Shockwave and Bella Mente (Photo by George Bekris)

Shockwave and Bella Mente (Photo by George Bekris)

By Talbot Wilson

Three boats had finished the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race by late Monday afternoon

— Shockwave, Bella Mente, Caol Ila R

George Sakellaris’ big white Richel/Pugh mini-maxi Shockwave crossed the finish line off Bermuda’s St. David’s Lighthouse Monday morning at 5:34 race time EDT (6:34AM local time). Her elapsed time was 63:04:11. Bella Mente, Hap Fauth’s 72 foot Judel/Vrolijk mini-maxi, followed by seven minutes with her time at 63:11:25. The two had battled head to head within sight of each almost continuously for over 635 miles.

Shockwave heading for a dawn finish off St David's Lighthouse. Photo Barry Pickthall/PPL

Shockwave heading for a dawn finish off St David’s Lighthouse. Photo Barry Pickthall/PPL

Caol Ila R, Alex Schaerer’s 68 foot Mills IRC racer, crossed third at 8:33 local time, three hours behind Shockwave at 66:03:52.

Based on preliminary ORR results, Shockwave stands first on corrected time in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division, Bella Mente is second and Caol Ila R is third.

The next boat on the course, the US Naval Academy TP52 Constellation, is expected to finish more than 16 hours after the leader on Monday night. The remainder of the fleet is caught in the fickle winds of a frontal zone, waiting for the system to drift east-southeast and weaken. The picture is not pretty for boats still on the course. Light conditions will prevail through Wednesday and maybe longer.

Robbie Doyle sailed his 12th Newport Bermuda Race as the “stratitician” on board George Sakellaris’ Shockwave.

Doyle said, “Different guys called different things for the general strategy. The navigator made a lot of big calls. We had to hunt to find the (Gulf) Stream… we never found the 4 knot real road to Bermuda. It had broken up before we got there. Forecasters had predicted it might, but they suggested we might get there before it would start to dismember. The Stream was really breaking up pretty quick.”

“We got a knot and a half out of it.” He continued, “The stream came around (motioning to indicate a southwest to northeast direction to southeast direction) and what happened is that this part (flow) stopped and decided it was going to reconnect itself eventually and just become a smooth stream. We got through it.”

When asked about the cold core eddy predicted below the flow, Doyle said, “We caught that eddy, but it was only a knot and a half of current; still nice because we had it for 40 nautical miles. It wasn’t the three knots we had fought to get to that point for.“

Congratulations to George Sakellaris and the team aboard Shockwave for winning line honors in this year’s race. The win adds to Shockwave’s growing list of recent victories, highlighted by their division win in the 2012 Newport-Bermuda Race, the 2013 Montego Bay, and the 2014 RORC Caribbean 600 Race. Originally launched in 2008 as Alpha Romero 3, Shockwave continues her winning ways.

George Sakellaris, owner of the first to finish yacht Shockwave celebrates with Gosling's Dark 'n Stormy drink with his crew on arrival at the Royal Bermuda YC dock. Photo Barry Pickthall/PPL

George Sakellaris, owner of the first to finish yacht Shockwave celebrates with Gosling’s Dark ‘n Stormy drink with his crew on arrival at the Royal Bermuda YC dock. Photo Barry Pickthall/PPL

Commander’s Weather
1) Frontal zone is located from 35/65w to 33n/70w to Savannah early this morning
a) This front will continue to drift ESE and weaken

2) An expanding area of light winds will develop along and N and S of the frontal zone
a) The shower and squall activity will be diminishing this morning and will become at most isolated this afternoon and tonight
b) The nice SW winds in Bermuda will become much lighter late today and tonight

3) By Tue morning, the frontal zone will be located from 35n/60 30w to 33n/65w to a weak low near 32-33n/74w
a) Light NE-E winds north of the front and very light SW-W winds south of the front
b) Shower/squall activity will be at most isolated and possibly non-existent

4) Wed will see the light wind conditions continuing
a) The frontal zone will be drifting N with light SW and S winds also spreading slowly north during the day

For scratch sheets, crew lists, and other information about the boats, go to Race Documents & Rules.

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 NYYC 160th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex in Newport and will form the core of the June 27nd RBYC 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 and at www.rbyc.bm.

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.

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

 

 

FlyingLady by OffSoundings

FlyingLady by OffSoundings

 

In June 2012 I sailed the Newport Bermuda Race with an amateur crew in my Swan 46 Flying Lady.  I had crewed in 2006 and 2008 in Ray Gincavage’s Baltic 48 Fury, but this was my first race as skipper. I learned valuable lessons. 

