Newport Bermuda Race: 50th Thrash Not A Dash

June 21, 2016

[Written by Talbot Wilson]

The 50th Thrash to the Onion Patch, the 2016 Newport Bermuda Race, has not been a dash. Following Comanche’s record-breaking run to Bermuda, chopping almost five hours off the 2012 numbers, the fleet stalled against the northern wall of a high-pressure system.

They stopped just above the Gulf Stream. The lead boats slowly began to work their way into the new breeze in the early morning Monday. Vamp, Lenny Sitar’s J44 sailing mid-fleet, popped through the wall and reported they were finally sailing under spinnaker making 9-10 knots on a beautiful Monday morning.

The lead boats for ‘traditional’ line honours based on positions late Monday were Maximizer a Farr 72, Siren, and High Noon are estimated to finish between 1:00AM and 3:00AM EDT on Tuesdaymorning. Orca is bringing up the rear and predicted to finish in the late afternoon on Friday 24 June, a week after their start. They certainly have not experienced any of the rough weather predicted that scared away so many entries… much the opposite so far, it seems.

Siren, the R/P52 skippered by William Hubbard was fighting for line honors last night on the final approach to Bermuda Photo: Barry Pickthall/PPL

2016 Newport Bermuda Yacht Race start.  SIREN an RP57 skippered by William Hubbard from New York

Of the 184 boats that had checked in to race before the start in Newport, 46 did not start and seven have withdrawn for various mechanical reasons. All of the Gibbs Hill Division boats decided not to race, including all three Maxi72’s that might have challengedComanche for line honors.

Maxi72 Bella Mente’s team issued the following statement, “After much consideration and research on the weather patterns forecasted for the 2016 Newport Bermuda Race, Bella Mente has made the difficult decision to withdraw from the event.”

The rough weather predicted by some forecast models was the reason so many boats did not start. They were being safe and conservative, but their fears and the predictions proved unfounded. At 5:00pm EDT Monday, race communications reported, “It appears that there is very light air in their area at the western edge of the fleet. Boats around Spirit of Bermuda show boat speeds of 2 knot + or minus.

Maximizer the Farr 72 skippered by Jose Diego-Arozanena had a short lead over Siren last night: Photo Barry Pickthall/PPL

2016 Newport Bermuda Yacht Race start. MAXIMIZER	GBR 711	SDL	11	NYYC	Jose Diego-Arozamena	St. David's Lighthouse Divisio	Farr 72	White	Newport Shipyard	711	NYYC

Word from the Fleet

[Written by John Rousmaniere]

Punching Through the Stream, the Pack Nears Bermuda

When dawn blessed Bermuda on Monday, Comanche was still a very lonely yacht in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club marina a full day after the 100-footer’s crew, led by Kenny Read with navigator Stan Honey, broke the course record by nearly 5 hours. link here

High Noon, a Tripp 41 sailed by a youth team from American YC is the smallest of the front runners. Photo John Rousmaniere

2016 Newport Bermuda Yacht Race start. HIGH NOONUSA 1200SDL10CCA, American YCYoung American Jr. Big Boat Sailing TeamSt. David's Lighthouse DivisioTripp 41WhiteSail Newport1200CCA, American YC

Drive On!

Stuart Streuli, racing in Defiance, reports the joys of steering a good boat in a good breeze–and the doubts and training that brought him there. “Whatever comes, we’ll keep driving on,” he writes. “Getting too focused on the finish will only make it take longer to reach.” link here

The Road to Bermuda: So That’s How You Find the Gulf Stream!

Chris Museler updates Aura’s progress and morale as the race reaches midpoint, with Father’s Day, steering lessons, and some insights into the Stream and navigation all coming together during one watch.

Vamp, a J44 skippered by Lenny Siter, Crewman AJ Evans, Chairman of the 2016 Bermuda Race and watch captain, reported today that they had passed through the weather front and were sailing at 10knots under spinnaker.  Photo: Talbot Wilson/PPL

2016 Newport Bermuda Yacht Race start. VAMP	USA 43600	SDL	8	CCA, STC	Leonard Sitar	St. David's Lighthouse Divisio	J-44	Navy Blue	Newport Harbor Hotel And Marin	43600	CCA, STC

To Shower or Not to Shower,

That is the Question [Oh, and Here Comes the Gulf Stream]. Stuart Streuli continues his reports from Cruiser Division entry Defiance with reflections on ocean racing comfort, the next generation of sailors, and the frustrations of pressing hard through calms until the breeze finally picks up and the boat nears the Stream. link here

Note: A four-hour delay is imposed on reports to prevent competitors from taking advantage of learning about other boats’ positions and performance.

Crazy Horse, a JV50 skippered by Kevin McLaughlin [in middle] is among the top four on elapsed time for the St David’s Lighthouse division

2016 Newport Bermuda Yacht Race start.  OAKCLIFF FARR 40 - BLUE	USA 51990	SDL	10	Oakcliff Sailing	Oakcliff	St. David's Lighthouse Divisio	Farr 40	White	Newport Shipyard	51990	Oakcliff Sailing CRAZY HORSE	USA 43777	SDL	10	Low Tide YC	Kevin McLaughlin	St. D

Virtual spectators can watch the race unfold as their favorite yachts, skippers, or crewmembers in this 635-mile ocean classic tack and gybe their way through the Gulf Stream and hunt for the wind in the ‘happy valley’ north of Bermuda. All boats in the 2016 fleet will be tracked by YB satellite trackers as live as it can be on Pantaenius Race Tracking — — your link to all the action in the race.

click here Bermuda Newport Bermuda Race

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