2012 Newport Bermuda Race

Shockwave (R) and Bella Mente (L) should be locked in a battle for line honors in the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race. Shockwave was first on corrected time in 2012 and won the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Trophy. Bella Mente came third behind Rambler. Rambler got line honors and smashed the Newport Bermuda elapse time record.
2012 Newport Bermuda Race
Copyright 2012 Daniel Forster/PPL

 

By John Rousmaniere

Newport RI, April 2, 2014). As of the April 1 deadline, 180 applications for entry have been received for the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race that will start on June 20 off Castle Hill in Newport. Broken down by the biennial race’s five divisions, the entries are: St. David’s Lighthouse, 91 boats; Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, 10; Cruiser, 36; Double-Handed, 26; Open, 2. Fifty-one captains have indicated that this is their boats’ first Newport Bermuda Race. The 2012 race had 165 starters.

Officials of the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee advise that entry numbers and divisional assignments may change. Sixteen entering captains are undecided about which division to enter, and more applications for entry are expected at the race’s website, BermudaRace.com, at the Guide to Entry button. Late entries may be subject to a time penalty.

In the St. David’s Lighthouse Division, returnees include many 2012 prizewinners and the division’s winning boats in the last four races, Rives Potts’s Carina (winner in 2010 and 2012) and Peter Rebovich’s Sinn Fein (2006 and 2008). Also in this division are two highly competitive classic wooden yawls, Matt Brooks’s Transpac winner Dorade and 2012 Bermuda Race class winner Black Watch, commanded by John Melvin.

A close race is anticipated in the Gibbs Hill Division between George Sakellaris’ Shockwave and Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente. In 2012 Shockwave, pressed hard by Belle Mente, won both this division and the North Rock Beacon Trophy as the race’s top boat under the IRC Rule. Both boats broke the race elapsed time record.

Entries in the Cruiser and Double-Handed divisions are running ahead of their 2012 levels. Cruiser Division runner-up True, sailed by Howard Hodgson, Jr., will be back with other high finishers, including Brad Willauer’s Breezing Up and Chris Culver’s Cetacea. Returning in the extremely competitive Double-Handed Division are the 2012 race’s top four boats: Hewitt Gaynor’s Mireille, Joe Harris’ GryphonSolo2, Gardner Grant’s Alibi, and Jason Richter’s Paladin.

Jim Muldoon’s veteran Donnybrook has entered the Open Division. Spirit of Bermuda, a replica of a traditional Bermuda trading vessel and 2012 Bermuda Race entry, will return for another 635-mile sprint across the Gulf Stream.

An updated list of applicants for entry is at http://bermudarace.com/2014-race/race-applicants/ . For more information about the Newport Bermuda Race, visitBermudaRace.com.

Important dates on the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race calendar include the following:

Forms submitted and fees paid, May 16
Boat measurement data submitted, May 22
Crew information submitted, June 1
Boat inspection deadline, June 6
Onion Patch Series/Navigator’s Race Series, NYYC Annual Regatta, Newport, June 14-15
Check-in at race headquarters (NYYC Sailing Center, Harbour Court), June 15-18
US Sailing Sanctioned Safety at Sea Seminar, Newport, June 18. Register at safety@bermudarace.com
Gosling’s Rum Newport Shipyard Crew Party, Newport, June 18
Captains Meeting sponsored by Hinckley Yachts, Jane Pickens Theater, June 19
Newport Bermuda Race start, June 20
Onion Patch Series/ Navigator’s Race Series, RBYC Anniversary Regatta and Welcome Party, Bermuda, June 27
Newport Bermuda Prize Ceremony, June 28

2012 Newport Bermu Only one skipper has won the Newport Bermuda Race three times. Carleton Mitchell won three in a row in 1956-58-69. And Mitchell won those three races all with Finisterre, the most famous of the Sparkman & Stephens centerboard yawls. In 2010, Peter Rebovich was poised to repeat the feat in Sinn Fein (1818), his classic 51-year-old stock Cal 40, but a sterling performance by Rives Potts in his McCurdy & Rhodes 48 Carina swept away his chance for three St. David’s Lighthouse Trophies in a row. Rebovich had to rebuild Sinn Fein after Hurricane Sandy and now he is back as both he and Rives Potts each come to the line again looking for their third wins in the same boat. ©2012 Daniel Forster/PPLda Race


