managing Director is an active J/105 sailor). The J/105 fleet fielded its usual strong contingent of competitors with international helmsmen and crew hailing from the US and the UK, paired with an equal compliment of local Bermuda sailors onboard each boat. There were seven J/105s competing this year in a Bermuda Series where the Bermuda skipper drives, alternating races with the international skipper for the International Series, and combined results for the AXA XL Overall Trophy. The first day of racing produced a gorgeous sunny day of 10-20 knots with four races counting, two for the Bermudian skippers and two for the international skippers. The second day was blown-out, with winds topping 40+ knots. Fortunately, the huge North Atlantic storm passed quickly, producing another day of 10-20 knots of breeze that permitted four more races to determine the winner of the AXA XL J/105 International Challenge Cup. It was the team of Bermudian Peter Bromby and Peter Snelling on AIRFORCE who ultimately won the regatta. After four races on day one, they were sitting in third place. Then, on the closing day, they had to contend with a DSQ in Race 6. Leading after the first day with a 1-2-3-2 were the duo of Bermudian Trevor Boyce and American Stew Neff sailing YABSTA. Owever, the YABSTA crew could not find good pace in the last four races, closing with a 6-3-4-6 to miss the win by just two points to settle for the silver. American Mike Riley and Bermudian Ed Faries on BACK IN BLACK closed with a 1-2-1 tally on the last day to rocket up the leaderboard from mid-fleet, taking the tie-breaker at 28 points each over MAYHEM (American Jason Owen and Bermudian Jon Corless). Rounding out the top five was the PASSION Team (Bermudian James MacDonald and Texan Bill Lakenmacher). For the Bermuda Division, winning was Peter Bromby, followed by Jon Corless in second and James MacDonald in third. In the International Division, winning was Mike Riley, with Stew Neff second and Bill Lakenmacher in third position. For more Royal Bermuda YC Bacardi Keelboat Regatta information, visit

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