A view of a recent Newport Bermuda Race send-off for Class 3 of the St. David’s Lighthouse Division. Photo: Daniel Forster/PPL

The 195 boats that submitted entries before the 2018 Newport Bermuda Race“application for entry” deadline are anchored by the usual excellent turnout of nearly 150 cruiser- and cruiser/racer-style boats sailing in the St. David’s Lighthouse and Finisterre (Cruiser) divisions. The race, which is co-organized by The Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, offers several other divisions for different types of boats and competitors, which truly makes this event seven races in one.

While some pre-start attrition is normal when a fleet faces 635 ocean miles across the Gulf Stream, a diverse fleet of 180 to 190 boats should cross the line on June 15th, crewed by a mix of both professional and amateur sailors. That would make it the biggest fleet since 2010, when 193 boats finished the race.

Among the entries in St. David’s and Finisterre divisions, the 2016 success of youth sailors guided by adult advisors aboard High Noon (link) has led to four entries by youth teams in 2018. There will also be new divisions of Multihulls and Superyachts, which have added seven boats to the fleet, the largest of which is the 112-foot Sparkman & Stephens design, Kawil.

Another key to the high entry total is the 20 boats entered in the Gibbs Hill Division, which is for high-performance racing boats that in many cases are steered and crewed professionally. Recognizing advances in offshore racing technology, the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee allowed entry this year by boats carrying water-ballasting systems and certain types of canting keels. In past years, Gibbs Hill typically has drawn 10 to 15 entries; in 2016, based on the high winds forecast in the days before the race, all of the Gibbs Hill entries elected not to compete.

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

“The BROC remains committed to the value of the race as an adventure and participation for its own sake,” says Jonathan Brewin, the event chairman and past commodore of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. “The race is different than many competitions; it’s a chance to compete for an array of permanent trophies and be part of a history going back to 1906,” says Brewin, “but above all it’s a chance to challenge oneself and one’s crew to prepare to compete safely offshore at the highest level.”

 

Newport Bermuda Race Start (Photo by George Bekris)

The introduction of a Multihull Division was three years in development, and based on the standards adopted for 2018, not every multihull will be eligible to compete. Collaborating with an experienced cadre of multihull designers and sailors, the Cruising Club of America’s safety committee developed new ocean-racing safety standards for participating multihulls and set more rigorous safety training requirements than for monohull crews. In addition, the BROC collaborated with the Offshore Racing Association to create a new VPP handicap system for multihulls (ORR-MH) that was successfully tested in the 2017 Transpac Race.

See BermudaRace.com for news updates on the race. See Official Notice Board for current list of entries.

Genuine Risk At Start Of Bermuda Race (Photo by George Bekris )

 

FLEETWING USA 37 Skipper Henry Brauer (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

FLEETWING USA 37 Skipper Henry Brauer (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

It was an unseasonably wet, dreary day in Newport, but at least somewhere, someone was having fun.  That somewhere was Rhode Island Sound where nearly 100 teams are competing in the New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex on the second day of the split-format event’s final four days of buoy racing.  And that someone was Dawn Riley (Oyster Bay, N.Y.), who along with eight Oakcliff Sailing Center trainees, helped guide Art Santry’s (Oyster Bay) Ker 50 Temptation-Oakcliff to the top of the scoreboard in IRC Class 3after two victories in two races today.”We’re sailors; we get wet all the time,” said Riley, a veteran of America’s Cup and Whitbread Round the World Races who serves as executive director of Oakcliff in Oyster Bay.  She explained that the Center’s mission of raising the level of sailors and sailing in the U.S. was on artful display today, as the trainees worked side-by-side with Riley, on mid-bow, and six other seasoned sailors, including Santry, who skippers and sponsors the boat.

According to Santry, the team played the shifts extremely well on three of the four upwind legs. “Our crew work was flawless, and the gybes and tacks were perfect,” he said, noting that yesterday Temptation-Oakcliff had been in third overall after finishing third in the opening race of the series.  “I’m exceedingly impressed with the Oakcliff program; these kids are great. They have been working together with us all season, and they are tough, enthusiastic and dedicated to the program. If the crew work maintains, we’re going to be tough to beat.”