Only one skipper has won the Newport Bermuda Race three times. Carleton Mitchell won three in a row in 1956-58-69. And Mitchell won those three races all with Finisterre, the most famous of the Sparkman & Stephens centerboard yawls. In 2010, Peter Rebovich was poised to repeat the feat in Sinn Fein (1818), his classic 51-year-old stock Cal 40, but a sterling performance by Rives Potts in his McCurdy & Rhodes 48 Carina swept away his chance for three St. David’s Lighthouse Trophies in a row. Rebovich had to rebuild Sinn Fein after Hurricane Sandy and now he is back as both he and Rives Potts each come to the line again looking for their third wins in the same boat. ©2012 Daniel Forster/PPL

Bermuda is the Official Host of the Newport Bermuda Race. For details on all the excitement and events Bermuda has to offer, call your travel agent or visithttp://www.bermudatourism.com.

Gosling’s Rum is the Official Rum of the Newport Bermuda Race. Try a Dark ‘n Stormy®, the taste of Bermuda. For more information visit www.goslingsrum.com

Pantaenius American Yacht Insurance is the official lead sponsor of the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race’s tracker, which will be visible on the race’s web site:http://www.pantaenius.com/en/american-yacht-insurance.html/

Newport Shipyard is the Official Shipyard of the Newport Bermuda Race. Come get ready for Bermuda, swap strategies, and walk the docks among veteran sailors.http://www.NewportShipyard.com/

Vineyard Vines is the Official Newport Bermuda Tie Sponsor providing commemorative ties to the afterguard of the competing yachts. http://www.vineyardvines.com/

Brewer Yacht Yard Group is the Official Boat Preparation Resource of the Newport Bermuda Race. Experienced staff at Brewer yards from New York to Maine will help you and your crew plan and prepare for a successful race. http://www.byy.com/

Hinckley Yachts is the Official Sponsor of the Captains Meeting for the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race, and will provide the check-in boat and other boats for official observers. http://www.hinckleyyachts.c

OCENS is the Newport Bermuda Race’s Official Race Communications Partner. Satellite communications and weather information for the race and the world.http://www.ocens.com/nb

2012 Newport B Off to a lighthouse winning start, Rives Potts in Carina (L 315) gets his nose out in front in the start of Class 3 of the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race. Potts won his second St. David's Lighthouse Trophy. NA23, Defiance (blue & gold spinnaker, was 2nd in the division. Only one skipper has won the Newport Bermuda Race three times. Carleton Mitchell won three in a row in 1956-58-69. And Mitchell won those three races all with Finisterre, the most famous of the Sparkman & Stephens centerboard yawls. Potts has a chance to tie that record this year.  2012 Newport Bermuda Race Copyright 2012 Daniel Forster/PPLermuda Race


Off to a lighthouse winning start, Rives Potts in Carina (L 315) gets his nose out in front in the start of Class 3 of the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race. Potts won his second St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy. NA23, Defiance (blue & gold spinnaker, was 2nd in the division. Only one skipper has won the Newport Bermuda Race three times. Carleton Mitchell won three in a row in 1956-58-69. And Mitchell won those three races all with Finisterre, the most famous of the Sparkman & Stephens centerboard yawls. Potts has a chance to tie that record this year.
2012 Newport Bermuda Race
Copyright 2012 Daniel Forster/PPL

The Class 5 start of the 2010 Royal Bermuda YC Anniversary Regatta, stage 3 of the Onion Patch Series. In the 2-race regatta, the first race is a W-L in the Great Sound and the second is a 'Tour of the Island' starting in the Great Sound and finishing in Hamilton Harbour off the RBYC marina. The new Navigators Race will be a Tour of the Island with a new twist. Credit Talbot Wilson

The Class 5 start of the 2010 Royal Bermuda YC Anniversary Regatta, stage 3 of the Onion Patch Series. In the 2-race regatta, the first race is a W-L in the Great Sound and the second is a ‘Tour of the Island’ starting in the Great Sound and finishing in Hamilton Harbour off the RBYC marina. The new Navigators Race will be a Tour of the Island with a new twist. Credit Talbot Wilson

By Talbot Wilson 

To race the 50th anniversary Onion Patch Series, boats must race to Bermuda. The deadline for entry in the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race (without a potential late-entry time penalty) is April 1st. Enter now at the race portal: http://bermudarace.com/entry/race-entry-portal/. For Onion Patch Series details seehttp://www.onionpatchseries.com/.

Hamilton Bermuda, March 23, 2014— As the three-event Onion Patch Series turns 50 this summer, organizers have decided to add a new, more relaxed Navigators Race Series format for the 25th running of the traditional series. The new series for more cruiser oriented race programs will be scored with ORR ratings. The traditional series raced for the Onion Patch Trophy and Henry B. DuPont Trophy will continue to be scored under IRC.