Philip Dickey: “A Newport Bermuda Race is a wonderful adventure for properly prepared boats and crews.”  

Most important, I learned that the safety and health of the crew are a skipper’s most important  concerns. You are unlikely to win your class in your first race, but you are certain to face  awesome responsibility for your crew and their loved ones as you race your boat over 600  miles offshore on the way to Bermuda.

Not only is the Newport Bermuda Race the oldest and arguably the most prestigious of the  popular offshore races open to amateurs, it is especially challenging because it takes you far  offshore, out of range of rescue helicopters and Coast Guard vessels.  This race is the Everest of  offshore racing. Most of the Bermuda Race is beyond coastal helicopter range, so if you need  outside assistance beyond advice by satellite phone, you likely will need to call a commercial  vessel to rescue you.

The best way to avoid having to be rescued is to engage in meticulous preparation. To prepare  for this race you must do three things:  Prepare the boat for safety, prepare the crew for safety,  and prepare the skipper for the responsibility for the health, in addition to the safety, of the  crew.

The experienced skipper will have his way of doing these things.  But for the first-time skipper, based upon my experience, I have three recommendations:  

(1) Follow to the letter the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee (BROC) protocol, instructions, and timeline as you prepare for boat inspection.  (2) Insist that all your crew attend a U.S. Sailing certified Safety at Sea Seminar before the race—preferably together, as a team.  (3) And I strongly recommend that you recruit a medical professional for your crew, either a doctor, a physician’s assistant, or a qualified nurse.  If you do these three things, you and your crew will be as prepared as you can be for this challenging race.

 1.      Prepare for Inspection

The Newport Bermuda Race website (www.BermudaRace.com) contains the information you need to organize a plan for preparation of your boat for safety.  The race is an International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Category 1 race, which means that you must prepare for long periods at sea without the possibility of rescue.  The 2014 Newport Bermuda Race Safety Requirements (NBRSRs) are based on the new U.S. Sailing Safety Equipment Requirements, a plain-language, compact alternative to the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations (with the addition of the race’s special prescriptions). The NBRSRs lay out what’s required to pass inspection. If you see 20-foot waves and 30-knot winds in the Gulf Stream, as we did in 2012, you will be glad that you prepared your boat according to these stringent guidelines, and you will sleep soundly when off watch.

Anticipate a thorough boat inspection and have everything ready, including documents.   Expect the inspector to be formal but cordial.  Understand that he is your friend, there to assess your readiness for the race.  It is in both your and the BROC’s interest that your boat can complete the race without outside assistance.  Get everything done early. Push your sailmaker to submit measurements of new sails so you can get updated ORR and IRC certificates by March. Be in the water in April so you can get your inspection done in early May.  As a first-time skipper you should not find yourself worrying about inspection when you need to concentrate on the crew, customs and immigration details, delivery issues, and Gulf Stream navigation.

2.      Attend a Certified Safety at Sea Seminar

As a first-time skipper, you face three challenges with respect to the crew structure that are addressed by safety seminars.  First, you want your crew to take preparation seriously. There is nothing like a safety seminar to focus a crew on boat preparation.  If you want to have eight people help you trace every hose leading to a through hull, make sure they attend a safety seminar.  Second, even if your crew has more offshore experience than you do, you as owner are legally responsible for the boat and crew. More experienced sailors must follow your orders.  A safety seminar emphasizes leadership and crew structure.

Third, as you put together your first Newport Bermuda Race crew, you may experience crew attrition as the race date approaches.  Four of my original crew of ten opted out within three months of the race.  None of those dropouts had attended a safety seminar, but every one of those who stayed had attended a seminar.  You should probably question the commitment of a sailor who won’t agree to a one-day seminar in the months prior to a major offshore race.  Strongly consider replacing anyone who won’t commit.

3.  Recruit a Medical Professional

This will be easier than you think.  Full disclosure:  I am an MD, as were two of my crew in 2012 (we also had a dentist).  But other MD friends expressed interest, and several qualified MDs were on the online crew finder list a couple of weeks before the start. If you can’t recruit an MD, find a physician’s assistant or nurse who has critical care experience.

