Hamilton, Bermuda, June 21, 2012 – ‘Lilla’, the big red Briand 76 (IRL7600) owned by Simon and Nancy De Pietro of Cork, Ireland and Mattapoisett MA, sailed a fast straight-forward Newport Bermuda Race and won Class 13 in the Cruiser Division. ‘Lilla’ also took first place in the whole Cruiser Division and will be presented with the Carleton Mitchell Finesterre Trophy for first place.
‘Lilla’ led classmate ‘True’, a J-160 owned by Howard Hodgson of Ipswich MA by 1 hr 17 min on corrected time for the win in class and division. ‘True’ was second in both Class 13 and the division. Third place in the Cruiser division went to ‘Odyssey’ a Swan 55 sailed by Glenn Dexter from Halifax NS.
And there is Icing on the cake for ‘Lilla’. In 2011 she raced in the Marion to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race and set the 645-mile course record from Marion MA to Bermuda at 68:58:45. That performance last year and her top finish in the Newport Bermuda Race earn her the Bermuda Ocean Cruising Yacht Trophy presented by SAIL Magazine. This special combined competition trophy goes to the captain who has the best performance in consecutive Newport Bermuda and Marion Bermuda races. ‘Lilla’ sailed from Newport this time— a 10-mile shorter course in 63:17:13, some 5 hours and 41 minutes faster.
“The only problem we had,” said navigator Nancy De Pietro, “was getting water to the forward head and shower. The water tank we were using was aft, on the port side [That was the high side on the long port tack all the way down from Newport] and the pump had trouble because it was sucking air up there.”
“The one great thing about sailing on this type of boat is that we get to shower after coming off of every watch,” said Simon De Pietro with a smile.
Not having water for showers would have been a crisis for this cruiser crew… all good friends and family. It was an international crew with sailors from Ireland, the Dutch West Indies, England, Canada, South Africa and the USA. ‘Lilla’ has a comfortable 3-cabin layout and is used for charter as well as offshore racing.
In addition to doing the Bermuda Races, she has also done the Caribbean 600. She is an aluminum yacht with just 8.5-foot draft. She does not go to weather well but on a reach her waterline works and she is good and fast. The De Pietros thought of entering the St. David’s Lighthouse Division but needed to be able to use the power winches.
‘True’ a 53 foot J-160— also in Class 13— finished an hour behind ‘Lilla’ Her navigator Richard Casner of Dedham MA said, “The conditions were perfect for ‘True’ we had entered as a non-spinnaker boat and we think that paid off. We were right next to the Swan 60 ‘Lady B’ when she set a chute and we were able to walk away from her. The double headsail rig we used was just right for this boat in this race.”
The Newport Bermuda Race had 6 divisions and 17 classes. The Cruiser division had 30 entries. More than 100 prizes will be awarded Saturday evening on the lawn of Bermuda’s Government House. His Excellency Mr. George Fergusson the Governor of Bermuda will present the prizes along with Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Commodore John Brewin and the Cruising Club of America Commodore Dan Dyer.
Going into Monday evening, LLwyd Ecclestone’s ‘Kodiak’ crew was hopeful of winning the St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy, the most coveted of the three main Newport Bermuda Trophies awarded to the corrected time winner of the large amateur division. Then came ‘Carina’ to steal the show.
It looks as though, Based on provisional results, Rives Potts’ McCurdy and Rhodes 48-foot ‘Carina’ (Westbrook CT) won Class 3 and the silver scale model St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy for first in the Division and probably more loot to boot. ‘Carina’ with Potts at the helm won the same first place trophy in the 2010 race and in 1970 ‘Carina’ won it under Richard Nye. This ties ‘Carina’ with ‘Finisterre’ as the boat with the most lighthouses on her trophy rack. ‘Finisterre’ won three in a row under Carleton Mitchel 1956, 1958 and 1960.
‘Carina’ finished at 6:16PM in Bermuda and had a corrected time of 45:08:16. The US Naval Academy’s new Navy 44 ‘Defiance’ was second in Class 3 behind ‘Carina’ and also second in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division. Her corrected time was 45:42:50. The US Naval Academy’s older Navy 44 Class 2 boat, ‘Swift’, was first in her class and third overall for the division with a corrected time of 46:09:04. It was a pretty tight race with just 26 corrected minutes between these top two boats in the division after a 635-mile sleigh-ride.
