Lucky is first-to-finish in the Transatlantic Race 2015 (Photo  by Lloyd Images)

Lucky is first-to-finish in the Transatlantic Race 2015 (Photo by Lloyd Images)

(Friday, July 10, 2015) –  Late afternoon, British time, Bryon Ehrhart’s Lucky was the first boat in the Transatlantic Race 2015 to cross the finish line at The Lizard, ending a brutal 8 days 22 hours 5 minutes and 3 seconds at sea on a 2,800-mile eastbound crossing of the North Atlantic, sailed mostly in strong winds.

At present Lucky holds the lead in the Transatlantic Race 2015 under IRC handicap, but the title remains under threat from boats yet to finish. Similarly, her impressive course time is likely to be bettered by the maxis which started four days after her.

“We are excited to have finished; it was an interesting test,” said Ehrhart, who earlier this year acquired his Reichel/Pugh 63 (formerly the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart winner, Loki) with the principle aim of competing in this race.  Erhart, a Chicagoan, is a member of the New York Yacht Club and the Royal Ocean Racing Club – two of the four clubs, with the addition of Storm Trysail Club and the Royal Yacht Squadron – that comprised the organizing authority for the race.

Navigator Ian Moore added: “Obviously the whole crew are really excited to have made it to the finish and to be the first boat home. It has been a very long night and a very long day. The beat to the finish felt like it would never end and the wind started to run out. It is a fantastic feeling to finally finish the race.”

 

Competing in IRC 2, Lucky set off from Newport, R.I., on July 1 with the second group of starters, including Clarke Murphy’s longer and much-higher-rated 100’ Nomad IV. Nomad and Lucky sailed neck and neck for the first few days, but Lucky took a more direct easterly route towards Point Alpha, the ice exclusion, which allowed her to reach its south-western tip 13 miles ahead.

The two boats continued due east after passing the south-eastern corner of the exclusion zone, staying in the best breeze as they determined how cross to a patch of light winds on Sunday, July 5. Ultimately Luckymade the best of it, adding six miles to her lead over Nomad IV. By this stage both boats had passed all of the first starters, which had departed three days before them, with the exception of the biggest boat in the fleet, the 138’ Mariette of 1915. Lucky finally passed the 100-year-old schooner two days from the finish, at the same time as she was splitting from Nomad IV to head north.

With the Azores High forecast to extend over the western tip of the U.K. as Lucky made her final approach to the finish, she headed north where the breeze would remain strongest for longest. Thanks to this she managed to extend her lead to more than 60 miles, but with the risk that Nomad IV, approaching from the west-southwest would come in with pressure and overtake her.

Lucky lost ground as she headed north of the Scilly Isles early this morning and was forced to beat up the narrow passage between Land’s End and its off-lying Traffic Separation Scheme allowing Nomad IV to close. But it was too little too late.

 

Lucky crossed the line while Nomad still had 37 miles to sail in a dying breeze. Nonetheless it was close after more than 3,000 miles of racing—in distance sailed—considering the two boats are so different:Lucky, a 63’ long stripped out racer; Nomad IV, at 100’, a much bigger boat but fitted out with a luxury interior, and also having suffered a catalogue of problems on this race.

“It was always in the back of our minds that they were out there charging along,” admitted Moore. “But it would have been a big job for them to catch up 50 miles in 12 hours.”

As to what contributed to Lucky’s success, Ehrhart commented: “It was everything. The crew is certainly the leading star in this and the boat was well prepared as was the crew. It was a good navigational plan by Soapy [Ian Moore]. We think we sailed as well as we could. They didn’t leave anything out and there was nothing I wish we could have changed. I just hope that the result stands.”

Elsewhere in the fleet, last Sunday’s starters now have the bit between their teeth and are making fast progress. All four boats—the two maxis, Comanche and Rambler 88, and the two trimarans, Phaedo³ andParadox—have been eating up the miles, none more so than Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 Phaedo³. In the 24 hours until 1030 ETD (1430 UTC) she had sailed a massive 626 miles at an average speed of 26.5 knots. In the inter-maxi monohull dust-up, Rambler 88 was doing a good of job of staying in touch with the 100’Comanche, having lost only 30 miles to her in the last 24 hours.

These boats are now picking off the rest of the fleet. Some 275 miles north of Phaedo³ is the current Cruiser class leader, Jack Madden’s Swan 60, Lady B.

“We have been doing well,” reported Lady B’s navigator J.J. Schock. “We are averaging about high nines speed over ground and everyone is in good health and spirits.” This morning Lady B was seeing 25 knots from the southwest and two-meter seas, which Schock described as having a long period, so “quite comfortable. We are sailing along on starboard tack under main and No. 3. Everything is calm on board and we’re just trying to make good speed.”

Schock acknowledges that this crossing has been particularly breezy, with wind speed having remained in the high 30s for days, occasionally accompanied by squalls into the 40s and one gust reaching 50 knots.