Why recruit an MD?  You may find yourself with sick or injured crew onboard while days away from Bermuda. This happened on Seabiscuit, a J46 in the 2012 race. Ultimately the sick crew became seriously ill and required evacuation by a cruise ship, at significant risk.  The evacuation may not have been required had an MD been on board.  And as the average age of racing sailors increases, you may find yourself with crew who have diabetes, heart disease, or other chronic illnesses. In my 2012 crew we had two diabetics on medications and two others on powerful blood thinners for heart problems.

It is fair to ask the MD to prepare and pay for an extensive medical kit, one which should exceed requirements and should contain, among other things, IV fluids, medications, and the hardware necessary to administer them.  The MDs I know who are looking for a ride would be happy to provide the kit and expertise in exchange for offshore experience.

 

Flying Lady in the initial (and brief) easy going after the 2012 start. (PPL)

Flying Lady in easy going after the 2012 start. Conditions quickly worsened. (PPL)

Two More Lessons

I learned a couple of other key lessons in my first Bermuda Race as skipper.  If you want to take an ISAF Category 3 professional sailor with you and allow him to steer, enter the Gibbs Hill or another professional division.  And be sure to check with your insurance agent about whether your current policy will cover you for an offshore race.  I found out a couple of months before the race that my policy would not provide coverage and I had to change insurers.  Check early.

A Newport-Bermuda Race is a wonderful adventure for properly prepared boats and crews. I thoroughly enjoyed the skipper experience and had much more fun in 2012 than on the previous two I crewed.  Next time I want to win!

 Philip Dickey and his crew put their lessons learned to exceptional use during the 2012 Bermuda Race when they powered 25 miles into a rough sea to assist the sailor in Seabiscuit who required medical assistance. The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee awarded seamanship awards to him and two other skippers who participated in the effort, Jonathan Green of Seabiscuit and Scott Jackson of Spirit of Bermuda.

For more on this incident:  http://bermudarace.com/evacuation-at-sea-lessons-learned-from-the-2012-newport-bermuda-race/.

 

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.

 

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))

By John Rousmaniere

As of 1800 Sunday, six boats have finished the race, each of them breaking an elapsed time course record. In finishing order, they are Rambler (Class 10), Bella Mente (Class 10), Shockwave (Class 10), Team Tiburon (Class 10), Med Spirit (Class 16), and Kodiak (Class 8). Shockwave and Kodiak are the current corrected time leaders in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division and St. David’s Lighthouse Division, respectively. Med Spirit is the current corrected time leader in the Open Division.

First to finish Rambler, a 90-foot Reichel/Pugh sloop owned by George David (Hartford, Conn.), broke the course record decisively, averaging 16.06 knots down the 635-mle course in a time of 39 hours, 39 minutes, 18 seconds. She clipped 9 hours off the previous course record set in 2004 by Morning Glory, which averaged 13.06 knots for Open Division boats and 14 hours from the ‘Official’ Record. Med Spirit set the new Open Division record of 45 hours, 26 minutes, 28 minutes… three hours faster than the previous record.

Sailors had vivid descriptions of high-speed, extremely rough conditions on the long, fast reach that prevailed from start to finish. Scott King, Team Tiburon, reported that after starting under a spinnaker, once the boat cleared the Narragansett Bay entrance buoys the crew set a double-headsail rig with a topsail over a jib. They then took in and shook out reefs in the mainsail as the conditions warranted, with one or two sailors always working the mainsheet.

Team Tiburon sailed Wizard a 74-foot sloop designed by Reichel/Pugh and chartered by Mark E. Watson III, a Bermuda business CEO. They covered 385 miles in her first 24 hours in the race, averaging almost 17 knots. “She felt slow when the speed dropped to 11,” King said. “I’ve been in boats where 11 knots was not even part of the plan.”

King said the water was always rough, with some waves 8 feet or higher and water constantly on deck, pushing sailors around. The Gulf Stream crossing was not as rough as he expected, he said, but it was spectacularly beautiful.

“Just before we entered the Stream we saw a long streak of phosphorescence in the water, as though a full moon was out and shining right down on it.” The phosphorescence disappeared when the boat charged into the main body of the Gulf Stream, but reappeared. “Dolphins were torpedoing through all this, right in front of us,” King said.

As they neared Bermuda on Sunday morning, Team Tiburon sailed into a series of rain-squalls with stronger winds that pushed the boat to over 20 knots as she crossed the finish line off St. David’s Head.

 

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.