For Potts and crew, this is his second St. David’s Lighthouse win in a row. “We had a fantastic race,” Potts said. “ Pretty straight forward. We powered through the stream and then played two big shifts down the rhumbline further south. We gybed twice and then tacked twice for the finish when the wind got lighter and went forward. We finished under a light #1 headsail.” These gybes and tacks were more than most of the other boats in the race made and probably helped ‘Carina’ win overall.
“The boat just got back from a circumnavigation and racing in the world’s top races three weeks ago. My son and nephew did a great job of getting ‘Carina’ ready for Bermuda. In a race like this, preparation is one key to winning. Crew work is another and we had a family based crew working together.” Potts added.
The crew of ‘Carina’ is made up of four fathers and five sons. One of the fathers, Bud Sutherland, is Rives Potts’ brother-in-law and his son Rives Sutherland is the Captain of ‘Carina’ who took her on her global trek.
Change happened overnight in the Double-Handed Division, too. Perennial double-handed winner Hewitt Gaynor (Fairfield CT) slipped his J120 Mireille into first in Class 15 and first in the division. Joe Harris (South Hamilton MA) who sailed such a fast race in his Class 40 ‘Gryphon Solo2’ was alone on the leader board Monday. Harris had an elapsed time of 60:20:26 while Gaynor’s was 74:12:34. On corrected time, ‘Mireille’ beat ‘Gryphon Solo2’ by roughly 4 hours.
The provisional Gibbs Hill Division winner is ‘Shockwave’ a Reichel/Pugh 72 skippered by George Sakellaris of Farmington MA. Sakellaris will win the silver replica of the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, a top prize along with the St. David’s Light. ‘Shockwave’ took double silver snatching the North Rock Beacon Trophy, the third important prize for the IRC corrected time winner, which is a silver replica of the 1960-1990 North Rock Light Tower that once warned mariners of the rocky approach to Bermuda from the North.
‘Med Spirit’ sailed by Michael D’Amelio (Boston, MA) in the Open Division is the other winner that seems clear under the provisional results for the Royal Mail trophy. Six boats started in this division that featured boats from 40 feet to 100 feet in length. Their common denominator was moveable ballast, either canting keels or water ballast. The 3 Class 40 boats all had water ballast and were fully crewed so they did not qualify to sail against the 3 Class 40’s that went double-handed in Class 15.
The Wally 100 ‘Indio’ under Mark Fliegner (Monaco) came second. ‘Donnybrook’, in her maiden race skippered by Jim Muldoon (Washington DC) had to retire with damage to her daggerboard and daggerboard trunk. Under corrected time only about 5 hours separated the winning 100-footer and the bottom Class 40.
‘Spirit of Bermuda’, the Bermuda Sloop Foundation sail-training vessel, was the sole entry in the new Spirit of Tradition Division. She finished Monday night at 11:20 ADT.
By John Rousmaniere
As of 1800 Sunday, six boats have finished the race, each of them breaking an elapsed time course record. In finishing order, they are Rambler (Class 10), Bella Mente (Class 10), Shockwave (Class 10), Team Tiburon (Class 10), Med Spirit (Class 16), and Kodiak (Class 8). Shockwave and Kodiak are the current corrected time leaders in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division and St. David’s Lighthouse Division, respectively. Med Spirit is the current corrected time leader in the Open Division.
First to finish Rambler, a 90-foot Reichel/Pugh sloop owned by George David (Hartford, Conn.), broke the course record decisively, averaging 16.06 knots down the 635-mle course in a time of 39 hours, 39 minutes, 18 seconds. She clipped 9 hours off the previous course record set in 2004 by Morning Glory, which averaged 13.06 knots for Open Division boats and 14 hours from the ‘Official’ Record. Med Spirit set the new Open Division record of 45 hours, 26 minutes, 28 minutes… three hours faster than the previous record.
Sailors had vivid descriptions of high-speed, extremely rough conditions on the long, fast reach that prevailed from start to finish. Scott King, Team Tiburon, reported that after starting under a spinnaker, once the boat cleared the Narragansett Bay entrance buoys the crew set a double-headsail rig with a topsail over a jib. They then took in and shook out reefs in the mainsail as the conditions warranted, with one or two sailors always working the mainsheet.
