Newport Bermuda Race Start 2014 (Photo by George Bekris)

Newport Bermuda Race 2014 (Photo by George Bekris)

By John Rousmaniere,

 June 16, 2016 — As nearly 1,700 sailors who will soon race to Bermuda make their preparations, loading food and gear into their boats and lining up to pre-clear Bermuda customs and immigration, all of them have one question in mind: “What will the weather be?” And one answer:  “I just hope it’ll favor my boat.”

Sailors don’t agree on much.  Some prefer big boats, some small. Some like light displacement, others heavy. Yet this question and answer can be counted on whenever two or three of us are gathered together. We all talk about the weather, and talk and talk. The weather is our obsession.

On land, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it,” to quote Mark Twain (or his friend Charles Dudley Warner — the sources disagree).  But on water, we can do something about it.  We trim or shorten sail, we change course, and we look around for better weather.

Newport Bermuda Race 2014 (Photo by George Bekris)

Weather is the deep concern of the 2016 Bermuda Race fleet of 184 boats. There has been some attrition, some due to boat damage during deliveries and in a race. One withdrawal is the Maxi 72 Bella Mente, a frequent candidate to be first to finish that is not sailing this time out of her owner’s weather concerns.

Over the past three days, conflicting weather forecasts have stirred up concern about the conditions that will confront the fleet after the start on Friday. One forecast seemed to indicate a high wind at the start, another suggested a hard blow down the course, and a third offered the specter of rough going, with a hard north wind.

That last weather alert has attracted a lot of attention because of the Gulf Stream. The body of water running northeast is Benjamin Franklin’s “River in the Ocean.” It’s more like a drifting octopus—a complicated patch of moving water turning in every which direction and greatly affecting the state of the sea.  To quote the race’s Gulf Stream expert (and multi-time navigator), oceanographer Dr. Frank Bohlen, “Wind blowing against the current results in a significantly larger wave amplitude and shorter wavelength than what appears when wind blows with current or when there is no current.”

Click here for Frank Bohlen’s analysis of this year’s Gulf Stream.

Newport Bermuda 2010 Start (Photo by George Bekris)

Newport Bermuda 2010 Start (Photo by George Bekris)

History marks two postponements

Despite more than 100 years of excited sailor talk about the weather in 49 races, only two Bermuda Race starts have been postponed a day or longer. The 1968 start was delayed for one day out of concern about an early-season hurricane.  Then in 1982, the race committee, chaired by James A. McCurdy (father of Selkie skipper Sheila McCurdy), postponed the start for two days because of a storm in the Western Atlantic. Once the weather settled down, the then-record 178 starters got off the line quickly on a spinnaker reach.

Carina (Photo by George Bekris )

Carina (Photo by George Bekris )

There’s another, quite startling weather story about the 1982 race.  Carina (today owned by Rives Potts) was sailing almost directly toward Bermuda when her owner-skipper, Richard Nye, poked his head up through the companionway and took a look upwind around just as a lightning bolt flashed down to the water.  “Tack,” Nye ordered. The crew looked at him incredulously. They were only 10 degrees off the layline to the finish. “Tack! There’s lightning to windward. There’s warm water up there. The Gulf Stream’s up there.”

Carina tacked, sailed on the “wrong” tack for a couple of hours until she was well into hot water, tacked back, and with a 3-knot current on her stern, charged toward Bermuda at 10-plus knots over the bottom. She won her division by a comfortable 34 minutes.

That’s one good reason why we obsess about weather.

Newport Bermuda Race 2016 Entries

Click here for more facts about the Newport Bermuda Race.

Newport Bermuda Race 2014 start (Photo by George Bekris)

Watch the start and follow your favorites to Bermuda

Coming alive for you on BermudaRace.com … join Livestream 2PM-5PM on Friday June 17 for live video and commentary on the start. Commentator Andy Green will be host the program from the Inn at Castle Hill overlooking the starting line. With cameras on the hill and on the water, he’ll get close to the action bringing live sailing directly to you. Audio also airs on Newport radio FM 105.9.