Being in the Cruiser class means they have the luxury of not having to eat reconstituted freeze dried food. “We have a wonderful cook on board and she is taking very good care of us. When it has been rougher, we have been having some peanut butter and jelly and crackers. When it has been nice we have had some nice meals,” said Schock.

Further up the fleet Earl St. Aldwyn’s Shipman 50 Zephyr experienced some drama last night when the shackle on the spinnaker halyard exploded, causing the kite to tumble into the water and for the boat to run over it. “We managed to recover it remarkably with no damage,” reported skipper David Sharples. “We sent George Bullard up the mast to recover the halyard at first light.”

Now up to sixth on the water, Ross Applebey’s Oyster Lightwave 48 Scarlet Oyster was this morning running downwind, but had prudently dropped the spinnaker in the early hours after the breeze had built to 30 knots. “We are pointing at the mark, but it is pretty rolly. I think we have managed to find ourselves a bit of current again, so it is heating up again. We are in pretty good shape,” commented Applebey.

The battle remains relentless against the ocean racing classics Carina and Dorade, but Scarlet Oyster is now ahead of the former on handicap, but still lying third to the immaculate S&S classic in IRC Class 4.

 

Lucky Crew Celebrates taking Line Honors (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Lucky Crew Celebrates taking Line Honors (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Paradox and Phaedo3 battle for  the start.  Paradox wins the battle leaving Phaedo3 to do a 360 and fight to catch up leaving Castle Hill light and Newport behind (Photo by George Bekris)

Paradox and Phaedo3 battle for the start. Paradox wins the battle leaving Phaedo3 to do a 360 and fight to catch up leaving Castle Hill light and Newport behind (Photo by George Bekris)

With 2,800 miles to sail and just two boats on the starting line, a conservative start would seem like the smart play. But for the 63-foot trimaran Paradox, owned by Peter Aschenbrenner and skippered by Jeff Mearing, the start of the multihull class in the Transatlantic Race 2015 offered up a wondrous opportunity to throw a little mud in the eye of Lloyd Thornburg’s Phaedo3, the 70-foot MOD 70 trimaran that is the odds-on favorite to take overall line honors in the race. It was too good to pass up, no matter what the overall risk-reward analysis might say.

Phaedo3 doing 360 for another go at the start line (Photo © George Bekris)

Phaedo3 doing 360 for another go at the start line (Photo © George Bekris)

The starboard end of the starting line was heavily favored due to the straight shot it provided out the channel, so both boats set up off the Jamestown shore for a long timed run on starboard tack. Paradox led into the starting area off the Castle Hill Lighthouse and, with both boats a few seconds late, seemed to be content to cross the line with a slight lead. At the last second, however, Aschenbrenner hardened up and cut off the path of the hard-charging Phaedo3, forcing the larger boat to spin head to wind on the wrong side of the starting line and turn an achingly slow 360, before setting off in pursuit of its rival.
Phaedo3 Dials it up to catch Paradox who leads out of the start. (Photo © George Bekris)

Phaedo3 Dials it up to catch Paradox who leads out of the start. (Photo © George Bekris)

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Paradox leads out past Castile Hill leaving Newport to cross the Atlantic. (Photo © George Bekris)

For a race of this extreme distance, such an advantage at the outset means little. To wit, by 3:30 p.m., 90 minutes into the race, Phaedo3 had rolled over the top of Paradox and was scorching south of Martha’s Vineyard on an east-southeast heading at 30 knots.Paradox wasn’t exactly plodding along, hitting over 22 knots according to the tracker, but was quickly losing touch with the competition. Hopefully the early win helped ease the pain of watching Phaedo3 disappear over the horizon.
Comanche bowman signaling to the cockpit prior to the start. (Photo © George Bekris)

Comanche bowman signaling to the skipper prior to the start. (Photo © George Bekris)

Anticipation for today’s second start—the final act of the fortnight of U.S.-based activity for the Transatlantic Race—has been building since last summer when the news broke that two new super maxis – the 100-foot Comanche and Rambler 88 – would be competing in the race. While both skippers have downplayed the duel—the boats have different design briefs and there is a 12-foot difference in overall length, in a sport where longer is often faster—the sailing public hasn’t let go of the “which one is faster” debate. It doesn’t hurt that the two skippers—Ken Read, who is skippering Comanche for owners Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark, and George David, the owner/skipper of Rambler  88—were once crewmates on David’s IMS 50 Idler, which competed as a part of the American team in the 1999 Admiral’s Cup.

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Rambler 88 approaches the start at Castle Hill (Photo © George Bekris)

Whether despite this or because of it, the final start of the Transatlantic Race 2015 was more true to expectations for such an event. Both boats maneuvered significantly through the pre-start, probing for an advantage. But with neither boat providing an opening, the afterguards of each boat were content to blast across the line in sync, Comanche to leeward and slightly ahead. As with the trimarans, the speeds jumped significantly once the boats passed the R4 channel marker south of Brenton Reef and were able bear off and ease the sheets. At press time, Comanche had pulled out to approximately a 1.3-mile lead over Rambler 88, with both boats recording speeds in the low 20s.