The new Navigators Race Series will allow those skippers not interested in racing intense windward-leeward courses in the New York Yacht Club 160th Annual Regatta or not interested in racing on a Great Sound course with the professional grand prix boats and more intense racers in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club‘s Anniversary Regatta to sail separate scenic and fun “round the buoys” races in their own series.

One Navigators Race will be scheduled each day for the June 14-15 NYYC Annual Regatta in Newport RI. The group will then sail to Bermuda in their regular Bermuda Race divisions and be scored against each other as an overlay event. On Friday June 27th, they will sail one race in the RBYC Anniversary Regatta around a scenic course following the start of the last regular Onion Patch Series Anniversary Regatta race.

All yachts racing in the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race are invited to compete in this inaugural three-event Onion Patch Navigators Race Series. ORR Scoring will be used in Newport and in Bermuda for ‘Navigators’, so all yachts in the Newport Bermuda Race, which uses that system for all divisions, will be eligible. The traditional Onion Patch Series races under IRC ratings, so only the Newport Bermuda’s Gibbs Hill and St. David’s Division’s IRC entries may compete for those prizes. See http://www.onionpatchseries.com/.

The new series will have its own prizes for performance in the events and for the series. The top series prize will be dedicated to the late Richard “Dick” Kempe who was instrumental in establishing the Cruiser Division of the Newport Bermuda Race in 1990.

“We began planning for this new series last fall,” said series Chairman and past RBYC Commodore Brian Billings. “We had been talking about adding a fun-style race for boats in Royal Bermuda’s Anniversary Regatta. We wanted to do an event for our foreign friends that would get them out sailing locally and allow them to experience more of what Bermuda has to offer cruising sailors.”

“With the help of past Newport Bermuda Chairman John Winder,” Billings noted, “we approached the NYYC race committee with the idea. John had been discussing their use of ORR for two round the buoys races in their regatta. Steve Benjamin of NYYC supported the idea. So here we are 4 months later with a new addition to a historic series.”

“Our initial goal was to have 50 boats in the Onion Patch Series,” Billings added. “Maybe with this new Navigators Race series we should target for 75 boats. And remember, if you can’t make the whole series, you can still sail these fun Navigator Race courses in Newport or Bermuda.”

Of course, to race the Onion Patch Series boats must race to Bermuda. The deadline for entry in the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race (without a potential late entry time penalty) is April 1st. Enter now at the race portal: http://bermudarace.com/entry/race-entry-portal/.

Separate entry in the NYYC Annual Regatta, the RBYC Anniversary Regatta and the Series will be from the NYYC web site.

In 1962, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club donated the Onion Patch Trophy for the series and the first competition was held in conjunction with the 1964 Newport Bermuda Race. Now, in 2014, the series will be sailed for the 25th time. The series now consists of racing in the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, the Cruising Club of America-Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Newport Bermuda Race and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta.

Include all three events in this tough triathlon of sailboat racing. It’s a hard-fought series sailed over a scant three consecutive weeks in June. Ask anyone who has done it… The Onion Patch is one tough series to win. It is a challenge to yacht, skipper and crew to prevail in these three spectacular events and venues.

Be in Newport June 14, 2014 for the NYYC 160th Annual Regatta and make the 50th Anniversary Onion Patch Series the biggest and best ever.

Randall Baldwin (Ridgefield Connecticut), sailing his Taylor 42 Cabady to the final finish of the RBYC Anniversary Regatta, took home the Henry B. du Pont Trophy for first place in the 2008 Onion Patch Series. Of Onion Patch boats, he finished second in the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, first in the Newport Bermuda Race and ninth in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta for 2, 1.25, 9 and a total of 12.25 points. His boat and crew gave an all-round winning performance.  ©Talbot Wilson

Randall Baldwin (Ridgefield Connecticut), sailing his Taylor 42 Cabady to the final finish of the RBYC Anniversary Regatta, took home the Henry B. du Pont Trophy for first place in the 2008 Onion Patch Series. Of Onion Patch boats, he finished second in the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, first in the Newport Bermuda Race and ninth in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta for 2, 1.25, 9 and a total of 12.25 points. His boat and crew gave an all-round winning performance.
©Talbot Wilson

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

By John Rousmaniere

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seasickness and Dehydration:

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

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

Communications:

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

Emergency/crisis management:

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

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

 