Class IRC 4 Start Pendragon ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Class IRC 4 Start Pendragon ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

One race circle hosted four IRC classes, while another hosted one-design racing for J/109, J/111, Beneteau 36.7 and Swan 42 classes.  Due to a light-wind forecast, the Swan 42s elected to resume buoy racing today rather than compete in their originally scheduled distance race, but in the end, they—like the other classes—were met with a hearty 12-15 knots by mid-morning, when the heaviest rain showers had moved on. Large swells also figured in as the winds tapered off to 8-10 during the course of the afternoon.

Another who had no problem making the most of the conditions was Craig Albrecht (Sea Cliff, N.Y.), skipper of the Farr 395 Avalanche in IRC Class 4.  His team defended its first-place position from yesterday by finishing 3-4 today to stay two points ahead of Greg Manning’s (Warwick, R.I.) X-41 Sarah.

“Staying in the pressure was key, and changing gears up and down was important,” said Albrecht, whose team won the American Yacht Club Spring Series Regatta earlier this year. “The racing has been very close, and it has been exciting, especially at the mark roundings where many of the boats have overlapped.”

John Hele’s (Toronto, CAN/Newport) Daring won both races today in the Swan 42 class, propelling him to first overall from third yesterday and giving him a better shot at taking the national crown that is being determined here. Following a general recall, an individual recall after the start of the first race brought Z-flag penalties against the teams of Arethusa, Barleycorn, Impetuous and Conspiracy.  Having not gone back to exonerate themselves from jumping the start gun cost the teams three positions on their scoring for that race. Defending national champion Ken Colburn (Dover, Mass.), helming Apparition, finished 4-4 today to drop to second from first yesterday.

Swan 42 Fleet (Photo by Rolex  / Daniel Forster)

Swan 42 Fleet (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

The J/109s, which are sailing their North Americans, also had individual recalls in their first race that saw yesterday’s leader Storm, skippered by Rick Lyall (Wilton, Conn.), return to the start line to successfully clear. The team fought back to eighth and finished first in the second race, but the performance was only good enough for a third in overall scoring. It left the proverbial door open for Ted Herlihy’s (S. Dartmouth, Mass.) Gut Feeling to take the top spot after that team finished 4-2 today.  With nine points, Gut Feeling’s overall score is shared with Skoot, skippered by Jim Vos (New Canaan, Conn.), which sits in second overall, so both teams are a slim one point ahead of Storm.

The J/111 Class’s first day of competition went well for Henry Brauer’s (Marblehead, Mass.) Fleetwing, which took bullets in each of two races. “The first race was great, because it was good breeze; the second race was a bit more challenging because of the lighter wind and the lumpy seas,” said Brauer, who is new to the J/111 Class this year after having sold the J/105 Scimitar that he co-owned with Stewart Neff (serving as his tactician here) and with which he won the 2011 J/105 North American Championship.  “We got good starts, Stewart put us in the right place, and the team did a great job trimming the sails and keeping us going the whole time. The important thing to racing well is having a good team, so there are a lot of the same people onboard that I’ve sailed with in the past. Having that nucleus is very important.”

In the Beneteau 36.7 Class, William Purdy’s (New York, N.Y) Whirlwind displaced John Hammel’s (Arlington, Mass.) Elan at the top of the scoreboard after winning both races today.  Elan finished 2-3 to take second overall, just one point behind Elan, and David Powers’s (Boston, Mass.) Agora is only one more point behind in third, on the merit of a 3-2 today.

Yesterday, in the second of two races for IRC Class 1, Bob and Farley Towse’s (Stamford, Conn.) Reichel Pugh 66 Blue Yankee could not finish within the time limit and posted five points to the two posted by George David’s (Hartford, Conn.) Reichel Pugh 90 Rambler. Today the two teams split the victories in two races, so Rambler still holds a three-point lead in the two-boat series thus far.

In IRC 2, Jim Swartz’s (Park City, Utah) IRC 52 Vesper still leads after finishing 1-5 today, while Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s (Newport, R.I.) IRC 52 Interlodge has moved into second place overall.

Three more new classes will join the action tomorrow: Melges 32, J/105 and PHRF, the latter of which is sailing “navigator courses” instead of around the buoys.