Team Tiburon sailed Wizard a 74-foot sloop designed by Reichel/Pugh and chartered by Mark E. Watson III, a Bermuda business CEO. They covered 385 miles in her first 24 hours in the race, averaging almost 17 knots. “She felt slow when the speed dropped to 11,” King said. “I’ve been in boats where 11 knots was not even part of the plan.”
King said the water was always rough, with some waves 8 feet or higher and water constantly on deck, pushing sailors around. The Gulf Stream crossing was not as rough as he expected, he said, but it was spectacularly beautiful.
“Just before we entered the Stream we saw a long streak of phosphorescence in the water, as though a full moon was out and shining right down on it.” The phosphorescence disappeared when the boat charged into the main body of the Gulf Stream, but reappeared. “Dolphins were torpedoing through all this, right in front of us,” King said.
As they neared Bermuda on Sunday morning, Team Tiburon sailed into a series of rain-squalls with stronger winds that pushed the boat to over 20 knots as she crossed the finish line off St. David’s Head.
Dateline: 07:09:18 ADT Bermuda: George David’s 90ft maxi Rambler has smashed the 635 mile Newport Bermuda race record, clipping a massive 14 hours off the previous best time set 10 years ago by Roy Disney’s Pyewacket. The new record now stands at 39hr, 39 minutes, 18 seconds (subject to ratification) – an average speed of 16knots.
A delighted George David said. “These were perfect conditions. The most exciting moment was when we hit 26 knots. I’m so pleased with our performance. We have reduced the record by 25% – Not bad for a boat that is now 10 years old. This Rambler is the best boat I have ever owned!”
Rambler not only slashed the race record, her crew also spanked their rivals, with Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente crossing the lighthouse line 1 hour 43 minutes behind, followed 3 minutes later by Shockwave skippered by George Sakellaris.
On corrected time however, Shockwave beat Rambler by 33 minutes, followed by Belle Mente in 3rd and Team Tiburon 4th. Two yachts in class 10 are still racing.
There are 166 entries competing in the race, including four Bermuda boats.American entry, Ragana, withdrew from the race at the weekend after experiencing mechanical breakdown en route to Newport.Mr Osmond, a veteran of 15 Newport Bermuda Races, said preparations for this year’s race have so far gone as planned.
“Everything is going along quite smoothly fortunately for the committee which consists of 46 people who have been working for two years on this event,” he said. “All the pieces have come together and everybody has been working very hard.”
Bermuda Race vice-chairman and past RBYC Commodore Les Crane added: “I think registration is going very smoothly and John Osmond who is the race chairman has done a fabulous job putting all this together.“We’re registering the boats ensuring all the paperwork is complete and that everyone is in compliance with the rules that allow them to race.“The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club work closely with the Cruising Club of America who are partners in this race and we’re up here to ensure everyone understand what to expect when they get to Bermuda.”There are a number of social events that will take place in the final lead up to the start of the race, not the least of which is the ever popular Gosling’s Rum Newport Shipyard Crew Party.“We will have a great Bermudian party sponsored by Gosling’s at Newport Shipyard on Wednesday night,” Mr Crane said. “There will be Dark & Stormies and music and it will be a lot of fun.”The 2012 Newport Bermuda Race commences June 15 and concludes several days later in St David’s. The RBYC Anniversary Regatta presented by Butterfield Group will be sailed in the Great Sound on Friday, June 22nd.