Seminar organizer Ron Trossbach and Dan O'Connor demonstrate liferaft deployment a previous seminar. (Photo by  Leslie Schneider)

Seminar organizer Ron Trossbach and Dan O'Connor demonstrate liferaft deployment a previous seminar. (Photo by Leslie Schneider)

The Newport Bermuda Race Safety at Sea Seminar on March 17-18 introduces a new approach to safety education. The seminar serves sailors in the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race as well as delivery and crews returning from Bermuda and other offshore sailors. It is also perfect for skippers and crews on coastal racers plus ocean and coastal cruisers, too. This Cruising Club of America seminar is at the Newport (RI) Hyatt Regency Hotel on Goat Island.

Register at http://www.bermudarace.com/EntryProcess/SafetyatSea/tabid/190/Default.aspx in advance. Or for those who choose to register at the door in Newport, walk-ins are welcome

On Saturday, March 17, the seminar offers two tracks. The morning �refresher course� is for anybody who has attended two or more US SAILING certified safety seminars since 2002. Participants may then do hands-on, in-water survival training in the afternoon. They will earn an ISAF Approved Certificate in one day. The other track is the All-day Safety at Sea seminar for people who have not attended a safety seminar recently.

On Sunday, there are two all-day courses� the Practical, Hands on Training Safety Seminar that combines with Saturday’s all day Safety at Sea Seminar to award the ISAF Approved Offshore Personal Survival Course certificate and a Red Cross First Aid and CPR training course. In addition, a Newport Bermuda Race Preparation Seminar aimed specifically at Bermuda Race sailors will be held in the morning.

More information about the CCA Safety at Sea Seminar and a link to direct registration and details about the Newport Bermuda Race are at www.BermudaRace.com.

Cetacea Bow in Newport Bermuda Race (Photo by Talbot Wilson)

Cetacea Bow in Newport Bermuda Race (Photo by Talbot Wilson)

 

Every offshore sailor worth his or her salt dreams of doing the Newport Bermuda Race. Sheila McCurdy has sailed 15 of them and will do number 16 in 2012. McCurdy, from Middletown, RI, is the immediate past Commodore of the Cruising Club of America (CCA), co-organizer of the race with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC). She has sailed nine of her Bermuda Races on Selkie.

Her first three Newport Bermuda Races— 1986, 1988 and 1990— were as navigator for her dad, James A. (Jim) McCurdy, chief designer at McCurdy & Rhodes, Naval Architects. In 1985 he designed the 38’6” Selkie for his family. Sheila has sailed six other Newport Bermuda Races as Selkie’s skipper and navigator, as well as four races in other boats including a stint as advisor aboard a US Naval Academy entry.

The only recent races McCurdy missed were in 2004, when she sailed trans-Atlantic with a crew of Navy midshipmen, and in 2010, when as Commodore of the CCA, she and RBYC Commodore Peter Shrubb had to stay ashore, prepared to address emergencies. Unable to stay away from Bermuda, she sailed Selkie to Bermuda in 2011 for the CCA cruise in the waters of the archipelago.

Her best Bermuda Races were in 1994 and 2008. In both races Selkie finished 2nd in Class and 2nd in the St. David’s Lighthouse (amateur) Division. In 1994, CCA Commodore Kaighn Smith’s Swan 38 Gaylark snatched the Lighthouse Trophy out of her grasp, winning by a mere 15-minute margin after 635 rhumb line miles of hard ocean racing.

Sheila McCurdy's family boat Selkie powers upwind at the start of the 2008 Newport Bermuda Races. Selkie will see her 10th Newport Bermuda Race in 2012. McCurdy has been aboard on all the races, 3 as navigator for her father Jim McCurdy, the boat's designer and 6 as both skipper and navigator. In 2008 Selkie finishes 2nd in class and 2nd in the St. David's Lighthouse Division.  (Photo by Talbot Wilson)

Sheila McCurdy's family boat Selkie powers upwind at the start of the 2008 Newport Bermuda Races. Selkie will see her 10th Newport Bermuda Race in 2012. McCurdy has been aboard on all the races, 3 as navigator for her father Jim McCurdy, the boat's designer and 6 as both skipper and navigator. In 2008 Selkie finishes 2nd in class and 2nd in the St. David's Lighthouse Division. (Photo by Talbot Wilson)

After 15 races, with two as bridesmaids, Sheila has high hopes for 2012 and her 10th race on Selkie— “I keep doing the Newport Bermuda Race because I love the rhythm of sailing at sea for days.” Sheila said in a recent interview. “I love the fun of being with friends and family, pushing hard to get top performance from the boat.”