Comanche and Rambler 88 passing one another dialing up the start (Photo © George Bekris)

Comanche and Rambler 88 passing one another dialing up the start (Photo © George Bekris)

No matter where they stand relative to their respective competitors, sailors on all four boats have to be extremely pleased with the weather, which provided them with ideal reaching conditions for the escape from Newport. Whether it lasts, however, is a significant question. In the immediate future it appears to be some lighter winds. Any advantage or disadvantage at the start will be quickly forgotten if any of the boats struggle to push through to the next band of breeze.

And they're off!! Comanche and Rambler 88 leave Newport. Next stop the UK. (Photo © George Bekris)

And they’re off!! Comanche and Rambler 88 leave Newport. Next stop the UK. (Photo © George Bekris)

 For more photos of the 3rd start action by George Bekris see the gallery at www.georgebekris.com

 

TR 2015 Roster of Entries Starting on July 5 (4 boats)
Comanche, Jim Clark & Kristy Hinze-Clark, New York, N.Y., USA
Phaedo3, Lloyd Thornburg, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Paradox, Peter Aschenbrenner, San Francisco, Calif., USA
Rambler, George David, Hartford, Conn., USA
Rambler 88 passes Castle Hill Inn heading into the Atlantic from Newport, Rhode Island  (Photo © George Bekris)

Rambler 88 passes Castle Hill Inn heading into the Atlantic from Newport, Rhode Island (Photo © George Bekris)

 Here are the many ways to Follow the Race
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TransatlanticRace     
Yellowbrick Tracking: http://yb.tl/transatlantic2015 (will be activated 24 hours before the first start, June 28 at 1400 EDT).
Yellowbrick Tracking on tablet or smart phone – You must first download the YB Races app, then within the app, add the TR2015 race. There is no charge to follow this race.  Apple iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/yb-races/id452193682?mt=8
Google Play/Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yellowbrick.raceviewer&hl=en
Twitter Handle: @TransatlantRace
Instagram: @nyyc_regattas
Comanche and Rambler 88 battle for position as the Transatlantic Race 2015 3rd start get underway (Photo © George Bekris)

Comanche and Rambler 88 battle for position as the Transatlantic Race 2015 3rd start get underway (Photo © George Bekris)

 

A fleet of 13 boats took off for England today from Newport, R.I.’s start of the Transatlantic Race 2015. (photo credit Daniel Forster)

A fleet of 13 boats took off for England today from Newport, R.I.’s start of the Transatlantic Race 2015. (photo credit Daniel Forster)

 

NEWPORT, R.I. (June 28, 2015) – An intense low-pressure system rolling up the Atlantic Coast put competitors and race officials on edge for the 48 hours leading up to the first start of the Transatlantic Race 2015, from Newport, R.I., to The Lizard off the southwest coast of England. Contingency plans were made by both groups, with the option of delaying the start for a few hours getting serious consideration. The storm passed through overnight, however, leaving behind excellent, albeit unseasonably cool, conditions and a favorable boost from the outgoing current and the run-off from Saturday night’s heavy rain.
A baker’s dozen of boats got underway in Start 1, crossing the starting line set off the Castle Hill Lighthouse at the entrance to Narragansett Bay’s East Passage just after 2 p.m. Twenty-one boats will get underway on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 1, and the four fastest yachts in the race will make up the final start on Sunday, July 5.
A fleet of 13 boats took off for England today from Newport, R.I.’s start of the Transatlantic Race 2015. (photo credit Daniel Forster)

