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|
It has been a busy 24 hours at the Antigua Yacht Club. At dawn on the fifth day of the RORC Caribbean 600, only three yachts were still at sea vying to complete the course before tonight’s Prizegiving celebrations and all of the class winners are now provisionally decided. The bar at the Antigua Yacht Club has been in full swing, buzzing with stories between the crews and songs in a myriad of different languages.
Team Selene skippered by Benjamin Davitt finished yesterday morning. The Swan 80 sailed an excellent race to claim third place overall and will lift the prestigious Swan Caribbean Challenge Trophy later this evening.
Without doubt, the closest racing for this year’s event was in IRC One. Colin Buffin’s Swan 62, Uxorious IV, was first to finish, but the team did not celebrate a class win. Buffin and his young team knew that Amanda Hartley’s Swan 56, Clem, was extremely close to eclipsing their corrected time. Just over three and half hours passed before Clem crossed the finish line to win the class by just 21 seconds on corrected time. There were ecstatic scenes dockside as the Spanish crew of Clem celebrated their class win. The entire crew of Uxorious IV including Colin Buffin sportingly applauded their rivals. Amanda Hartley spoke of their win.
“‘We had no idea until we crossed the line and turned on our phones which went crazy with people calling in from Spain. By our calculation we thought we had lost out by five minutes. We got stuck at Guadeloupe for four hours and we could only sit and watch Uxorious get away. We are obviously extremely delighted and really appreciate Colin and his team coming over to give us such a lovely welcome back to Antigua.”
Jaime Torres’ Puerto Rican First 40, Smile And Wave, finished shortly after midnight last night to claim third in IRC One.
Scarlet Logic, co-skippered by Ross Applebey and Tim Thubron, finished the RORC Caribbean 600 shortly after 2300 last night. The Oyster 48 has been vying for the overall win for the last two days. In the end Scarlet Logic missed out, but the team had put in an incredible effort and have been rewarded with a convincing win in IRC Two. Scarlet Logic has the best corrected time in IRC One, Two and Three and as a result will be awarded the fantastic prize of a week’s accommodation at the luxurious Inn at English Harbour.
“Fantastic, elated but bloody tired,” admitted Tim Thubron, co-skipper of Scarlet Logic. The weather lined up nicely for us and we were aware that we were in with a chance of beating the big, well funded professional teams and that really spurred us on and made us push even harder. A lot of credit must go to the whole team, especially Ross Applebey. Scarlet was immaculately prepared and we hardly had a single breakage, however we did need to drop the main to replace a sail slide. The job was done and the main back up in eight minutes, that to me says it all.”
There was joy and pain for both IRC Canting Keel and the Class40s. Ernesto Cortina’s Volvo 70 Gran Jotiti finished the race in just over two days. The Spanish team is racing the yacht formerly known as Telefonica Black in the last Volvo Ocean Race. Ernesto spoke about his team shortly after finishing. “This has been a great experience, even though our result was badly affected by a lot of sail damage. Many of the sails are tired from thousands of miles of racing. However, the crew have been a joy to sail with and this race is helping us build for the future. Gran Jotiti’s aim is to create a world class amateur Spanish offshore sailing team and we have learnt a lot through this race.
Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 50, Privateer, showed exceptional pace and boat handling throughout. Unfortunately the American team failed to start correctly and accepted a 10% penalty from the race organisers resulting in Gran Jotiti being declared winner of IRC Canting Keel.
The Class40s turned into a battle royale between Christophe Coatnoan’s Partouche and Christof Petter’s Vaquita. The two Class40s were locked in a heroic tacking duel for the final push to the finish line, a 40-mile beat from Redonda to the finish in Antigua.
Vaquita crossed the line just after sunset beating Partouche by a slender margin, just 15 minutes in a race lasting over 3 days. However, Vaquita failed to start the race correctly and to the Austrian crew’s disappointment, the class win was awarded to Partouche: “It was a tough race and we had a couple of moments that really slowed us down,” commented Christophe Coatnoan who raced two-handed with Eric Calmard. “We picked up a fishing float after Nevis without realising and we probably lost 8 miles before we knew it was there. Later at Guadeloupe, I had to dive into the water to free Partouche from yet another fishing buoy. The race was an excellent test for our new design especially for our sails as I think we used every one of them during the race.”
Vaquita’s Andreas Hanakamp commented: “Obviously we are disappointed to have been penalised but we were delighted with our performance. Partouche is a brand new Finot design, whilst Vaquita is a 2006 Akilaria. The RORC Caribbean 600 is a testing race course and a very tough race, exactly what we needed to prepare for our main competition of the season, The Atlantic Cup later this year.”
The latest competitor to finish the RORC Caribbean 600 is Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36, High Tension. Falmouth Harbour exploded with noise as the smallest yacht in the race tied up right outside the Antigua Yacht Club. Thunderous blasts from megayachts, superyachts and foghorns literally shook the dock as the whole of the sailing community in Falmouth heralded the arrival of local hero Bernie and his crew.
“I said we would be here tonight but I always like to be early for appointments,” joked the Antiguan dentist. “It was a hard but satisfying race and the beat from Redonda to the finish seemed to take forever. We could see Antigua but it just didn’t seem to be getting any bigger, however a few miles out a massive rain squall hit and veered the wind favourably for us to speed our way to Antigua. After last year’s dismasting, I think maybe someone was looking out for us!”
Tonight the RORC Caribbean 600 Prizegiving Ceremony will take place at the Antigua Yacht Club. The two yachts still racing are Igor Zaretskiy’s, First 40.7 Coyote II and the RACYC Offshore Racing Team – White Knight’s Spirit of Venus. Both are expected to make tonight’s party, which should be a momentous occasion.