Entry List for Newport to Bermuda 2012
|ANGEL||Ctm 84||CD||Edward T. Anderson|
|ATTITUDE||Beneteau 423||CD||Shawn Dahlen|
|BLUE||C&C 51xl||CD||Daniel Epstein|
|CALUSA||Sabre 386||CD||Peter H. Holmes|
|CAPELLA||Sabre 452||CD||David Millet|
|CETACEA||Hinckley SW 59||CD||Christopher J. Culver|
|CHASSEUR||Little Harbor 54||CD||Gregory G. Smith|
|CHECKMATE||Alden 44||CD||Frank J. Flores, Jr.|
|CONTINGENCY||Oyster 53||CD||Christopher C. Darby|
|CRACKERJACK||Cambria 40||CD||Alan H. Krulisch|
|DEFIANCE||Swan 56||CD||Peter B. Noonan|
|FEO||Joshua Ketch||CD||Eric P. Best|
|GLORY||Tartan 4700||CD||William Slattery|
|GRACE||First 40.7||CD||Jack Ives|
|HAERLEM||Swan 55||CD||Hendrikus PLM Wisker|
|INISHARON||F&C 44||CD||James D’A. Murphy|
|ISOLA||Baltic 52||CD||Howard Eisenberg|
|KANGAROO IV||Sabre 425||CD||Harvey E. Cohen|
|LADY B||Swan 60||CD||John P. Madden Jr.|
|LIBERTY CALL||Hallberg Rassy 43||CD||Matthew G, Pilon|
|LILLA||CNB Briand76||CD||Simon De Pietro|
|MOONDANCE||Swan 56||CD||Michael V, Johnson|
|OCEAN WANDERER 1||Montevideo 43||CD||Erwin Wanderer|
|ODYSSEY||Swan 55/57||CD||Glen V Dexter|
|PILGRIM||Alden 44||CD||Mark Rice|
|POESKE||Beneteau First42||CD||Richard Donn|
|SHINDIG||Pea39||CD||Kevin G, Flannery|
|SKY||Swan 53||CD||Barrett Raymond|
|TRUE||J/160||CD||Howard B. Hodgson, Jr.|
|WISCHBONE||Oyster 53||CD||Jeffrey S. Wisch|
|ALIBI||J120||DH||Gardner L. Grant, Jr.|
|AMHAS||Class 40||DH||MacKenzie Davis|
|AVATAR||Ranger 37||DH||John Kedzierski|
|CHOUCAS||Sunfast 36||DH||Frederic Cosandey|
|DRAGON||Class 40||DH||Michael Hennessy|
|GRYPHONSOLO2||Akilaria RC2||DH||Joseph S. Harris|
|KIVA||Hinckley SW 51CB||DH||Mark Stevens|
|MIREILLE||J120||DH||E. Hewitt Gaynor|
|NEXT BOAT||Morris 45||DH||Mark Ellman|
|OAKCLIFF RACING||Ker 11.3||DH||Jeffrey A. MacFarlane|
|PENGUIN||Pearson 35||DH||Steven H. Dane|
|RESOLUTE||J122||DH||D. Scott Miller|
|RUSE||Swan 44mkII||DH||William Marsh|
|SAILOR BANDIDO||Quest 33||DH||Christopher A. Palabrica|
|SEABISCUIT||J46||DH||Nathan C, Owen|
|VALOUR||Peterson 37||DH||Ernie Messer|
|WHISPER||Hinckley 48||DH||Thomas J. Vander Salm|
|AVRA||Ctm 40||GHL||George Petrides|
|BELLA MENTE||72′ Mini Maxi||GHL||Hap Fauth|
|CLEM||Swan 56||GHL||Jaime Olazabal|
|DEFIANCE||Marten 49||GHL||Hamnett P. Hill|
|DRAGONFLY||J/130||GHL||Colin A. McGranahan|
|MEANIE||R/P 52||GHL||Thomas Akin|
|PANDORA||C&C 115||GHL||Peter J. Bromley|
|PTARMIGAN||Ker 43||GHL||Lawrence F, Dickie|
|RAMBLER||Ctm 90||GHL||George David|
|RIMA2||RP 55||GHL||John G. Brim|
|SHOCKWAVE||Mini Maxi||GHL||George Sakellaris|
|SNOW LION||Ker 50||GHL||Lawrence S, Huntington|
|STARK RAVING MAD||Swan 601||GHL||James C. Madden|
|TEAM TIBURON||R/P 74||GHL||Mark E. Watson III (USMMA)|
|TEMPTATION-OAKCLIFF||Ker 50||GHL||Oakcliff Sailing Santry Arthur|
|UXORIOUS IV||Swan 62||GHL||Colin J. Buffin|
|DONNYBROOK||Andrews 80||Open||James P. Muldoon|
|ICARUS||Class 40||Open||Amanda Mochrie|
|INDIO||Wally 100||Open||Mark Fliegner|
|MED SPIRIT||Welbourn 92||Open||Michael DAmelio|
|TOOTHFACE||Akilaria Class40||Open||Mike Dreese|
|TRANSPORT COHÉRENCE||Class40||Open||Benoit Jouandet|
|ACTAEA||Hinckley B40||SDL||Michael M, Cone|
|AIRBORNE IV||Beneteau 50||SDL||William B. Greenwood III|
|AKELA III||Swan 43||SDL||Djoerd Hoekstra|
|AURELIUS||Bestevaer 76||SDL||Daniel van Starrenburg|