The boats in Start 1 were fairly conservative on their approach to the line. This race, at 2,800-miles in length, is the ultimate ocean marathon; slow and steady is almost always the best mindset for the onset of such an adventure, which could take two weeks, or longer, to complete.
“We will be happy if we finish the race in under 17 days,” said Sheila McCurdy, the navigator for Chris Otorowski’s Aphrodite, just prior to leaving the dock. “It’s looking like for the first half of the race, the weather is pretty advantageous – a mostly southwesterly blow. You’d have to peer out over two weeks to know how to approach England, but we don’t know that  yet, because we don’t get weather forecasts that far in advance.”
Ross Applebey’s Scarlet Oyster was first across the starting line, hoisting a bright red spinnaker in time with the starting cannon and stretching away from the fleet. Next was Matt Brooks’ Dorade, the 85-year-old classic showing no hesitation. Brooks and his crew were quick to throw up a full complement of downwind sails and get the Olin Stephens’ design up to hull speed.
Approximately 90 minutes after the start, it was the 100-year-old, 140-foot schooner Mariette of 1915 that had charged to the front of the fleet—no surprise given it’s more than double the size of any other boat in the first start.  Along with it were Mark Stevens’ Kiva; New York Yacht Club Commodore Rives Potts’ Carina (with Rich duMoulin skippering, since Potts had to stand down from the crew at the last minute), and Ross Applebey’s Scarlet Oyster.
While most of the fleet seemed to enjoy the fresh conditions and following breeze, it wasn’t all wine and roses. Carter Bacon’s Solutionsuffered a tear at the head of its spinnaker less than an hour into the race, the crew scrambling to pull the sail onboard after it fluttered away from the top of the rig. Other boats struggled to find their downwind rhythm in the large, off-axis ocean swells.
But no matter how the first few moments went, all the crews shared in the excitement of beginning such an epic adventure. The days leading up to such a long race are an overwhelming cocktail of planning, packing, boat preparation, speculation, training and social functions. Finally getting underway, and into the routine of an ocean race—a few hours on watch, a few hours off—is almost always a relief.
The fleet will sail in a southeasterly direction through the evening to clear beneath the Right Whale Critical Habitat area east of Nantucket. Then it will head due east for approximately 900 miles—to avoid an unusually large and widespread collection of icebergs on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland—before turning north to take the Great Circle Route, which cuts precious distance off any northern transatlantic trip.
TR 2015 Roster of Entries Starting on June 28
Aphrodite, Christopher Otorowski, Seattle, Wash./Newport, R.I., USA
Arrowhead,
Steve Berlack, Franconia, N.H., USA
Carina
, Rives Potts, Essex, Conn., USA
Charisma,
Constantin Claviez, Hamburg, GER
Dizzy,
Paul Anstey/Craig Rastello, Melbourne, Fla., USA
Dorade,
Matt Brooks, San Francisco, Calif., USA
Jaqueline IV
, Robert Forman, Bay Shore, N.Y., USA
Kiva,
Mark Stevens, New Castle, N.H., USA
Mariette of 1915,
Charlie Wroe, Falmouth, GBR
Scarlet Oyster,
Ross Applebey, GBR
Shearwater,
Dan & Gretchen Biemesderfer, Guilford, Conn., USA
Solution,
Carter Bacon, Hyannis Port, Mass.
Zephyr,
Micky St. Aldwyn, Lymington, UK
Follow the Race
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TransatlanticRace   
Yellowbrick Tracking: http://yb.tl/transatlantic2015 (will be activated 24 hours before the first start, June 28 at 1400 EDT).
Yellowbrick Tracking on tablet or smart phone – You must first download the YB Races app, then within the app, add the TR2015 race. There is no charge to follow this race.  Apple iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/yb-races/id452193682?mt=8, Google Play/Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yellowbrick.raceviewer&hl=en
Twitter Handle: @TransatlantRace
Instagram: @nyyc_regattas

 

Dorade present and past. (Photos courtesy of Dorade “Return to Blue Water”)

Dorade present and past. (Photos courtesy of Dorade “Return to Blue Water”)

NEWPORT, R.I. (June 4, 2015) – In late June, one of sailing’s most celebrated yachts will attempt to retrace the steps of her first, and most significant, victory. The 52-foot yawl Dorade, owned by Pam Levy and Matt Brooks (Tiburon, Calif.), will join 40 other boats competing in the Transatlantic Race 2015, which starts off Newport, R.I., and finishes off the southwestern coast of England. The race is organized by the Royal Yacht Squadron, the New York Yacht Club, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Storm Trysail Club.

Dorade, the seventh design from the Sparkman & Stephens design shop, was barely a year old when Olin and Rod Stephens and a crew of five sailors, including their father, started the 1931 Transatlantic Race off Newport, R.I., bound for Plymouth, England, 2,800 miles away. The trip took just over 17 days. Dorade was the first boat to finish and the race’s overall champion on corrected time.

For the Stephens brothers, it was a transformative moment: in the coming years, they would each take on primary roles in the development of the sport.  Dorade would make her own wake as well, stringing together an impressive, unparalleled for the time, series of victories on the East and West Coasts of the United States and in Europe.

After a series of significant re-fits, the boat was returned to original condition a few years ago by Levy and Brooks. Perfect for installation in a museum, many said, or for civilized day racing on the classic yacht circuit. But Levy and Brooks had other plans, namely to take the grand dame of ocean racing and repeat all of the races it won in the 1930s, including the Transatlantic Race, Newport Bermuda, Transpac and Rolex Fastnet.

“Everyone said we were proposing something that wasn’t even in the realm of possibility,” says Brooks of Dorade’s four-race “Return to Blue Water” campaign. “Now we’re coming up to the last two races—the Transatlantic Race 2015 and the Rolex Fastnet Race—and no one is questioning that the boat can do this.” (Two years ago, Dorade won overall, corrected-time honors in the Transpac Race, beating a host of the latest carbon-fiber rockets; in the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race, she took first in her class under IRC.)

“Olin and Rod designed one hell of a boat,” says Brooks. “I haven’t met anyone who has sailed on her who doesn’t learn to love her and trust her. She’s very strong, very dependable; she just needs to be treated right. With wood boats, you’re always in refit mode. But we’re racing and sailing this boat 10,000 miles a year and she absolutely responds to that.”

Winning silver with this historic yacht requires a comprehensive commitment. Brooks, Levy and their team are constantly maintaining and refining the yacht. This past winter, says Brooks, getting the bottom as smooth as possible and improving sail design were two areas of focus. Sailing the boat also requires a specific touch.