 

RAN, BEAU GESTE, RAMBLER, BELLA MENTE, TITAN (Photo by Daniel Forster)

By Colin Thompson, The Royal Gazette
Newport Bermuda Race chairman John Osmond is “excited” about the diverse crews competing in this year’s 635 mile ‘Thrash to the Onion Patch’ — and for good reason.The veteran American sailor, who has served on the Bermuda Race organising committee for more than a decade, has described this year’s fleet as “extraordinary” and is absolutely thrilled to see Bermuda Sloop Foundation’s Spirit of Bermuda make its maiden voyage in the century old race.“The participants attending are an extraordinary group from boats that were built in the 1930s to boats that just came out of the mould six months ago,” Mr Osmond said. “We are very excited about the spectrum of boats that are going and especially the fact that Spirit of Bermuda is among the entries in its brand new class (Spirit of Tradition).”
There are 166 entries competing in the race, including four Bermuda boats.American entry, Ragana, withdrew from the race at the weekend after experiencing mechanical breakdown en route to Newport.Mr Osmond, a veteran of 15 Newport Bermuda Races, said preparations for this year’s race have so far gone as planned.
“Everything is going along quite smoothly fortunately for the committee which consists of 46 people who have been working for two years on this event,” he said. “All the pieces have come together and everybody has been working very hard.”
Bermuda Race vice-chairman and past RBYC Commodore Les Crane added: “I think registration is going very smoothly and John Osmond who is the race chairman has done a fabulous job putting all this together.“We’re registering the boats ensuring all the paperwork is complete and that everyone is in compliance with the rules that allow them to race.“The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club work closely with the Cruising Club of America who are partners in this race and we’re up here to ensure everyone understand what to expect when they get to Bermuda.”There are a number of social events that will take place in the final lead up to the start of the race, not the least of which is the ever popular Gosling’s Rum Newport Shipyard Crew Party.“We will have a great Bermudian party sponsored by Gosling’s at Newport Shipyard on Wednesday night,” Mr Crane said. “There will be Dark & Stormies and music and it will be a lot of fun.”The 2012 Newport Bermuda Race commences June 15 and concludes several days later in St David’s. The RBYC Anniversary Regatta presented by Butterfield Group will be sailed in the Great Sound on Friday, June 22nd.

 

Newport Bermuda Race 2010 Start (Photo by George Bekris)

Newport Bermuda Race 2010 Start (Photo by George Bekris)