|AURORA||Tartan 41||SDL||Andrew F. Kallfelz|
|AVENIR||C&C 41||SDL||Joseph Murray|
|BACCI||Swan 53||SDL||Lorenzo Vascotto|
|BANDANA||Swan 47||SDL||Charles F. Benson|
|BARLEYCORN||NYYC Swan 42||SDL||Brendan J Brownyard|
|BARRA||Morris 486||SDL||Bruce M. MacNeil|
|BEAGLE||J/44||SDL||Philip H. Gutin|
|BELLE AURORE||Cal 40||SDL||Doug Jurrius|
|BLACK WATCH||Ctm 68 Yawl||SDL||Joseph C. Robillard|
|BOMBARDINO||Santa Cruz 52||SDL||James and Macrae Sykes|
|BRETWALDA 3||Rogers 46||SDL||Bob Pethick|
|BRIGAND||Ctm 50||SDL||Sean D. Saslo|
|CANNONBALL||Swan 68||SDL||Charles A. Robertson|
|CARINA||Ctm 48||SDL||A. Rives Potts, Jr.|
|CHARLIE V||J/44||SDL||Norman H. Schulman, MD|
|CHRISTOPHER DRAGON||J/122||SDL||Andrew Weiss|
|CONVICTUS MAXIMUS||Farr IRC 42||SDL||Donald W. Nicholson|
|CRAZY HORSE||Frers Comp 45||SDL||Patrick T. Walker|
|CYGNETTE||Swan 441||SDL||William J. Mayer|
|DAWN STAR||Baltic 46||SDL||William N. Hubbard III|
|DECISION||Carkeek HP 40||SDL||Stephen Murray|
|DEFIANCE||NAVY 44||SDL||Bryan Weisberg|
|DOGSLED||Kaufman 47||SDL||Todd Forrest Barnard|
|DORADE||S&S Custom||SDL||James A. Hilton|
|DREAMCATCHER||Swan 48 S&S||SDL||Stephen Kylander|
|FEARLESS||Farr 395||SDL||Shaun J. Ensor|
|FINESSE||J42||SDL||Newton P.S. Merrill|
|FLYING LADY||Swan 46||SDL||Phillip S. Dickey MD|
|GLIDE||J42||SDL||C.Tanner Rose, Jr|
|GOLD DIGGER||J/44||SDL||James D. Bishop|
|GRACIE||McCurdy & Rhodes||SDL||Stephan A & Simon W Frank|
|GREAT SCOT||J35||SDL||Darren Garnier|
|GREY GHOST||Zaal 38||SDL||Philip P. Parish|
|GRUNDOON||Columbia 50||SDL||James A. Grundy|
|HAKUNA MATATA||Cal 39 TM 1-147||SDL||Christopher J. Andrews|
|HIRO MARU||Swan 43 Classic||SDL||Hiroshi Nakajima|
|HOT TICKET||King 40||SDL||James E. Hightower|
|ILLUSION||Grand Soleil 45||SDL||Ralph F. Racca|
|ISLA||New York 32||SDL||Henry S. May, Jr.|
|JACQUELINE IV||Hinckley SW 42||SDL||Robert Forman|
|KODIAK||Ctm 65||SDL||Edwin Llwyd Ecclestone|
|LAPIN||Beneteau First 4||SDL||Christopher J. Clark|
|LINDY||Peterson 38||SDL||David G. Dickerson|
|LIR||Swan 45||SDL||John A. McNamara|
|LORA ANN||Express 37||SDL||Richard T. du Moulin|
|MAGIC||Santa Cruz 52||SDL||Kenneth Laudon|
|MATADOR||J133||SDL||Dale E. McIvor|
|MISCHIEVOUS||Ctm 65||SDL||Albert J. Fitzgibbons III|
|MISTY||J40 WK||SDL||Fred Allardyce|
|MOLTO BENE||Beneteau First 4||SDL||Richard Ewing|
|MOONSHINE||Tartan 4100||SDL||Dennis J. Ziemba|
|MORGAN OF MARIETTA||Centurion 42||SDL||Colin G. Golder|
|MORPHEUS||Schumacher 50||SDL||James D. Gregory|
|MUSICA||Aerodyne 38||SDL||Cliff T. Haddox|
|NASTY MEDICINE||Corby 41.5||SDL||Dr Stephen J. Sherwin|
|NICOLE||Cal 40||SDL||Thomas C. duPont|
|OLD SCHOOL||Farr 395||SDL||J Ganson Evans|
|PASSION4C||Bill Tripp 56||SDL||Stefan Lehnert|
|PATRIOT||Nautor Swan||SDL||Richard J. Isted|
|QUEST||Cambria 40||SDL||Dennis W. Powers|
|RAGANA||Cape Fear 38R||SDL||Darius Peleda|
|REGATTA||Carter 41||SDL||Constantine G. Koste|
|RELATIVITY||First 50||SDL||Hall Palmer|
|ROCKET J. SQUIRREL||Swan 39||SDL||L, Otorowski|
|ROCKET SCIENCE||J120||SDL||Rick F. Oricchio|
|RUNAWAY||J/44||SDL||Lawrence R. Glenn|
|SELKIE||McCurdy & Rhodes 38||SDL||Sheila McCurdy|
|SHAZAAM||J42||SDL||Roger B. Gatewood|
|SHINNECOCK||J120||SDL||James C. Praley|
|SINN FEIN||Cal 40||SDL||Peter S. Rebovich, Sr.|