“If you are trying to muscle the boat into submission at the helm it is never going to happen,” says Levy. “It will win. Having a balanced helm is critical.”
Onboard video of Dorade’s winning 1931 Transatlantic Race performance; she completed the course in 17 days, one hour, 14 minutes.

For the Transatlantic Race 2015, Brooks and Levy have set as their first goal to beat the 17 days, one hour and 14 minutes it took Dorade to sail the course in 1931. Modern technology, including synthetic sail fabric, should give this year’s team an edge; however, the course in 2015 is likely to be quite a bit longer than it was in 1931 due to an extreme number of icebergs in the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. The fleet will be required to sail east for a while before turning north for the Great Circle Route, which takes advantage of the earth’s slightly oval shape to shave critical miles off the passage between the United States and Europe.

Whether or not they can match the boat’s pace in 1931, Brooks and Levy couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of this legendary yacht coming full circle to its first significant accomplishment.

“Of all the races we’ve done, the Transatlantic Race is the one that makes our heart go pitter patter, because it was Olin and Rod’s first big victory, and it’s what launched them in business in yacht design,” says Levy. “We know from talking to Olin’s family and from what he has written that he had a real affection for the boat. It gives us a lot of pleasure to do well with her.”

More about the Transatlantic Race 2015

The Transatlantic Race 2015 charts a 2,800-nautical-mile course from Newport, R.I., to Lizard Point, South Cornwall, England. The race is organized by the Royal Yacht Squadron, the New York Yacht Club, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Storm Trysail Club. Pre-start activities will take place at the New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court clubhouse in Newport, while awards will be presented at the Royal Yacht Squadron’s Cowes Castle clubhouse on the Isle of Wight. Three separate starts – June 28, July 1 and July 5 – will feature 40-plus boats ranging from the newest designs of 2015 to those going as far back as 1915.

For a list of entrants and their respective race starts, visit http://bit.ly/1BDPZcm

Follow the Transatlantic Race on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TransatlanticRace

 

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

 

 

 
Speedboat

Speedboat Crew On Deck

Alex Jackson’s maxi 100-footer sloop Speedboat finished the Newport Bermuda Race early Monday morning at 3:49 AM EDT. Finishing second at 6:25 was Il Mostro (Puma), a 70-foot Volvo Ocean Race boat sailed by Kenny Read, whose brother, Brad, was in Speedboat’s afterguard.  Boat boats sailed in the Open Division for racing yachts with canting keels.
Stan Honey and Crew Of Speedboat  Arrive In Bermuda

Stan Honey and Crew Of Speedboat Arrive In Bermuda

It was a slow race, with Speedboat making the 635-mile course in just over 59 hours after the start at Newport on Friday.  The crew of 25 never reefed the boat. In the light to moderate conditions that prevailed through most of the race, Speedboat was hard pressed by Il Mostro, Rambler, and several boats in the mini-maxi 70-80 foot range over the first third of the course.  “We really didn’t get away from them until we were in the Stream,” navigator Stan Honey said after Speedboat tied up at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s marina early Monday morning. “Then they gained a lot in the light stuff as we came into the finish.”
At 5 AM EDT the mini-maxi Rán on its blog reported less than 10 knots as she beat to windward toward the buoys guarding Bermuda’s reef.  “Titan is downwind from us and is not a threat. Rambler and Beau Geste are upwind and in front as we thought they would. We are still in a strong position although it now looks like Beau Geste is the biggest threat. Just a few more hours to go.”
At 6:30 the blog reported, “As we are approaching the finish slowly but surely, we are all on deck, no more watches, all are on duty for the final stretch. Coffee and tea served on the rail – black only as no more milk powder onboard. Very calm water. Wind speed of 9 knots –
just over – and land in sight.”

Dark n Stormys Being Prepared At The Dock

Traditional Dark n Stormys Being Prepared At The Dock For Speedboat Crew

 by John Rousmaniere

One Of The Classes Starting In Newport Bermuda Race 2008 (Photo by George Bekris)

One Of The Classes Starting In Newport Bermuda Race 2008 (Photo by George Bekris)

 

 There are many ways to watch the Friday afternoon start in Newport. The shore-side view is spectacular and comfortable.  Many people watch the start from Castle Hill, right at the start of Ocean Drive.  Others watch from the Jamestown shore, where the best viewing is at Fort Wetherill State Park.  Beavertail State Park in Jamestown is also an option, but a little further away from the line.
 
A variety of vessels are available for charter in Newport.  If you visit the various Newport web sites dedicated to tourism and business, you will find many listed. Numerous tourist vessels take visitors out on the water for tours, and a number of these may have special trips available specifically to watch the start of the race.  Again, check the many tourist web sites for Newport.
 
Hundreds of private yachts spend the afternoon watching the start.  Joining a friend or family member who has a boat in Newport and plans to be on the water for the day is a great way to see the race.
 