Virtual spectators will watch the story unfold as their favorite yachts, skippers, or crew members in this 635-mile ocean classic tack and gybe their way through the Gulf Stream and hunt for the wind in the ‘happy valley’ north of Bermuda. All boats in the 2016 fleet will be tracked by YB satellite trackers as live as it can be on Pantaenius Race Tracking — www.pantaenius.com/NBRtracking — your link to all the action in the race.

Spirit of Bermuda Starts off the Race for 2014 (Photo By George Bekris)

Spirit of Bermuda Starts off the Race for 2014 (Photo By George Bekris)

HIRO MARU and the Class 1 St. David's Lighthouse Division Start 2014 (Photo by George Bekris)

HIRO MARU and the Class 1 St. David’s Lighthouse Division Start 2014 (Photo by George Bekris)

It Was a Little Messy, but the Bermuda Race Fleet has Started

Spirit of Bermuda Starts off the Race for 2014 (Photo By George Bekris)

Spirit of Bermuda Starts off the Race for 2014 (Photo By George Bekris)

By John Rousmaniere

If it was more fun for  spectators than the sailors, the reason was the sea breeze that inched toward the starting line until it finally dominated the northerly.Newport. RI, June 20, 2014, 7 PM.  Who would have thought that spinnakers would be flown at the starts of two Newport Bermuda Races in a row?  The race did not gain its well-known nickname, “The Thrash to the Onion Patch,” because it’s a downwind sleigh ride, like the Transpac.  The 2012 start was a fast run before a fresh northerly for every one of the 165 boats in every class.  This year was a little more complicated for the 164 starters. As the five divisions in 14 classes got going over a period of two and one-half hours, the first half of the fleet in seven starts got away in a leftover northerly breeze under spinnaker.   Not so the last seven.  Like a typical summer day on Long Island Sound, the mouth of Narragansett Bay was full of confusion.

Some of the Class 2 fleet St. David's Lighthouse Division Start 2014  (Photo by George Bekris)

Some of the Class 2 fleet St. David’s Lighthouse Division Start 2014 (Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

The afternoon’s winners appear to be the boats that started early, Classes 1, 2, and 3–the smaller and medium-size boats in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division.  With the light to moderate northerly on their stern, they tacked downwind to the buoy marking the outer reaches of Brenton Reef, and carried their chutes around the mark and onto the southeasterly course to Bermuda. When the southwester filled in like a light summer blanket, all they had to do was raise the jib, douse the spinnaker, and tack onto starboard, meanwhile holding the same course.

Newport_Bermuda_2014_george_bekris_June-20-2014_-1-001

One of the biggest of those winners may be Sinn Fein, the Cal 40 that’s always sailed well by Peter Rebovich, Sr., and his crew of family and friends from Raritan Yacht Club, in New Jersey.  The two-time winners of the St. David’s Lighthouse Division (in 2006 and 2008), they’ve been preoccupied by other concerns since the 2012 race: rebuilding their boat after she was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Today they set the spinnaker promptly and effectively, found the right apparent wind angle, and pulled away. When last seen, Sinn Fein was on the far horizon, closehauled in the seabreeze and racing to Bermuda near the head of a clump of at least 50 other smaller boats. The Pantaenius tracker at 3 p.m. (about two hours after the Class 1 start) showed Sinn Fein slightly behind William Klein’s CC 40, Glim. We’ll know when we see later tracker readings (being sure to remember the 4-hour time delay) and a get a sense of the wind and wave conditions as the big fleet gets out into the Atlantic.

(Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

But at least everybody’s racing, and headed toward the Gulf Stream, where (the forecasters are telling us) they may find more to worry about than a shifty wind—such as squalls and big seas that could turn this race into a real thrash.The boats that started an hour or so later than Class 1 had any number of troubles as the seabreeze slowly pushed away the northerly. At one moment a Class 6 medium-size St. David’s Lighthouse boat with a red spinnaker up and pulling well on port tack was less than 25 yards abeam of another Class 6 boat with a green and yellow chute pulling well on starboard tack.  A few minutes later, the seabreeze reached the starting line in the mouth of Narragansett Bay just as Class 8 (large St. David’s boats) was making its final approach—some running in the dying northerly, others beating in the slowly building southerly.

(Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

 

For More Photos of the Newport Bermuda Race visit George Bekris Photography HERE 

 

 

– See more at bout the race at: http://bermudarace.com/little-messy-bermuda-race-fleet-started/#sthash.aMUaHBGw.dpuf

 

 

 Class 6 within the St David's Lighthouse division setting out for Bermuda during the last race. Photo Daniel Forster/PPL


Class 6 within the St David’s Lighthouse division setting out for Bermuda during the last race. Photo Daniel Forster/PPL

By Talbot Wilson

 How to Watch the Bermuda Race Start from Land or Sea.

With more than 160 racing boats in the mouth of Narragansett Bay on June 20th, the start of the Newport Bermuda Race will be a spectacular sight, whether you’re watching from the nearby shore or from a boat on the water. The first gun is scheduled for 12:50 with the first start scheduled for 1:00. The last start is approximately 2:30.

Because the race start is close to land, many spectators prefer to gather at shoreside viewing points on high ground, such as the Castle Hill Inn. Parking fees may be charged and there may be limitations on bringing food.

Spectator boats are permitted to watch the Bermuda Race start if they observe limit buoys, keep a careful lookout, and obey the instructions of Race Committee and U.S. Coast Guard personnel in official patrol boats. Because the water will be crowded and rough, small boats such as kayaks and canoes are strongly discouraged.

Charter boats offering day trips are numerous at Newport. Many are listed at http://www.discovernewport.org/recreation/boating-and-sailing/charters-and-excursions.

All spectators should be aware the use of drones (Unmanned Aircraft Systems, UAS) near outdoors public events has been banned in Rhode Island.

Please monitor CH 72 VHF for all race information and CH 69 for Patrol Boat communication.

Do not transmit on CH 72. It is reserved for the RC and competitors.

The scheduled time of the first warning signal is 12:50 p.m.

The first class is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. and subsequent classes start at 10-minute intervals.

The starting line is between the Sailing vessel AXIA(120’ Ketch) and a large yellow buoy near Castle Hill.

The regular spectator area is well outside and to the southwest of the orange inflatable marks surrounding the starting line and defining the Competitors Only Restricted Areas.

There is another pre-start restricted area South of the starting line on the course side. It lies between the port and starboard tack lay lines from either end of the starting line, and extends for 200 yards down the course from the starting line. The eastern side of the area will end at an Orange 8’ Tetrahedron approximately 200 meters south of the last dumpy.

The 49th Newport Bermuda Race is right around the corner. Home-based spectators can track their favorite yachts, skippers or crewmembers in the 635-mile ocean classic starting June 20 from Newport Rhode Island. All boats in the 2014 fleet will be provided with Yellowbrick tracking modules before the start. Bringing the competition to you as live as it can be, Pantaenius Race Tracking — www.pantaenius.com/NBRtracking — is your link to all the virtual action in the race. Pantaenius Yacht Insurance is the Tracker Sponsor for this year’s Newport Bermuda Race

Test the site ahead of time and also download the Yellowbrick app for mobile coverage wherever you are. Some browser updates may be needed. The Yellowbrick race viewer will run well on any web browsers released since 2012, namely:

  • Internet Explorer 10 & 11
  • Google Chrome 23 and upwards
  • Firefox 20 and upwards
  • Safari 6 and upwards

Updating your browser is normally a very easy process, and is good practice since it will also patch any security issues that may have been found since it was released.

In the Newport Bermuda Race this year, there will be a time delay in the early stages of the race to prevent competitors from using the positions of other yachts for tactical advantage.

Tracking will be delayed by 4 hours for the first 48 hours of the race and then go to near-real-time reports every 30 minutes from each yacht. Expect to see a jump forward after 48 hours to the yacht’s actual position. As yachts get within 15 miles of Bermuda the timing of reports will be more frequent.

For competitors using satellite links, a low bandwidth link for sat phones on boats will be available.