For complete results, daily video and blog for the 2012 New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex, visit www.nyyc.org.
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(Top-five Results Follow)
New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex
Results, July 20, 2012

J/111 (One Design – 6 Boats)
1. Fleetwing, J/111, Henry Brauer, Marblehead, Mass., 1, 1 (2)
2. Wicked 2.0, J/111, Douglas Curtiss, South Dartmouth, Mass., 3,2 (5)
3. Jazz, J/111, Rodney Johnstone, Stonington, Conn., 2, 3 (5)
4. Andiamo, J/111, Paul Strauch, Manhasset, N.Y., 4, 4 (8)
5. Partnership, J/111, David and Mary Ellen Tortorello, Bridgeport, Conn., 5, 5 (10)

Beneteau 36.7 (One Design – 8 Boats)
1. Whirlwind, Beneteau 36.7, William Purdy, New York, N.Y., 3,1,1 (5)
2. Elan, Beneteau 36.7, John Hammel, Arlington, Mass., 1,2,3 (6)
3. Agora, Beneteau 36.7, David Powers, Boston, Mass., 2,3,2 (7)
4. Resolute, Beneteau 36.7, Junius Brown, Ridgefield, Conn., 4,7,4 (15)
5. Surface Tension, Beneteau 36.7, Lou Melillo, Middletown, N.J., 5,5,5 (15)

Swan 42 (One Design – 15 Boats)
1. Daring, Swan 42, John Hele, Newport, R.I., 3,1,1 (5)
2. Apparition, Swan 42, Ken Colburn, Dover, Mass., 1,4,4 (9)
3. Stark Raving Mad VI, Swan 42, James Madden, Newport Beach, Calif., 6, 3, 8 (17)
4. Vitesse, Swan 42, Jon Halbert, Dallas, Texas, 2,7,9 (18)
5. Arethusa, Swan 42, Philip Lotz, Newport, R.I., 5, 13/ZFP, 2 (20)

J/109 (One Design – 17 Boats)
1.Gut Feeling, J 109, Ted Herlihy, South Dartmouth, Mass., 3, 4, 2 (9)
2.Skoot, J 109, Jim Vos, New Canaan, Conn., 4,2,3 (9)
3.Storm, J 109, Rick Lyall, Wilton, Conn., 1,8,1 (10)
4.Rush, J 109, Bill Sweetser, Annapolis, Md., 5, 1, 4 (10)
5.Caminos, J 109, Donald Filippelli, Amagansett, N.Y., 6, 3, 6 (15)

IRC 1 (IRC – 2 Boats)
1. Rambler, RP 90, George David, Hartford, Conn., 1,1,1,2 (5)
2. Blue Yankee, Reichel Pugh 66, Bob and Farley Towse, Stamford, Conn., 2, 3/TLE, 2,1 (8)

IRC 2 (IRC – 5 Boats)
1.Vesper, IRC 52, Jim Swartz, Park City, Utah, 1,1,1,5 (2)
2.Interlodge, IRC 52, Austin and Gwen Fragomen, Newport, R.I., 2,5,2,2 (11)
3.Privateer, Cookson 50, Ron O’Hanley, Newport, R.I., 5,3,4,1 (13)
4.Flying Jenny 7, IRC 52, David & Sandra Askew, Annapolis, Md., 4,2,5,3 (14)
5.SLED, IRC 52, Takashi Okura, Tokyo, Japan, 3,4,3,4 (14)

IRC 3 (IRC – 8 Boats)
1.Temptation-Oakcliff, Ker 50, Art Santry, Oyster Bay, N.Y., 3,1,1 (5)
2.Decision, HPR Carkeek 40, Stephen Murray, New Orleans, La., 2,3,4 (9)
3.White Gold, J 44, James D. Bishop, Jamestown, R.I., 5.5,2,2 (9.5)
4.Cool Breeze, Mills 43 Custom 43, John Cooper, Cane Hill, Mo., 1,4,5 (10)
5.High Noon, CTM 41, Steve and Heidi Benjamin, Norwalk, Conn., 5.5,6,3 (14.5)

IRC 4 (IRC – 14 Boats)
1.Avalanche, Farr 395, Craig Albrecht, Sea Cliff, N.Y., 1,3,4 (8)
2.Sarah, X-41, Greg Manning , Warwick, R.I., 7,1,2 (10)
3.White Witch, King 40, Larry Landry, Newport, R.I., 3,10,1 (14)
4.DownTime, Summit 40, Ed and Molly Freitag, Annapolis, Md, USA – 6,7, 3 (16)
5.Settler, Peterson 42, Tom Rich , Middletown, R.I., 8, 2, 7 (17)