The 4th RORC Caribbean 600, starts at 1100 on Monday 20th February. There isn’t a single hotel room left near Antigua Yacht Club, as competitors fly in to the magical island of Antigua from all four corners of the world – Falmouth Harbour is filled to the brim with astounding yachts.
Niklas Zennström’s JV72, Rán, and George David’s RP90, Rambler, are the hot favourites for the RORC Caribbean Trophy, but the two highly impressive yachts are almost hidden in Falmouth Harbour. Rán were out practicing today and Navigator Steve Hayles reports that conditions were a bit lighter than usual, but he expects 15-20 knots of trade winds for the race with their weather routing predicting that they could finish the race in 48 hours, may be less.
RORC member, Stan Pearson has lived and sailed the sublime waters around Antigua for over 20 years. He was one of the creators of the RORC Caribbean 600 and will be racing this year on Adela, the 181′ twin masted schooner:
“I can’t remember ever seeing Nelson’s Dockyard and Falmouth Harbour with so many impressive yachts but I know why they are here; there is nowhere in the world quite like Antigua and the ’600 is a real celebration of all that the Caribbean has to offer. The sailing is just fantastic; constant trade winds, warm water and air temperature in the high 20′s provides brilliant sailing, but this is a tough race. The course has a lot of corners and there is a lot of activity for the crews. Looking at the fleet, there are going to be some great duels going on, it is going to be a very competitive race.”
For the first time, a Volvo Open 70 will be competing in the RORC Caribbean 600. Some might suggest that the canting keel carbon fibre flyer could have been designed for this course. Ernesto Cortina’s Gran Jotiti has a highly talented Spanish crew and could well be a contender for line honours and an overall win.
IRC Zero has 16 entries and may well be the class to watch for the overall winner. George David’s Rambler 100 is the trophy holder and George David’s all-star crew will not be giving it up without a fight.
With a combined water line length that would soar 500ft above the Eiffel Tower, there are some truly amazing yachts in IRC Zero. The 214′ ketch Hetairos is an impressive sight. The crew of 36 have been out practicing all this week and on board there are enough sails to cover a full size football pitch. Sojana is expected to have a Superyacht duel with 124′ Pernini Navi, P2, owned by businessman and philanthropist, Gerhard Andlinger. Sojana was on mark laying duty today. The only laid mark of the course is the North Sails mark, off Barbuda. No doubt the crew, will be using the exercise to practice the first 45 miles of racing.
In the Spirit of Tradition class Adela will line up against Windrose. This will be the first time these magnificent yachts have raced against each other offshore, however Adela did get the better of Windrose in The Superyacht Challenge inshore regatta. A close battle with these two powerful yachts fully off the leash is a mouth-watering prospect. Past RORC Commodore, Andrew McIrvine and a team of 11 RORC members including current Commodore, Mike Greville, have chartered the 145ft Windrose.
The multihull record for the RORC Caribbean 600 has not been beaten since the inaugural race in 2009. The 63′ Trimaran, Paradox, skippered by Olivier Vigoureux says the six crew on board are out to ‘beat the current record’. The American, French and British crew members have raced in the Figaro Race, Transat Jacques Vabres, America’s Cup and Mini Transat.
Anders Nordquist’s Swan 90, Nefertiti, has an international crew including Rolex Middle Sea Race winner, Christian Ripard from Malta. They should have a close battle with Wendy Schmidt’s Swan 80, Selene, and Irish entry, RP78, Whisper.
There are a huge variety of yachts racing in IRC One, including Hound, skippered by Hound from Maine USA. The 60′ classic will be competing in the Caribbean 600 for the first time with a family crew of avid racers. Hound has competed in the last 8 Newport-Bermuda races, winning her class twice.
Ondeck’s 40.7 Spirit of Venus is chartered to the Royal Armoured Corp Offshore Racing Team. The majority of the 11 strong crew are part of the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank Regiment which returned from Afghanistan last spring.
Lt Col Paul Macro RTR: “Soldiers have to work together as a team, under time pressure, when cold, wet and tired, in difficult and even dangerous conditions. The adventurous team spirit required by a successful offshore racing crew is the same as that required by the crew of a tank or any other armoured vehicle.”
There are four Class40s competing. Close duels are expected right through the fleet, but a hard fought and close encounter is expected in this class. Trade wind sailing provides perfect conditions for Class40s, with long reaches and downwind legs, these pocket rockets are capable of surfing at speeds of up to 25 knots. Class40s from America, Austria, France and Great Britain are taking on the 600 mile Caribbean odyssey; Tim Fetch’s Icarus Racing, Christophe Coatnoan’s Partouche, Andreas Hanakamp’s Vaquita and Peter Harding’s 40 Degrees, co-skippered by Hannah Jenner. The Class40s will be level-racing under their own rules. First to finish will claim the Concise Trophy; a full barrel of English Harbour rum.
IRC Two includes the smallest yacht in the fleet, Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36, High Tension. Antiguan dentist, Bernie has competed in all four RORC Caribbean 600 races, however last year, High Tension did not finish the race.
“It is definitely a case of unfinished business,” said Bernie. “We have actually used our downfall to modify the rig, so we have made something good out of the incident. Like many Antiguans, I am amazed how this race has developed since 2009, I have been sailing in the Caribbean for over 50 years and what has been really missing is a well-run, exciting offshore race. The RORC Caribbean 600 has provided that and made my dreams come true.”