A true seafarer, Sheila added, “I love the complexity of developing a strategy and tactics based on the boat, the crew, the weather, the Gulf Stream and the boats in our class. I love seeing old and new friends in Newport and Bermuda. I love the elegance of the prize giving ceremony at Government House and the bugler at the ‘Sunset and Colours’ routine. I love the relaxed sail home and introducing the ocean to coastal sailors.”

When asked what was special to her about this particular ocean race, one that has been such an important part of her life, she replied, “The Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club have kept Newport Bermuda Race as a race designed mostly for very good amateurs, one that is organized by experienced volunteers who have had a connection to the race over the decades. The race has history and tradition at its core.”

“It is a race that generally rewards good all-around sea boats more than the boats specialized for around-the-buoys.” McCurdy added, “It is a family race for me. Between Dad, my brothers Jim and Ian, my husband Dave, and me, we probably have sailed 50 races. Dad was the Race Chairman in 1982 and CCA Commodore from 1986 to 1987. The race is a family habit or maybe you could better describe it as a chronic condition.”

John Rousmaniere at Helm (Photo by Richard Pisano)

John Rousmaniere at Helm (Photo by Richard Pisano)

John Rousmaniere, Newport Bermuda Race Historian and a top offshore sailor in his own right, was a watch captain on Selkie in 2008. He has also sailed with Sheila to the Azores. Rousmaniere has high praise for McCurdy, “She was the person in charge, no doubt about it, and quiet about it. She’s exceptionally well prepared and knowledgeable, a talented racing sailor with a very good feel for a boat, a terrific leader, and also extremely experienced with well over 100,000 miles behind her. I’d sail anywhere with her on a moment’s notice.”

With those 100,000 miles of salt water in her wake, McCurdy is highly experienced and knowledgeable. She is one of five authorized moderators for US SAILING certified safety at sea seminars. She served on the panel for US SAILING’s inquiry into a fatal accident in the 2011 Chicago Yacht Club’s race to Mackinac Island on Lake Michigan.

At the March 17-18 Cruising Club of America Safety at Sea Seminar in Newport RI on March 17-18, Sheila will make the presentation on the crucial topic of damage control. This seminar has an imaginative new curriculum option, a new schedule, and a new seminar attendance rule, plus special hotel room rates for attendees. For more information go to www.BermudaRace.com.

The 2012 Newport Bermuda Race starts Friday afternoon June 15th just off of Castle Hill in Newport RI. Applications for Entry into this invitational adventure are being taken under <Entry Process> on the race website at http://www.bermudarace.com. The classic 635-mile race offers racing in five divisions— The St. David’s Lighthouse (amateur) Division, The Cruiser (amateur) Division, the Double Handed Division, the Gibbs Hill (professional) Division and the Open (professional) division. There is great competition for all levels of commitment and experience.

About 40 of the two Lighthouse Division entries are expected to sail the Onion Patch series, a tough triathlon of offshore racing. Boats compete in the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta in Newport, then race to Bermuda, and finally sail in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta. Information is online at www.onionpatchseries.com.

 

The race website— www.BermudaRace.com— carries Newport Bermuda Race rules, news, videos, photos, race history, and expert advice on inspections, the Gulf Stream, and preparing for the classic 635-mile race across the Gulf Stream to St. David’s Light. Race news is also posted on the Newport Bermuda Race 2012 Facebook page and on Twitter at @BdaRace.

Newport Bermuda prizegiving at Government House in Bermuda. His Excellency the Governor of Bermuda Sir Richard Gozney and special presenters awarded 113 trophies and prized to the top performers in the 183-boat fleet sailing in the 2010 Newport Bermuda Race and the Onion Patch Series. (Photo by Talbot Wilson)

Newport Bermuda prizegiving at Government House in Bermuda. His Excellency the Governor of Bermuda Sir Richard Gozney and special presenters awarded 113 trophies and prized to the top performers in the 183-boat fleet sailing in the 2010 Newport Bermuda Race and the Onion Patch Series. (Photo by Talbot Wilson)

INVESTEC LOYAL (Photo by Daniel Forster)

INVESTEC LOYAL (Photo by Daniel Forster)