During the race, digital spectators can watch the progress of the race on their computers by logging on to iBoattrack through the Newport Bermuda Race web site www.bermudarace.com/ or through iBoat’s own web http://www.iboattrack.com/

Down in Bermuda, the best spot to watch the yachts finish in Bermuda is from the grounds of St. David’s Lighthouse. Visitors will find that the Finish Line Committee is very hospitable and depending on the finishing traffic, they may be invited up into the tower for a tour. It is a straight up climb and not for people afraid of heights. The view from the lawn is almost as good and worth the trip to St. David’s.

The HD Gateway Finish Line Cam is new for 2010.  From the high definition camera mounted on the St. David’s Lighthouse tower, finish line action will be streamed worldwide 24/7. Spectators can use iBoattrack to follow their boat of interest to the finish, then actually watch them cross the line when they arrive.

In Bermuda, digital spectators can watch boats finish from the comfort of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. A Gateway ‘SMART Board’ will be available for viewing in the Calabash Lounge and a smaller HD TV monitor will be available over the Terrace Bar.

 by Talbot Wilson

New Bermuda Race Entrants

Yacht  Yacht Type  Division  Captain 
ANGEL  Ctm 84  CD  Edward T. Anderson 
ATALANTA  Little Harbor 54  CD  James F. Volkwein 
ATTITUDE  Beneteau 423  CD  Shawn Dahlen 
AVATAR  Ranger 37  CD  Janusz Kedzierski 
BERMUDA OYSTER  Oyster 435  CD  Paul B. Hubbard 
BLE U C&C 51xl  CD  Dan Epstein 
BLUEBIRD  Migrant 45 Ketch  CD  Harry Bird 
BONSPIEL  Nordic 44  CD  James J. Richter 
CADENCE  Apogee 50  CD  R. David Warters 
CETACEA  Hinckley 59  CD  Christopher J. Culver 
CHECKMATE  Alden44  CD  Frank J. Flores 
CLOVER III  Swan 56  CD  Neal F. Finnegan 
CONVERGENCE  Jeanneau 43 DS  CD  James Linsley 
EAGLE  J-40  CD  Dana Oviatt 
ECLIPSE  Hinckley 59  CD  Barbara & Robert Cavanagh 
FOX  Swan 53  CD  Ruth M. Pecherek 
FREEDOM  Sabre 452  CD  Cary W. Thomson 
HAERLEM  Swan 55  CD  Hendrikus (Henk) P L Wisker 
I’LL THINK ABOUT IT  Beneteau 523  CD  Marc Tandourjian 
ISOLA  Baltic 52  CD  Howard M. Eisenberg 
KALUE  Wooden Ketch  CD  Rudy Schreiber 
LAURA B  Island Packet 45  CD  Joseph R. Triggs, Jr. 
LIBERTY CALL  HR 43  CD  Matthew G. Pilon 
LILLA  CNB 76  CD  Simon M. De Pietro 
MANANA  Swan 48  CD  Michhael V. Johnson 
MISTY  Little Harbor 54  CD  Eric G. Thorkilsen 
NIRVANA  Maxi 80  CD  Charles F Kiefer III 
NOSTOS  Alden 44  CD  Lorenzo D. Weisman 
NOVA  Swan 56  CD  Mark DiStefano 
PILGRIM  Alden 44  CD  Mark Rice 
POESKE  First 42  CD  Richard Donn 
RESTIVE  Alden48 Ctm  CD  George P Denny III 
RUTAINE  C&C 37/40+  CD  David P. McLoughlin 
SCEPTRED ISLE  Ctm 63  CD  Rex G. Herbert 
SHEARWATER  Morris 40  CD  Conrad Hall 
SHINDIG  Pearson 39-2  CD  Kevin G. Flannery 
TEMPTRESS  IMX-45  CD  Arent H Kits van Heyningen 
WHISKEY GIRL  Hinckley 70  CD  Michael McAllister 
WINDWALKER II  Lyman Morse 60  CD  Daniel Levangie 
ALIBI  J-120  DH  Gardner L. Grant, Jr. 
BOLANDS MILL  Class 40  DH  John Ryan 
CHOUCAS  Jeanneau SF36  DH  Frederic Cosandey 
CORDELIA  Valiant 42  DH  Roy F. Greenwald 
CUTLASS  Class 40  DH  Alex / Nick Mehran / Halmos 