Newport Bermuda action starts Friday, June 20th, with the first warning signal scheduled for 12:50PM EDT in the East Passage of Narragansett Bay off Castle Hill Lighthouse in Newport Rhode Island. This year, 165 boats have entered in five divisions. These will be divided in classes of about 15 boats each plus a class for the ‘Spirit of Bermuda’ starting by herself in the Spirit of Tradition Division.

Twenty-nine of the two Newport Bermuda Lighthouse Divisions’ entries are also sailing the 25th Onion Patch Series, a tough triathlon of offshore racing. These Onion Patch racers have just sailed the New York Yacht Club 160th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex in Newport and form the core of the June 27nd Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta which now has 32 entries. The RBYC Anniversary Regatta is open to all IRC or ORR rated yachts over 25 feet in Bermuda. Anniversary Regatta entries close at noon on June 25th. Information is online at www.onionpatchseries.com.

The website — www.BermudaRace.com— carries Newport Bermuda Race rules, news, videos, photos, history, and expert advice. Race news is also posted on the Newport Bermuda Race 2014 Facebook page and on Twitter at @BdaRace.

2012 Newport Bermuda Yacht Race -start in Narragansett Bay Class 10 Gibbs Hill lighthouse division Rambler - USA 25555 - Custom 90 maxi  yacht skippered by  George David Belle Mente - USA 45 - 72ft mini maxi  yacht skippered by  Hap Fauth Team Tiburon Wizard -USA 4511 - Reichel Pugh 74 skippered by Mark E Watson III - USMMA Shockwave - USA 60272 - mini- maxi  yacht skippered by  George Skellaris Rima II - USA 55155 - Reichel Pugh 55  yacht skippered by  John G Brin Stark Raving Mad - USA 61011 - Swan 601 production  yacht skippered by  James C Madden Meanie - CAN 84248 - Reichel Pugh 52   yacht skippered by  Thomas Akin

The big yachts in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse trophy division at the start of the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race. Photo: Daniel Forster/PPL

 

Seabiscuit as the 48th Newport Bermuda Race got underway with the first spinnaker start since 2002. There were 166 boats in 17 classes and 6 divisions. (Photo by Talbot Wilson)

By John Rousmaniere

Nobody should underestimate the importance or demands of these incidents and the efforts to deal with them. As Royal Bermuda Yacht Cub Commodore Jonathan Brewin observed, “We were dealing with just one boat and one casualty. If four or five boats were involved, we wouldn’t be able to handle all of it. We need to have a team ready to work.” For the full report go to RACE NEWS > http://www.bermudarace.com/

Newport, RI: Jan. 30, 2013: The Newport Bermuda Race is closely followed by an onshore team of race officials who alternate four-hour watches as they monitor emails, satphone and radiotelephone calls, and the online tracker that identifies entries and their positions. At a little after 2000 EDT on the 2012 race’s third night, June 17, watch-stander Nicholas Weare, based in Bermuda, received an email from the race’s consulting physician in Massachusetts.

He promptly reported it to race officials: “Message received from Dr. Barbara Masser advising that she lost satphone contact 7:49 EDT while in communication with Seabiscuit regarding a 38-year-old insulin dependent male who has not eaten or drunk for 24 hours, with elevated blood sugar and appears confused.”

These were the first two of more than two dozen emails (not to mention many satphone and radio calls) sent over the next seven hours concerning the serious problem on board Seabiscuit, a J-46 in the race’s Double-Handed Division. The effort to assist and, eventually, evacuate the seasick sailor, Nathan C. Owen, included more than two dozen people, including race officials, rescue personnel in the U.S. and Bermuda, and the crews of two other racing boats and a cruise ship.

For the full report go to RACE NEWS > http://www.bermudarace.com/

Following the incident there were frank discussions of lessons learned in a debriefing at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, in replies to a questionnaire circulated to 21 people involved in the incident, and in John Rousmaniere’s detailed incident report to the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee. Here is a summary

Seasickness and Dehydration:

Seasickness puts lives at risk. Seasickness medication must be trialed by each member of the crew prior to going offshore, checking for side effects, and be used prophylactically wherever the boat is sailing. All vessels must be equipped with proper seasickness and anti-nausea medication, including suppositories (for times when oral medication cannot be held down) and IV saline to provide emergency hydration

At least one crew member should be trained and assigned to monitor crew health and medications. 2012 Bermuda Race Chair John Osmond (a medical doctor) has recommended that sailors take a first- aid course/safety seminar addressing seasickness and dehydration.