The serious countdown to the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has officially begun, with the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge taking place on Sydney Harbour today.
The SOLAS Big Boat Challenge is traditionally one of the busier days on the Harbour for spectator vessels. This year the 15 or so entrants, ranging in size from 100 foot super maxis to 50 foot grand prix racers can expect less traffic around them, but a ton of on board action.
“It’ll be an exciting race,” said Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards yesterday as he and Wild Oats XI’s race crew were preparing to don wet weather gear and complete a practice run around the 14 nautical mile SOLAS Big Boat Challenge track, which today takes them two and a half times around Sydney Harbour to the finish off the Opera House.
For the sailing novices on Anthony Bell’s 100 foot INVESTEC LOYAL, today’s challenge will provide some insight into what might be around the corner come Boxing Day. Olympic wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley, Roosters five-eighth Anthony Minichiello and Channel 9’s Karl Stefanovic will taste plenty of salt water and better understand the rigours of ocean racing when they join rugby legends and past participants, Phil Waugh and Phil Kearns, and the rest of the professional race crew for today’s SOLAS Big Boat Challenge. Former racing great and record breaking winner Neville Crichton will also join Anthony Bell’s loyal for SOLAS big boat race.
Peter Millard, co-owner of the 98 foot Lahana arrived back on a flight from the US yesterday and when told of today’s forecast, said, “Then we definitely need to go out training today.”
Two of Lahana’s 21-strong crew have flown in from Europe and a handful more have arrived from interstate to take part in the annual Harbour spectacle, with the largest yachts in town preparing for the 12.30pm start off Steele Point, Vaucluse.
“It’ll be good to have testing conditions today, but we won’t be taking any risks that might put a speed bump in our Rolex Sydney Hobart preparations,” said Millard. “We want to see a lot of pressure today and for the great race. We’re hoping for a southerly all the way to Hobart.”
Making her Australian debut in the race will be Victorian Rob Hanna’s recent acquisition, theTP52 Shogun. Hanna purchased the near-new former Audi Azzurra from Europe, where it has been successfully competing on the MedCup circuit. Hanna’s main intention is to beat the other Australian ownedTP52’s at major events, including Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan, which is also contesting the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge.

 

List of Entries

10000 BRINDABELLA Jim Cooney Jutson 80 1.4100
ESP6100 DUENDE Damien Parkes IMS 52 1.2900
5980 FUTURE SHOCK Craig Ellis Elliott 57 1.3500
601 GINGER Leslie Green Swan 60 1.3769
AUS521 HOOLIGAN Marcus Blackmore TP52 1.382
SYD100 INVESTEC LOYAL Anthony Bell Elliott 100 1.911
10081 LAHANA Millard/ Honan Bakewell White 30m 1.683
AUS60000 LOKI Stephen Ainsworth Reichel Pugh 63 1.517
SM11 SCARLET RUNNER Robert Date RP 52 1.363
AUS280 SHOGUN V Robert Hanna TP52 1.383
NOR2 SOUTHERN EXCELLENCE Andrew Wenham Volvo 60 1.3200
AUS21 SPIRIT Graeme Wilson IACC 1.3658
SM24 TERRA FIRMA Nicholas Bartels Cookson 50 1.327
10001 WILD OATS XI Robert Oatley Reichel Pugh 100 1.954
M10 WILD THING Grant Wharington Jones 98 Maxi 1.805

To view the course maps go to http://www.cyca.com.au/editorial.asp?key=760

By Lisa Ratcliff/CYCA media

torben-grael-with-prize
3-teams-podium

First Place Ericsson 4 , Second Place PUMA Ocean Racing , And Third Place Telefonica Blue On The Podium (Photo by Rick Tomlinson /Volvo Ocean Race)

On Sunday night in St. Petersburg, the final prizegiving was an opportunity to remember and celebrate all that has happened on this magnificent adventure.

It was an emotional evening, with all of the teams, their families and friends finally able to truly relax after living in the pressure-cooker of the past nine months. It was also time to say goodbye, with most of the teams disbanding as early as Monday, airplane tickets taking them to all corners of the globe already in hand, booked months in advance.

The most poignant moment came with the inaugaral awarding of the Hans Horrevoets Rookie Trophy, which was created in memory of Hans, who was lost at sea during the last edition of the race. The Dutchman was washed over the side of ABN AMRO TWO on the transatlantic leg. He had played a key role in ABN AMRO’s unique and ambitious project to help young talent break into the top level of offshore sailing.

His wife, Petra, was on hand to present the award and her emotional speech saw even the most hardened of sailors wiping tears from their eyes.

The award was created to recognise a rookie sailor who was younger than 30 when the event commenced. Each skipper was asked to nominate a who has shown a significant drive to make an improvement to their own skills and to the skills of the team and who has shown a significant contribution in strengthening the team onboard. The Race Committee made a selection from those nominated.