|SLIDE RULE||First 44.7||SDL||Scott Bearse|
|STORMY PETREL||Leadership 44||SDL||Jack Neades|
|SWIFT||NAVY 44||SDL||Steve Jaenke|
|TEMPTRESS||IMX-45||SDL||Robert W. Kits Heyningen|
|TRIPLE LINDY||Swan 44 MKll||SDL||Joseph Mele|
|VAMP||J/44||SDL||Leonard J. Sitar|
|WANDRIAN||Taylor 41||SDL||D. William Tucker|
|WAZIMO||Aerodyne 38||SDL||Barrett Holby|
|WHITE RHINO||Swan 56||SDL||Collin J. Marshall|
|WIDOW MAKER||C&C 44||SDL||George Bauer|
|WINDBORN||J120||SDL||Richard W. Born|
|ZEST||Hinckley SW42||SDL||Brian E. Swiggett|
|ZION||Aerodyne 38||SDL||Timothy P. Maney|
|ZOE II||First 40||SDL||Francois Brassard|
|SPIRIT OF BERMUDA||Ctm 86||SPIRIT||Scott Jackson|
The three-day International Rolex Regatta kicked off today with “town races” that took sailors from the east end of St. Thomas, where host St. Thomas Yacht Club is located, to Charlotte Amalie, the island’s capital city. Once there, the fleet of 68 boats, split into six classes, turned around and headed back, but only after sharing some colorful action with tourists on the downtown waterfront and on two cruise ships in port as well as fans perched at different vantage points along the route. Gray clouds mingled with white all day, giving tacticians as much cause to look upward to anticipate wind shifts as they did downward to read the play of the sapphire blue Caribbean Sea beneath them.
“Both of the races today were very different from each other,” said Tony Rey (Newport, R.I.), tactician aboard Peter Cunningham’s (George Town, CAY) PowerPlay, which finished 1-2 today to edge out Willem Wester’s (Breskens, Zeeland, NED) Antilope, which posted a 3-1. “We owe 11 ½ minutes to Antilope in an hour of racing, so it’s not easy to beat them, but we love planing, and 8-10 minutes into the first leg of the first race, a storm cloud came and we were off and running. That’s how we got ahead — it was 16-18 knots for a while, and Peter did a fantastic job of driving.”
Rey explained that in the second race the wind laid down. It was then that Antilope, the heavier displacement boat, had the advantage. Bill Alcott’s (St. Clair Shores, Mich.) 65-footer Equation took line honors in both races and corrected out to third overall. Equation’s navigator Chris Clark (Detroit) was happy with the outcome, saying that the crew had been sailing together a long time but not on this particular boat, which Alcott only recently bought. “We are gaining confidence,” said Clark, “but the hard thing really is the boat draws 16 ½ feet, which is a lot. Today around one of the islands, we were about 500 feet away from it; even in Charlotte Amalie Harbour we had to be careful — it’s hard to find the sweet spot for us on the course.”
A disappointment to all in this class was the dismasting of Lord Irvine Laidlaw of Rothiemay’s (MON) IRC 52 Highland Fling XII after a port spreader apparently failed. “It happened about five miles into the race after the first turning mark,” said Michael Giles (SA), the boat’s trimmer. “We had made some modifications after racing in Key West, and we were very happy because we knew they were the right changes. We were 100% sure we were winning, so it was unfortunate that it did come down.” With no way to repair the rig before the end of the regatta, the boat is out for the count.