Communications:

Crews must be thoroughly familiar with and practice on their satellite phones and radiotelephones. Satphone calls were lost and dropped because the phone or volume was turned off, or because service providers could handle only a limited number of voice calls at time. Voicemail and email are extremely valuable options for offshore satphones—but they work only if the crews frequently check for messages.

Emergency/crisis management:

The question “Who was in charge?” in the questionnaire elicited a large variety of answers. Because some confusion is probably inevitable in such situations, a crisis management plan that looks sound on paper may not be suitable in action. Every plan should be tested in trial runs by its team and rescue officials.

Another crucial issue is having necessary data readily available. Telephone numbers and other contacts for boats, rescue services, and homes must be known and carefully recorded and stored where they are instantly accessible.

Lilla - IRL 7600 - CNB Briand 76 yacht skippered by Simon De Pietro (Photo by Daniel Forster/PPL)

Lilla - IRL 7600 - CNB Briand 76 yacht skippered by Simon De Pietro (Photo by Daniel Forster/PPL)

Hamilton, Bermuda, June 21, 2012 – ‘Lilla’, the big red Briand 76 (IRL7600) owned by Simon and Nancy De Pietro of Cork, Ireland and Mattapoisett MA, sailed a fast straight-forward Newport Bermuda Race and won Class 13 in the Cruiser Division. ‘Lilla’ also took first place in the whole Cruiser Division and will be presented with the Carleton Mitchell Finesterre Trophy for first place.

True - USA 22  - J160  production yacht yacht skippered by Howard B Hodgson Jnr (Photo by Daniel Forster/PPL)

True - USA 22 - J160 production yacht yacht skippered by Howard B Hodgson Jnr (Photo by Daniel Forster/PPL)

‘Lilla’ led classmate ‘True’, a J-160 owned by Howard Hodgson of Ipswich MA by 1 hr 17 min on corrected time for the win in class and division. ‘True’ was second in both Class 13 and the division. Third place in the Cruiser division went to ‘Odyssey’ a Swan 55 sailed by Glenn Dexter from Halifax NS.

And there is Icing on the cake for ‘Lilla’. In 2011 she raced in the Marion to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race and set the 645-mile course record from Marion MA to Bermuda at 68:58:45. That performance last year and her top finish in the Newport Bermuda Race earn her the Bermuda Ocean Cruising Yacht Trophy presented by SAIL Magazine. This special combined competition trophy goes to the captain who has the best performance in consecutive Newport Bermuda and Marion Bermuda races. ‘Lilla’ sailed from Newport this time— a 10-mile shorter course in 63:17:13, some 5 hours and 41 minutes faster.

“The only problem we had,” said navigator Nancy De Pietro, “was getting water to the forward head and shower. The water tank we were using was aft, on the port side [That was the high side on the long port tack all the way down from Newport] and the pump had trouble because it was sucking air up there.”

“The one great thing about sailing on this type of boat is that we get to shower after coming off of every watch,” said Simon De Pietro with a smile.

Not having water for showers would have been a crisis for this cruiser crew… all good friends and family. It was an international crew with sailors from Ireland, the Dutch West Indies, England, Canada, South Africa and the USA. ‘Lilla’ has a comfortable 3-cabin layout and is used for charter as well as offshore racing.

In addition to doing the Bermuda Races, she has also done the Caribbean 600. She is an aluminum yacht with just 8.5-foot draft. She does not go to weather well but on a reach her waterline works and she is good and fast. The De Pietros thought of entering the St. David’s Lighthouse Division but needed to be able to use the power winches.