Entry List for Newport to Bermuda 2012

Yacht Yacht Type Division Captain
ANGEL Ctm 84 CD Edward T. Anderson
ATTITUDE Beneteau 423 CD Shawn Dahlen
BLUE C&C 51xl CD Daniel Epstein
CALUSA Sabre 386 CD Peter H. Holmes
CAPELLA Sabre 452 CD David Millet
CETACEA Hinckley SW 59 CD Christopher J. Culver
CHASSEUR Little Harbor 54 CD Gregory G. Smith
CHECKMATE Alden 44 CD Frank J. Flores, Jr.
CONTINGENCY Oyster 53 CD Christopher C. Darby
CRACKERJACK Cambria 40 CD Alan H. Krulisch
DEFIANCE Swan 56 CD Peter B. Noonan
FEO Joshua Ketch CD Eric P. Best
GLORY Tartan 4700 CD William Slattery
GRACE First 40.7 CD Jack Ives
HAERLEM Swan 55 CD Hendrikus PLM Wisker
INISHARON F&C 44 CD James D’A. Murphy
ISOLA Baltic 52 CD Howard Eisenberg
KANGAROO IV Sabre 425 CD Harvey E. Cohen
LADY B Swan 60 CD John P. Madden Jr.
LIBERTY CALL Hallberg Rassy 43 CD Matthew G, Pilon
LILLA CNB Briand76 CD Simon De Pietro
MOONDANCE Swan 56 CD Michael V, Johnson
OCEAN WANDERER 1 Montevideo 43 CD Erwin Wanderer
ODYSSEY Swan 55/57 CD Glen V Dexter
PILGRIM Alden 44 CD Mark Rice
POESKE Beneteau First42 CD Richard Donn
SHINDIG Pea39 CD Kevin G, Flannery
SKY Swan 53 CD Barrett Raymond
TRUE J/160 CD Howard B. Hodgson, Jr.
WISCHBONE Oyster 53 CD Jeffrey S. Wisch
ALIBI J120 DH Gardner L. Grant, Jr.
AMHAS Class 40 DH MacKenzie Davis
AVATAR Ranger 37 DH John Kedzierski
CHOUCAS Sunfast 36 DH Frederic Cosandey
DRAGON Class 40 DH Michael Hennessy
EAGLE J40 DH Dana Oviatt
GRYPHONSOLO2 Akilaria RC2 DH Joseph S. Harris
KIVA Hinckley SW 51CB DH Mark Stevens
MIREILLE J120 DH E. Hewitt Gaynor
NEXT BOAT Morris 45 DH Mark Ellman
OAKCLIFF RACING Ker 11.3 DH Jeffrey A. MacFarlane
PALADIN J35 DH Jason Richter
PENGUIN Pearson 35 DH Steven H. Dane
RESOLUTE J122 DH D. Scott Miller
RUSE Swan 44mkII DH William Marsh
SAILOR BANDIDO Quest 33 DH Christopher A. Palabrica
SEABISCUIT J46 DH Nathan C, Owen
VALOUR Peterson 37 DH Ernie Messer
WHISPER Hinckley 48 DH Thomas J. Vander Salm
AVRA Ctm 40 GHL George Petrides
BELLA MENTE 72′ Mini Maxi GHL Hap Fauth
CLEM Swan 56 GHL Jaime Olazabal
DEFIANCE Marten 49 GHL Hamnett P. Hill
DRAGONFLY J/130 GHL Colin A. McGranahan
MEANIE R/P 52 GHL Thomas Akin
PANDORA C&C 115 GHL Peter J. Bromley
PTARMIGAN Ker 43 GHL Lawrence F, Dickie
RAMBLER Ctm 90 GHL George David
RIMA2 RP 55 GHL John G. Brim
SHOCKWAVE Mini Maxi GHL George Sakellaris
SNOW LION Ker 50 GHL Lawrence S, Huntington
STARK RAVING MAD Swan 601 GHL James C. Madden
TEAM TIBURON R/P 74 GHL Mark E. Watson III (USMMA)
TEMPTATION-OAKCLIFF Ker 50 GHL Oakcliff Sailing Santry Arthur
UXORIOUS IV Swan 62 GHL Colin J. Buffin
DONNYBROOK Andrews 80 Open James P. Muldoon
ICARUS Class 40 Open Amanda Mochrie
INDIO Wally 100 Open Mark Fliegner
MED SPIRIT Welbourn 92 Open Michael DAmelio
TOOTHFACE Akilaria Class40 Open Mike Dreese
TRANSPORT COHÉRENCE Class40 Open Benoit Jouandet
ACTAEA Hinckley B40 SDL Michael M, Cone
AIRBORNE IV Beneteau 50 SDL William B. Greenwood III
AKELA III Swan 43 SDL Djoerd Hoekstra
ARROWHEAD J42 SDL Steve Berlack
AURELIUS Bestevaer 76 SDL Daniel van Starrenburg
AURORA Tartan 41 SDL Andrew F. Kallfelz
AVENIR C&C 41 SDL Joseph Murray
BACCHANAL J133 SDL Jan Smeets
BACCI Swan 53 SDL Lorenzo Vascotto
BANDANA Swan 47 SDL Charles F. Benson
BARLEYCORN NYYC Swan 42 SDL Brendan J Brownyard
BARRA Morris 486 SDL Bruce M. MacNeil
BEAGLE J/44 SDL Philip H. Gutin
BELLE AURORE Cal 40 SDL Doug Jurrius