DAWN TREADER  Swan 48 MK II  DH  Lawrence G. Cohen 
DELAWANA  Swan 51  DH  Hans F. Himmelman 
DIRIGO  C&C 41  DH  Eric M. Johnson 
DRAGON  Class 40  DH  Michael S. Hennessy 
ESMERALDE  Sabre 386  DH  Bruce R. Beard, Jr. 
GREAT SCOT  J-35  DH  Darren T Garnier 
HERON  J-120  DH  Greg R. Leonard 
KAMOA’E  Class 40  DH  Eric Lecoq 
KILLUA  Aphrodite 101  DH  James G. Binch 
KIVA  Hinkley SW51CB  DH  Mark Stevens 
LORA ANN  Express 37  DH  Richard T. du Moulin 
MIREILLE  J-120  DH  Edwin Gaynor 
NEXT BOAT  Morris 45  DH  Mark Ellman 
OCEAN WANDERER1  Montivideo 43  DH  Erwin Wanderer 
PALADIN  J-35  DH  Jason A Richter 
PLUM CRAZY  Sabre MK II  DH  Michael R. Berg 
RESOLUTE  J/122  DH  D. Scott Miller 
SEABISCUIT  J-46  DH  Nathan C. Owen 
SIR EDMUND  Ctm 49  DH  Fredrick R. Holt 
TOOTHFACE  Akilaria Class40  DH  Michael W. Dreese 
WHISPER  Hinckley 48  DH  Thomas J. Vander Salm 
BEAU GESTE  Farr 80  GHL  Karl Kwok 
BELLA MENTE  Mini Maxi  GHL  Hap Fauth 
CAPTIVITY  Farr 60  GHL  Samuel T. Byrne 
CATAPULT RACING  SouthernCross 52  GHL  Marc Glimcher 
HOI AN  Custom 50  GHL  Heilner Marc 
NATALIE J  TP52  GHL  Philip D. O’Niel III, D.D.S. 
NOONMARK VI  Swan 56  GHL  Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy 
RAMBLER  Ctm 90  GHL  George David 
RAN  JV 72  GHL  Niklas Zennstrom 
RIMA2  R/P 55  GHL  John Brim 
SNOW LION  Ker 50  GHL  Lawrence S. Huntington 
TITAN 15  ctm75  GHL  Tom Hill, Mr. 
VELA VELOCE  Southern Cross  GHL  Richard H Oland 
GENUINE RISK  Dubois 90  Open  Mark E / USMMA Watson III 
ILMOSTRO  VOR70  Open  Ken Read 
SPEEDBOAT  Maxi  Open  Alex Jackson 
ACTAEA  Hinckley B40  SDL  Michael M. Cone 
AKELA III  Swan 43  SDL  Djoerd Hoekstra 
AKUBRA  J44  SDL  Reginald H. Goodday Dr. 
AMADEUS  IMX-40  SDL  Jack R. Yaissle 
AMERICAN GIRL  King 40  SDL  Daniel Galyon 
AMIGO VI  J-42  SDL  Bernie P. Coyne 
APSARA  J-109  SDL  Mike Sleightholme 
ARBELLA  First 44.7  SDL  James P. Shaughnesy 
AURORA  Tartan 41  SDL  Andrew F. Kallfelz 
AURORA  Reichel/Pugh 66  SDL  Gus Carlson 
AVENIR  C&C 41  SDL  Joseph T. Murray 
AVRA  J/120 Mod  SDL  George Petrides 
BABE  Swan 46  SDL  Colin E. Couper MD 
BACCI  Swan 53  SDL  Lorenzo Vascotto 
BARLEYCORN  NYYC Swan 42  SDL  Brendan J. Brownyard 
BEAGLE  J-44  SDL  Philip H. Gutin 
BEAUSOLEIL  Beneteau 456SD  SDL  Richard A Parent 
BELLE AURORE  Cal 40  SDL  R Douglas Jurrius 
BIG BOOTY  Lutra 42  SDL  Patrick Eudy 
BOMBARDINO  Santa Cruz 52  SDL  James W. Sykes 
BRAND NEW DAY  J-65  SDL  James C. Madden 
BUZZ  Sydney 38  SDL  Richard E. Stevenson, Jr 
CARINA  CTM 48  SDL  Rives Potts 
CHARLIE V  J-44  SDL  Norman H. Schulman MD 
CILISTA  J-130  SDL  Jeffrey L. Eberle 
CONVICTUS MAXIMUS  Farr IRC 42  SDL  Donald W. Nicholson 
CYBELE  IMX-45  SDL  Richard M. Burnes, Jr 
CYGNETTE  Swan 441  SDL  William J. Mayer 
DENALI  Nelson Marek 70  SDL  Michael A. D’Amelio 
DOGSLED  Kaufman 47  SDL  Todd F. Barnard 
DOLPHIN  J-42  SDL  Henry S. Morgan 
DONNYBROOK  Ctm Sloop  SDL  James P. Muldoon 
FEARLESS  Farr 395 OD  SDL  Shaun J. Ensor 
FINESSE  J-42  SDL  Newton P.S. Merrill 
FLIRT  Navy 44 MK1  SDL  US NAVAL ACADEMY 
FLYING GOOSE  Ctm 56  SDL  Daniel C. van Starrenburg 
FROLIC  Sabre 362  SDL  Peter G. Brown 
GLORY  J-44  SDL  Jack Neades/ USCGA 
GOLD DIGGER  J-44  SDL  James D. Bishop 