“It’s absolutely a shame for a lot of reasons,” said PowerPlay’s Rey. “We were having a great race with them at the time when we heard a loud bang. She was a benchmark for us, and we were keen to see how we compared.”
CSA racing boats (three classes), one-design IC 24s, and Beach Cats also joined in today’s town races, with the IC 24s adding a third race afterwards.
“We actually had to take our spinnaker down in the first race,” said Latitude 38’s 18-year-old Nikki Barnes, who, with one of her all-girl crewmembers here (Augustina Barbuto, age 16) won a bronze medal for the Virgin Islands at last summer’s ISAF Youth Championships (in international 420s). “There were a lot of boats broaching in our (IC 24) class.” Though currently in 12th, Barnes says her experience in dinghy racing will serve her well over the next two days of racing, when the class will sail up to 14 more races. “We made so many mistakes in the long races; we are well practiced in short-course racing, and we will be so much better at that.” Currently leading the IC 24s is Carlos Sierra’s (Guaynabo, PR) Banana Boat/Fuataka.
Another young team of West Indian high school and sailing students is competing in CSA non-spinnaker class and currently sitting in second overall. They are led by Central High School (St. Croix) teacher Stan Jones aboard Tony Sanpere’s (St. Croix) J/36 Cayennita Grande, which has won this class several times. Jack Desmond’s (Marion, Mass.) Swan 48 Affinity posted a 1-2 today to Cayennita Grande’s 3-1 to take the lead in the seven-boat class.
Jorge Ramos’s Hobie 16 Universal leads the Beach Cats, while Andrea Scarabelli’s (Cole Bay, St. Maarten) Melges 24 Budget Marine/GILL and Jaime Torres’s (San Juan, PR) Beneteau First 40 Smile and Wave are leading CSA 1 and CSA 2, respectively.
Racing continues tomorrow with all classes but the IC 24s racing within viewing distance of St. John’s south shore.
Place, Yacht Name, Type, Owner/Skipper, Hometown, Results, Total Points
IC 24 (One Design – 14 Boats)
1. Banana Boat/Fuataka, IC 24, Carlos R. Sierra , Guaynabo, PR, USA – 3, 1, 5, ; 9
2. Orion, IC 24, Fraito Lugo , Ponce, PR, USA – 1, 4, 4, ; 9
3. Cachondo, IC 24, Marco Teixidor , San Juan, PUR – 5, 2, 2, ; 9
CSA 1 (CSA – 9 Boats)
1. Budget Marine/GILL , Melges 24, Andrea Scarabelli , Cole Bay, St. Maarten, AHO – 1, 1, ; 2
2. Fire Water, Melges 24, Henry Leonnig , Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI – 2, 3, ; 5
3. Magnitude 400, Farr 400, Doug Baker , Long Beach, CA, USA – 5, 2, ; 7
CSA 2 (CSA – 13 Boats)
1. Smile and Wave, Beneteau First 40, Jaime Torres , San Juan, PR, USA – 2, 1, ; 3
2. Lazy Dog, J 122, Sergio Sagramoso , San Juan, PR, USA – 3, 2, ; 5
3. Dark Star, J 105, Jonathan Lipuscek , San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA – 1, 6, ; 7
CSA Non-Spinnaker (CSA – 7 Boats)
1. Affinity, Swan 48, Jack Desmond , Marion, MA, USA – 1, 2, ; 3
2. Cayennita Grande, J 36, Antonio Sanpere , Christiansted, VI, USA – 3, 1, ; 4
3. Hotel California too, Cruising SC70, Stephen Schmidt , St Thomas, USVI, USA – 2, 5, ; 7
IRC 1 (IRC – 9 Boats)
1. PowerPlay, TP 52, Peter Cunningham , George Town, CAY – 1, 2, ; 3
2. Antilope, Grand Soleil 46, Willem Wester , Breskens, Zeeland, NED – 3, 1, ; 4
3. Equation, STP 65, W.Alcott / E.Palm / T.Anderson , St Clair Shores, MI, USA – 2, 3, ; 5
Beach Cats (Portsmouth – 10 Boats)
1. Universal, Hobie 16, Jorge Ramos , San Juan, PR, USA – 2, 1, ; 3
2. Time Out, Hobie 16, John Holmberg , St. Thomas, VI, USA – 1, 2, ; 3
3. Zhik, Nacra 20, Trey Brown , Taylors, SC, USA – 4, 3, ; 7
U.S. and Caribbean Media Contact
Overcast skies and light showers cooled things down today at St. Thomas Yacht Club in the USVI where hundreds of sailors on 68 teams are preparing for the 39th International Rolex Regatta. The conditions, however, came with plenty of wind for practicing and did nothing to dampen the excitement building for the next three days of racing.