Images by Rick Tomlinson and Dave Kneale / Volvo Ocean Race

(click on image to enlarge)

The winner of the inaugural Hans Horrevoets Rookie Trophy is Michi Mueller from PUMA Ocean Racing, whom skipper Ken Read said had grown from a raw, untested rookie, into a linch-pin of the team.

It was a good night for PUMA as the Inmarsat Media Prize went to Rick Deppe, who was recognised for his outstanding work across the entire race. Deppe won the prize for leg 10 (his fourth win), as well as the overall prize (which included a cheque for 10,000 euros), and he was quick to pay tribute to his colleagues, asking all of the media crew members to join him on stage.

Presenting the prize, Perry Melton, COO, Inmarsat said: “The Volvo Ocean Race selected Fleet Broadband before its launch. They have described its global performance as flawless. We are delighted that the innovation of media crew members was paired with our newest service to deliver media coverage from the harshest of maritime conditions.”

The advent of the media crew members has allowed the race to secure HD footage that has never been recorded in past races, when regular crew were asked to to double duty as media men as well. In this race, the media crew members have not been allowed to participate in the sailing of the boat. As a result, they are more like ’embedded reporters’, bringing the true story of their teams to life.

Deppe wasn’t the only media crew recognised on the night. Green Dragon’s Guo Chaun was presented with a new market media award in recognition of the media interest generated across China.

The Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Seamanship Award was given to the PUMA Ocean Racing shore crew (Neil Cox, Sean Healey, Will Oxley and Kimo Worthington) for rending assistance to Telefonica Blue, after they ran aground at the start of Leg 9 in Marstrand.

And finally, to the sailing teams themselves. All eight teams were recognised for their achievements while Ericsson 4, the winner of the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race, was presented with the ‘Fighting Finish’ trophy by Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, patron of the Volvo Ocean Race; a just reward for a team that has dominated the competition, securing the overall title in Stockholm, with one in-port race, and one offshore leg to spare.

In closing the ceremonies, Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad paid tribute to his team in addition to all of the sailing teams and was already looking forward to the start of the next race, in 2011 in Alicante, Spain.

Following the formalities, the celebrations started in full force and continued long into the night and indeed well into the morning. With no more racing scheduled, there was no reason to stop the party. Until next time, this is, the end of the road.

Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 Prizes

 

 

Best 24-hour run – Ericsson 4, 596.6 nautical miles

Hans Horrevoets Rookie Trophy – Michi Mueller, PUMA Ocean Racing

Inmarsat Media Prize – Rick Deppe, PUMA Ocean Racing

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Seamanship Award – PUMA Ocean Racing shore crew

Volvo Ocean Race, 3rd place – Telefonica Blue

Volvo Ocean Race, 2nd place – PUMA Ocean Racing

Volvo Ocean Race, 1st place – Ericsson 4

Ericsson 4 Finishing In St Petersburg (Photo by Dave Kneale / Volvo Ocean Race)

Ericsson 4 Finishing In St Petersburg (Photo by Dave Kneale / Volvo Ocean Race)

It was an historic moment tonight in St Petersburg, Russia, when as the
White Night turned to dawn the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, led by Telefónica
Black in a thrilling climax,  crossed the tenth and final finish line of
this nine-month, 37,000 nm race around the world.

Spanish skipper, Fernando Echávarri said, ³It¹s a prize for all the crew and
all the shore crew. We have been trying to do it in all the legs but
couldn¹t; this was our last chance. We had a nice battle with PUMA in the
last 100 miles. We are really happy.

“It has been really difficult. We prepared the boat for light conditions and
the first 150 miles we had more wind than expected so we suffered a lot.
Then it got lighter and we got faster. We have been fighting with PUMA,
Telefónica Blue and Ericsson 3 for the last 250 miles. It has been really
close. It has been like a match race. I don¹t know how many tacks we have
done! It is a great way to finish the Volvo Ocean Race. I am really proud of
everyone in the group. They have done an excellent job.”

Victory for Telefónica Black was hard-fought and a match race developed with
PUMA, who had led the fleet for the majority of this 400-mile sprint from
Stockholm.  At just after midnight GMT and while on the additional triangle
added to lengthen the course, Telefónica Black gained a small advantage,
which translated into a two and a half boat length win, denying PUMA a
second leg win in a row.  However, with a total of 105.5 points, PUMA takes
second place overall. 