BLACK WATCH Ctm 68 Yawl SDL Joseph C. Robillard
BOMBARDINO Santa Cruz 52 SDL James and Macrae Sykes
BRETWALDA 3 Rogers 46 SDL Bob Pethick
BRIGAND Ctm 50 SDL Sean D. Saslo
CANNONBALL Swan 68 SDL Charles A. Robertson
CARINA Ctm 48 SDL A. Rives Potts, Jr.
CHARLIE V J/44 SDL Norman H. Schulman, MD
CHRISTOPHER DRAGON J/122 SDL Andrew Weiss
CONVICTION TP52 SDL Ralf Steitz
CONVICTUS MAXIMUS Farr IRC 42 SDL Donald W. Nicholson
CRAZY HORSE Frers Comp 45 SDL Patrick T. Walker
CYBELE IMX-45 SDL Rick Burnes
CYGNETTE Swan 441 SDL William J. Mayer
DAWN STAR Baltic 46 SDL William N. Hubbard III
DECISION Carkeek HP 40 SDL Stephen Murray
DEFIANCE NAVY 44 SDL Bryan Weisberg
DOGSLED Kaufman 47 SDL Todd Forrest Barnard
DORADE S&S Custom SDL James A. Hilton
DREAMCATCHER Swan 48 S&S SDL Stephen Kylander
FEARLESS Farr 395 SDL Shaun J. Ensor
FINESSE J42 SDL Newton P.S. Merrill
FLYING LADY Swan 46 SDL Phillip S. Dickey MD
GLIDE J42 SDL C.Tanner Rose, Jr
GLORY J/44 SDL Jason LeBlanc
GOLD DIGGER J/44 SDL James D. Bishop
GRACIE McCurdy & Rhodes SDL Stephan A & Simon W Frank
GREAT SCOT J35 SDL Darren Garnier
GREY GHOST Zaal 38 SDL Philip P. Parish
GRUNDOON Columbia 50 SDL James A. Grundy
HAKUNA MATATA Cal 39 TM 1-147 SDL Christopher J. Andrews
HIRO MARU Swan 43 Classic SDL Hiroshi Nakajima
HOT TICKET King 40 SDL James E. Hightower
ILLUSION Grand Soleil 45 SDL Ralph F. Racca
INVICTUS TP52 SDL Ralph Duffett
ISLA New York 32 SDL Henry S. May, Jr.
JACKKNIFE J133 SDL Andrew Hall
JACQUELINE IV Hinckley SW 42 SDL Robert Forman
KODIAK Ctm 65 SDL Edwin Llwyd Ecclestone
LAPIN Beneteau First 4 SDL Christopher J. Clark
LINDY Peterson 38 SDL David G. Dickerson
LIR Swan 45 SDL John A. McNamara
LORA ANN Express 37 SDL Richard T. du Moulin
MAGIC Santa Cruz 52 SDL Kenneth Laudon
MATADOR J133 SDL Dale E. McIvor
MISCHIEVOUS Ctm 65 SDL Albert J. Fitzgibbons III
MISTY J40 WK SDL Fred Allardyce
MOLTO BENE Beneteau First 4 SDL Richard Ewing
MOONSHINE Tartan 4100 SDL Dennis J. Ziemba
MORGAN OF MARIETTA Centurion 42 SDL Colin G. Golder
MORPHEUS Schumacher 50 SDL James D. Gregory
MUSICA Aerodyne 38 SDL Cliff T. Haddox
NASTY MEDICINE Corby 41.5 SDL Dr Stephen J. Sherwin
NICOLE Cal 40 SDL Thomas C. duPont
OLD SCHOOL Farr 395 SDL J Ganson Evans
PASSION4C Bill Tripp 56 SDL Stefan Lehnert
PATRIOT Nautor Swan SDL Richard J. Isted
QUEST Cambria 40 SDL Dennis W. Powers
RAGANA Cape Fear 38R SDL Darius Peleda
REGATTA Carter 41 SDL Constantine G. Koste
RELATIVITY First 50 SDL Hall Palmer
ROCKET J. SQUIRREL Swan 39 SDL L, Otorowski
ROCKET SCIENCE J120 SDL Rick F. Oricchio
RUNAWAY J/44 SDL Lawrence R. Glenn
SELKIE McCurdy & Rhodes 38 SDL Sheila McCurdy
SHAZAAM J42 SDL Roger B. Gatewood
SHINNECOCK J120 SDL James C. Praley
SINN FEIN Cal 40 SDL Peter S. Rebovich, Sr.
SLIDE RULE First 44.7 SDL Scott Bearse
STAMPEDE J/44 SDL Jimmie Sundstrom
STORMY PETREL Leadership 44 SDL Jack Neades
SWIFT NAVY 44 SDL Steve Jaenke
TEMPTRESS IMX-45 SDL Robert W. Kits Heyningen
TRIPLE LINDY Swan 44 MKll SDL Joseph Mele
VAMP J/44 SDL Leonard J. Sitar
WANDRIAN Taylor 41 SDL D. William Tucker
WAZIMO Aerodyne 38 SDL Barrett Holby
WHITE RHINO Swan 56 SDL Collin J. Marshall
WIDOW MAKER C&C 44 SDL George Bauer
WINDBORN J120 SDL Richard W. Born
ZEST Hinckley SW42 SDL Brian E. Swiggett
ZION Aerodyne 38 SDL Timothy P. Maney
ZOE II First 40 SDL Francois Brassard
SPIRIT OF BERMUDA Ctm 86 SPIRIT Scott Jackson