‘True’ a 53 foot J-160— also in Class 13— finished an hour behind ‘Lilla’ Her navigator Richard Casner of Dedham MA said, “The conditions were perfect for ‘True’ we had entered as a non-spinnaker boat and we think that paid off. We were right next to the Swan 60 ‘Lady B’ when she set a chute and we were able to walk away from her. The double headsail rig we used was just right for this boat in this race.”

The Newport Bermuda Race had 6 divisions and 17 classes. The Cruiser division had 30 entries. More than 100 prizes will be awarded Saturday evening on the lawn of Bermuda’s Government House. His Excellency Mr. George Fergusson the Governor of Bermuda will present the prizes along with Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Commodore John Brewin and the Cruising Club of America Commodore Dan Dyer.

 

 Carina -USA 315 - McCurdy & Rhodes 48 yacht skippered by  A Rives Potts Jnr, making the most of the blustery conditions.  Carina is the provisional winner of the principal St David's Lighthouse Trophy for the third time.(Photo by  Barry Pickthall / PPL)

Carina -USA 315 - McCurdy & Rhodes 48 yacht skippered by A Rives Potts Jnr, making the most of the blustery conditions. Carina is the provisional winner of the principal St David's Lighthouse Trophy for the third time. (Photo by Barry Pickthall / PPL)

Going into Monday evening, LLwyd Ecclestone’s ‘Kodiak’ crew was hopeful of winning the St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy, the most coveted of the three main Newport Bermuda Trophies awarded to the corrected time winner of the large amateur division. Then came ‘Carina’ to steal the show.

It looks as though, Based on provisional results, Rives Potts’ McCurdy and Rhodes 48-foot ‘Carina’ (Westbrook CT) won Class 3 and the silver scale model St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy for first in the Division and probably more loot to boot. ‘Carina’ with Potts at the helm won the same first place trophy in the 2010 race and in 1970 ‘Carina’ won it under Richard Nye. This ties ‘Carina’ with ‘Finisterre’ as the boat with the most lighthouses on her trophy rack. ‘Finisterre’ won three in a row under Carleton Mitchel 1956, 1958 and 1960.

Defiance - NA 23 - Navy 44 training yacht skippered by Bryan Weisberg (Photo by Daniel Forster / PPL)

Defiance - NA 23 - Navy 44 training yacht skippered by Bryan Weisberg (Photo by Daniel Forster / PPL)

‘Carina’ finished at 6:16PM in Bermuda and had a corrected time of 45:08:16. The US Naval Academy’s new Navy 44 ‘Defiance’ was second in Class 3 behind ‘Carina’ and also second in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division. Her corrected time was 45:42:50. The US Naval Academy’s older Navy 44 Class 2 boat, ‘Swift’, was first in her class and third overall for the division with a corrected time of 46:09:04. It was a pretty tight race with just 26 corrected minutes between these top two boats in the division after a 635-mile sleigh-ride.

 

For Potts and crew, this is his second St. David’s Lighthouse win in a row. “We had a fantastic race,” Potts said. “ Pretty straight forward. We powered through the stream and then played two big shifts down the rhumbline further south. We gybed twice and then tacked twice for the finish when the wind got lighter and went forward. We finished under a light #1 headsail.” These gybes and tacks were more than most of the other boats in the race made and probably helped ‘Carina’ win overall.

“The boat just got back from a circumnavigation and racing in the world’s top races three weeks ago. My son and nephew did a great job of getting ‘Carina’ ready for Bermuda. In a race like this, preparation is one key to winning. Crew work is another and we had a family based crew working together.” Potts added.

The crew of ‘Carina’ is made up of four fathers and five sons. One of the fathers, Bud Sutherland, is Rives Potts’ brother-in-law and his son Rives Sutherland is the Captain of ‘Carina’ who took her on her global trek.

Change happened overnight in the Double-Handed Division, too. Perennial double-handed winner Hewitt Gaynor (Fairfield CT) slipped his J120 Mireille into first in Class 15 and first in the division. Joe Harris (South Hamilton MA) who sailed such a fast race in his Class 40 ‘Gryphon Solo2’ was alone on the leader board Monday. Harris had an elapsed time of 60:20:26 while Gaynor’s was 74:12:34. On corrected time, ‘Mireille’ beat ‘Gryphon Solo2’ by roughly 4 hours.