Right out of the box will be Stephen Murray, Jr.’s Carkeek 40 Decision, which has been designed to the newly developed HPR (High Performance Rule) and will headline in one of two CSA classes here that has no less than six other 40-footers “raring to compare.”
“There is no rating rule promoting the light (displacement) grand prix racing boats as a continuum between 30 and 70 feet,” said Sean Carkeek, the South African designer who has been working for a year on the rule as part of a technical committee developed specifically to fill this void. According to Carkeek, the HPR will change all that when regattas eventually adopt dual scoring under the widely used IRC rule and HPR in classes where it needs to apply. At the International Rolex Regatta, the likes of Michael Shlens’ (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.,) Blade and Doug Baker’s (Long Beach, Calif.) Magnitude 400, both Farr 400s, are sure to spice up the competition among the 40 footers. In addition, two Class 40 boats, which typically are outfitted for short-handed offshore sailing, are competing with accomplished skippers aboard. Andrew Fisher (Greenwich, Conn.) will take the helm of Icarus, while Berry Lewis (Mill Valley, Calif.) will steer 40 Degrees.
In IRC, it will be a trio of 52 footers– Lord Irvine Laidlaw of Rothiemay’s (MON) Highland Fling XII, Ashley Wolfe’s (Calgary, AB, CAN) Mayhem, and Peter Cunningham’s (Georgetown, Cay) PowerPlay — and a Cookson 50, Ron O’Hanley’s (Newport, R.I.) Privateer, that are likely to stand out, while the reborn 65-foot Rosebud, now called Equation, will be out for a first showing since bought by Bill Alcott (St. Clair Shores, Mich.). Among the power names onboard these boats are America’s Cup notables Peter Holmberg, Mike Toppa, Tony Rey, and George Skuodas. As well, Great Britain’s Brian Thompson, who layed to waste previous around-the-world speed records with his recent circumnavigation aboard the 130-foot trimaran Banque Populaire V, will be skippering the Safe Passage company’s Andrews 72 Safara, which is the largest boat competing here.
Willem Wester (Zeeland, The Netherlands), with Volvo Ocean Race veteran Boewe Bekking (NED) calling tactics, will attempt to repeat his IRC class victory from last year, sailing the Grand Soleil 46 Antilope. With tomorrow’s winds expected to be between 15 and 20 knots, Bekking says this may be hard to recreate, however. “When it’s windy the lighter displacement boats in our class this time should be going better,” said Bekking, “but if it’s light we can have a pretty fair race.”
For the USA’s Olympic medalist Charlie McKee (Seattle, Wash.), who is serving as tactician aboard Mayhem, it is mostly about the experience of being here for the first time that has him “expecting crazy, wild, mixed up racing that’s super fun!”
The International Rolex Regatta is a cornerstone of the spring Caribbean racing schedule, and as such attracts top programs from around the world for its mix of buoy and point-to-point races. It also distinguishes itself by having multiple races a day for all classes. “It’s all part of a unique mix of island-style fun and hard-core IRC, CSA and one design racing,” said Regatta Co-chair Bill Canfield, pointing out a massive, specially-constructed stage rising out of the water on the St. Thomas Yacht Club’s own beach. It is where a band will play on Friday and Saturday nights and where the Rolex Awards will wrap up the event on Sunday, when winners in select classes win coveted Rolex watches.
Spectators will get a treat tomorrow when all classes sail to Charlotte Amalie Harbor for their first race, then return to St. Thomas Yacht Club for their second (and some classes may have a third race). On Saturday, spectators can watch IC 24s and Beach Cats sail as many as eight buoy races in Great Bay, while other classes sail longer courses on the south side of St. John. On Sunday, while the IC 24s sail up to six races in Jersey Bay, all other classes will sail two “Pillsbury Sound” races.