PUMA skipper Kenny Read said: “Congratulations to all those guys, they have
worked very hard for their first leg win. We will take our second and our
second overall. You know what? We just sailed around the world. I guess I
said a thousand times that we know no other way but to make it hard for
ourselves.  It¹s a shame, because we usually win these close battles and
today we didn¹t.

“The big picture is we finished this race, everyone is safe and the boat has
been spectacular. We flew the flag well for Volvo and I think we flew the
flag well for PUMA. We have everything to be proud of. Relief is the right
word. Right now, it is relief and, as always, we are a pretty tired group
onboard. Let the celebrations begin because all the group deserves it.”

Images by Dave Kneale  and Rick Tomlinson / Volvo Ocean Race

(click on image to enlarge )

 

Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED) filled the third spot both on leg 10 and
overall, to close the team¹s account on 98 points.

Bekking said on finishing: “We’re tired and hungry! It has been full on.
Lots of tacking. It was a beautiful leg in that it was sunny. But we have
been a bit unlucky. That¹s how it goes. But well done to the Telefónica
Black boys, they deserved to win. They had a superb leg. Good for them. We
were all very close. It is a very nice feeling to have finished and got all
the boys home safely. We had a podium finish which is nice as well.”

Fourth place finishers tonight and fourth overall with 78.5 points was
Ericsson 3 and Swedish skipper, Magnus Olsson was exhausted.   “I feel so
tired I cannot say anything! Everybody is happy because they have sailed
around the world, but they are also very tired. After a day or two we can
say more intelligent things. You always want to do well in every leg, but
this was special because it was the short one and the last one. We were up
there so we are happy, but we couldn¹t keep up until the finish. They beat
us fair and square.”

Runaway overall leaders, with a final tally of 114.5 points and nine points
clear of PUMA, Torben Grael and his 10 crew of Ericsson 4 finished this leg
in fifth place.  In an interview with Guy Swindells, skipper Torben Grael,
who raced every offshore leg with the same crew, was reflective in his
comments as overall victory in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 finally became a
reality.

“I think it is a mixed feeling because we know this is the end of the story
for the project. It¹s a funny feeling because some of these guys you have
never met before and you become like brothers. Now we go our own ways and
it¹s a strange feeling.

“On the other hand it has been a long race. It was a very long race around
the world. We are completely drained and tired so I think everyone is
looking forward to a nice rest. We have had a wonderful time. We enjoyed our
training time in Lanzarote and the race as well. We have had our ups and
downs, but it has been fun. After we won, it was a bit of a relaxing leg. It
has been so intense and so consuming so I think it is normal that after you
achieve your goals you relax. I am very glad for Telefónica Black and
Fernando and his guys for winning this last leg.”

Green Dragon kept her slender lead over Delta Lloyd to finish the leg in
sixth place, and fifth overall with 67 points.

To conclude the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09, Delta Lloyd, the only generation
one Volvo Open 70 to compete in the race, finished shortly after Green
Dragon to finish the race on a total of 41.5 points. 

Skipper Roberto Bermúdez said: ³We made a good job and everyone enjoyed
their time. Everyone is happy and that is the most important thing. It
started well but then there was some fighting with the Dragons. They did a
fantastic job with the manoeuvres and I say congratulations to them for
that. It has been fun.²

Ian Walker, skipper of Green Dragon, should have the last word:

 ³It is a privilege to sail in this fantastic race and I am very proud to
have had the chance.  I am proud of every member of our team, and I am proud
of what we have achieved together.  We promised to give it everything and to
never, ever give up and that is exactly what we have done.  We haven¹t won
this race, but we have won many battles and achieved more than many dreamed
possible.  It has been a very special year.²

The full story of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 is chronicled in Mark
Chisnell¹s book, Spanish Castle to White Night, published in October.  Order
your copy now: http://www.volvooceanrace.org/multimedia/book/  

Overall Leaderboard (provisional)
1. Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/BRA): 114.5 points
2. PUMA (Ken Read/USA):  105.5 points
3. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED): 98.0 points
4. Ericsson 3 (Magnus Olsson/SWE): 78.5 points
5. Green Dragon (Ian Walker/GBR): 67.0 points
6. Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri/ESP): 58.0
7. Delta Lloyd (Roberto Bermudez/ESP): 41.5 points
8. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT): 10.5 points

Leg Ten Finishing Order St Petersburg
1. Telefónica Black
2. PUMA
3. Telefónica Blue
4. Ericsson 3
5. Ericsson 4
6. Green Dragon
7. Delta Lloyd