GONE WITH THE WIND  Cal 40  SDL  William M. LeRoy 
GRACIE  Ctm 69  SDL  Stephan A. & Simon W Frank 
GREY MATTER  Hanse 470e  SDL  Brian R. Parselle 
GREYGHOST  Zaal 38  SDL  Philip W. Parish 
HAKUNA MATATA  Cal 39  SDL  Christopher J. Andrews 
HIGH NOON  Tripp 41  SDL  Colin Rath 
HIRO MARU  Swan 43 Classic  SDL  Hiroshi Nakajima 
HOUND  Ctm 60  SDL  Eberhart Frank 
INVICTUS  TP52  SDL  US Naval Academy 
JACKNIFE  J-133  SDL  Andrew Hall 
JACQUELINE IV  Hinckley SW42  SDL  Robert S. Forman, Jr 
JADE  J-42  SDL  Robert W. Thuss, Jr. 
KALEVALA II  Grand Soleil 37  SDL  Tapio O. Saavalainen 
KODIAK  Swan 601  SDL  E. Llwyd Ecclestone 
LAPIN  Benn Frst 40.7  SDL  Christopher Clark 
LINDY  Peterson 38  SDL  David G. Dickerson 
MAGIC  Santa Cruz 52  SDL  Kenneth Laudon 
MERLIN  Swan57  SDL  John H Duerden 
MISCHIEVOUS  Ctm 65  SDL  Albert J. Fitzgibbons 
MISTY  J-40 WK  SDL  Fred A. Allardyce 
MOJOE  Peterson 43  SDL  Joseph M. Naroski 
MORGAN OF MARIETTA  Centurion 42  SDL  Colin G Golder 
NASTY MEDICINE  Corby 41.5  SDL  Stephen J. Sherwin MD 
RAGANA  Cape Fear 38R  SDL  Darius Peleda 
RAINMAKER  Swan40  SDL  Kenneth P. Hylwa Mr. 
REGATTA  CARTER41  SDL  Constantine G. Koste 
REINDEER  Morris 47  SDL  Peter/Tony Driscoll/Parker 
RELATIVITY  Beneteau 53F5  SDL  Hall Palmer 
RESOLUTE  J-44 WK  SDL  Fred Madeira 
RICOCHET  J-120  SDL  USCGA 
ROCKET SCIENCE  J-120  SDL  Rick F. Oricchio 
RUNAWAY  J-44  SDL  Lawrence R. Glenn 
SAILOR BANDIDO  Quest 33  SDL  Christopher A. Palabrica 
SARAH  X-41  SDL  Gregory B. Manning 
SFORZANDO  Ker 55  SDL  Clayton G. Deutsch 
SHINNECOCK  J-120  SDL  James C. Praley 
SINN FEIN  Cal 40  SDL  Peter S. Rebovich, Sr. 
SIRENA BELLA  J44  SDL  Joe Murli 
SIRENSONG  J-133  SDL  Thomas J Carroll 
SLIDE RULE  First 44.7  SDL  Scott Bearse 
SPIRIT  Baltic 38DP  SDL  A. John Gregg 
STAR CHASER  Swan 51  SDL  Wijnand (Boogie) van den Boogaard 
STARLIGHT  Simonis Voogd 56  SDL  Michael Dybvik 
SWIFT  Navy 44 MK1  SDL  US Naval Academy 
TEMPTATION  Taylor 45  SDL  Arthur & Peter Santry 
TERRAPIN  Beneteau 40.7  SDL  Jonathan Litt 
THEJACKAL  Beneteau 40.7  SDL  John DeFilippo 
THREEBEANS  Santa Cruz 37  SDL  Christopher Rosow 
TIGER  Swan 46  SDL  Thomas & Nancy Grieb 
TRIPLE LINDY  Swan 44 MK II  SDL  Joseph Mele 
TRUE  J-42 (mod)  SDL  Howard B. Hodgson, Jr. 
UPGRADE  Farr 395  SDL  Peter Gibbons-Neff 
VALKYRIE  First 44.7  SDL  David Andril 
VAMP  J-44  SDL  Leonard J. Sitar 
VANQUISH  STP 65  SDL  Rego / Riker Lucas / USMMA 
VORTICES  J 145  SDL  Christopher L Saxton 
WAZIMO  Aerodyne 38  SDL  W. Barrett Holby, Jr. 
WESTRAY  Concordia 39  SDL  John D. Melvin 
WHISPER  Canning 48  SDL  Sheldon Brotman 
WHITE RHINO  Swan 56  SDL  Todd Stuart 
WINDBORN  J-120  SDL  Richard W. Born 
XCELSIOR  IMX-45  SDL  Alice O. Martin 
XENOPHON  Swan 44 MKII  SDL  Jeffrey V. Rabuffo, MD 
ZEST  Hinckley SW42  SDL  Brian E. Swiggett 
ZWERVER  S&S 57′ Berm Cut  SDL  Frans van Schaik 

The above list subject to change.

 

For More Photos of the Newport bermuda Race 2008 by George Bekris click  HERE

Newport Bermuda Race 2008 (Photo by George Bekris )

Newport Bermuda Race 2008 (Photo by George Bekris )

 From the June 18th start in Newport to finish in Bermuda 635 miles later, this classic ocean race is almost a spectator sport.