 

Shockwave - USA 60272 - a mini maxi yacht skippered by George Sakellaris (Photo by  Daniel Forster / PPL)

Shockwave - USA 60272 - a mini maxi yacht skippered by George Sakellaris (Photo by Daniel Forster / PPL)

The provisional Gibbs Hill Division winner is ‘Shockwave’ a Reichel/Pugh 72 skippered by George Sakellaris of Farmington MA. Sakellaris will win the silver replica of the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, a top prize along with the St. David’s Light. ‘Shockwave’ took double silver snatching the North Rock Beacon Trophy, the third important prize for the IRC corrected time winner, which is a silver replica of the 1960-1990 North Rock Light Tower that once warned mariners of the rocky approach to Bermuda from the North.

 Med Spirit - FRA 1575 - Welbourn 92 maxi skippered by Michael D'Amelio.(Photo by Daniel Forster/PPL)

Med Spirit - FRA 1575 - Welbourn 92 maxi skippered by Michael D'Amelio. (Photo by Daniel Forster/PPL)

‘Med Spirit’ sailed by Michael D’Amelio (Boston, MA) in the Open Division is the other winner that seems clear under the provisional results for the Royal Mail trophy. Six boats started in this division that featured boats from 40 feet to 100 feet in length. Their common denominator was moveable ballast, either canting keels or water ballast. The 3 Class 40 boats all had water ballast and were fully crewed so they did not qualify to sail against the 3 Class 40’s that went double-handed in Class 15.

The Wally 100 ‘Indio’ under Mark Fliegner (Monaco) came second. ‘Donnybrook’, in her maiden race skippered by Jim Muldoon (Washington DC) had to retire with damage to her daggerboard and daggerboard trunk. Under corrected time only about 5 hours separated the winning 100-footer and the bottom Class 40.

‘Spirit of Bermuda’, the Bermuda Sloop Foundation sail-training vessel, was the sole entry in the new Spirit of Tradition Division. She finished Monday night at 11:20 ADT.

 

George David"€™s 90ft maxi Rambler has smashed the 635 mile Newport Bermuda race record, clipping a massive 14 hours off the previous best time set 10 years ago by Roy Disney’s Pyewacket.  The new record now stands at 39hr, 39 minutes, 18 seconds (subject to ratification)  - an average speed of 16knots(Photo by Barry Pickthall/PPL)

George David"€™s 90ft maxi Rambler has smashed the 635 mile Newport Bermuda race record, clipping a massive 14 hours off the previous best time set 10 years ago by Roy Disney’s Pyewacket. The new record now stands at 39hr, 39 minutes, 18 seconds (subject to ratification) - an average speed of 16knots(Photo by Barry Pickthall/PPL)

Dateline: 07:09:18 ADT Bermuda: George David’s 90ft maxi Rambler has smashed the 635 mile Newport Bermuda race record, clipping a massive 14 hours off the previous best time set 10 years ago by Roy Disney’s Pyewacket. The new record now stands at 39hr, 39 minutes, 18 seconds (subject to ratification) – an average speed of 16knots.

A delighted George David said. “These were perfect conditions. The most exciting moment was when we hit 26 knots. I’m so pleased with our performance. We have reduced the record by 25% – Not bad for a boat that is now 10 years old. This Rambler is the best boat I have ever owned!”

Rambler not only slashed the race record, her crew also spanked their rivals, with Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente crossing the lighthouse line 1 hour 43 minutes behind, followed 3 minutes later by Shockwave skippered by George Sakellaris.

On corrected time however, Shockwave beat Rambler by 33 minutes, followed by Belle Mente in 3rd and Team Tiburon 4th. Two yachts in class 10 are still racing.

 

The Bermuda Sailing Foundation’s sail-training schooner Spirit of Bermuda will join the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race fleet, sailing as the sole entry in the new “Spirit of Tradition” Division. Because of Spirit of Bermuda’s three-mast schooner rig, she is unable to be fairly and officially rated for competition against the modern design boats that make up the rest of the fleet, and so will sail in a class by herself. Her “Spirit of Tradition” Division will highlight both her traditional design and the prevalence of the schooner rig in yachts racing in the early years of the Newport Bermuda Race. http://www.bermudasloop.org/)  (Photo by John Wadson)

The Bermuda Sailing Foundation’s sail-training schooner Spirit of Bermuda will join the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race fleet, sailing as the sole entry in the new “Spirit of Tradition” Division. Because of Spirit of Bermuda’s three-mast schooner rig, she is unable to be fairly and officially rated for competition against the modern design boats that make up the rest of the fleet, and so will sail in a class by herself. Her “Spirit of Tradition” Division will highlight both her traditional design and the prevalence of the schooner rig in yachts racing in the early years of the Newport Bermuda Race. http://www.bermudasloop.org/ (Photo by John Wadson)

By Fred Deichmann

Spirit of Bermuda enters Newport Bermuda Race in a Class of Her Own 
The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee is pleased to announce that the Bermuda Sailing Foundation’s sail-training schooner Spirit of Bermuda will join the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race fleet, sailing in the new “Spirit of Tradition” Division. Her participation is expected to provide a demonstration of her sailing prowess in the spirit of the seafaring traditions of the Islands of Bermuda. 

Because of Spirit of Bermuda’s three-mast schooner rig, she is unable to be fairly and officially rated for competition against the modern design boats that make up the rest of the fleet, and so will sail in a class by herself. Her “Spirit of Tradition” Division will highlight both her traditional design and the prevalence of the schooner rig in yachts racing in the early years of the Newport Bermuda Race. 

Spirit of Bermuda is a purpose-built sail-training vessel owned by the Bermuda Sailing Foundation (www.bermudasloop.org) and based on civilian Bermudian-type schooners built in Bermuda by blacks and whites between 1810 and 1840. The original hull shape was adapted from the Bermuda-built Royal Navy “Shamrock” class: fast dispatch/patrol vessels that ran from the Royal Naval Dockyard northwest to Halifax and southwest to Jamaica to contain the rebel colonies. 

In nearly six years of operation since September 2006, Spirit has provided a character development program based on experiential learning to over 2,600 young people and has sailed over 38,000 miles in overseas voyages to 17 ports in 10 countries. 

Alan Burland, Chairman of the Bermuda Sailing Foundation, said, “The opportunity to participate in the Newport to Bermuda Race will help us to achieve our goal of providing experiences that instill Bermuda pride in our youth. We are honoured to be launching the new Spirit of Tradition Division.”

Spirit of Bermuda was designed by noted naval architect Bill Langan of Langan Design Associates of Newport, RI, built by Rockport Marine in Rockport, Maine and launched in 2006. Built to American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) standards and operating to United Kingdom regulations under the Bermuda flag, she is 86 feet on deck and 118 feet overall including her bowsprit, and displaces 230,000 lbs.

The “Spirit of Tradition” Division in the 2012 race is an invitational demonstration division developed to experiment with the re-introduction of traditional schooner rigged vessels to the Newport Bermuda Race. Whether this Division will be present in future races will depend on the experience of Spirit of Bermuda in 2012 and the likelihood of developing enough interest to provide competition and to warrant development of a suitable rating system for such vessels.

Malabar VII, sailed by her designer John G. Alden, won the 1926 Bermuda Race sailed in that year from New London CT. She took the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Bermuda Race Trophy as her prize. This was the first year the Cruising Club of America teamed up with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club as co-organizers. In 1936 the starting line was moved to Newport RI and the race became the Newport Bermuda Race as it is known today.  (Photo courtesy of Alden Yachts)

Malabar VII, sailed by her designer John G. Alden, won the 1926 Bermuda Race sailed in that year from New London CT. She took the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Bermuda Race Trophy as her prize. This was the first year the Cruising Club of America teamed up with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club as co-organizers. In 1936 the starting line was moved to Newport RI and the race became the Newport Bermuda Race as it is known today. (Photo courtesy of Alden Yachts)