Rambler 88 Wins Line Honours In Newport Race

June 18, 2018

Leaving most of the fleet far behind in light winds, George David’s Rambler 88 crossed the finish line off St. David’s Lighthouse at 5:51:51 Eastern daylight time on Sunday evening.

Earning line honours among the 169 boats racing in the 51st Newport Bermuda Race, the big gray boat’s elapsed time over the 635-mile course was 50 hours, 31 minutes, 51 seconds.

George David’s Rambler 88 approaches the finish in Bermuda late Sunday afternoon with inner and outer staysails set. Credit: “Adventures of a Sailor Girl”

Newport Bermuda Race June 2018 (1)

The custom 88-foot Juan K design ran into some slow patches with light winds early in the race, but after sailing through the Gulf Stream on Saturday, maintained double-digit speeds the rest of the way and left the next-placed boats several hours behind. The winds weren’t strong during the race, but the seas were relatively smooth.

After jibing for the finish, Rambler 88 nears the finish line off St. David’s Lighthouse. Adventures of a Sailor Girl photo

Newport Bermuda Race June 2018 (2)

“This race is typically a mid-sized boat race,” said David, “and rarely a big-boat race. But this time it was. It was almost like the ocean reached out and grabbed the smaller boats, one by one.

“It was a pretty benign race,” said tactician Brad Butterworth, while he and the rest of the crew enjoyed a traditional Goslings Rum Dark ‘N’ Stormy after landing at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club dock. “There was no water on the deck—at least not back where we were,” he added. “Stan Honey gave us the right direction to head,” he added, “and we pushed it hard.”

First multihull to Bermuda, the Gunboat 62 Elvis. Nic Douglass

Newport Bermuda Race June 2018 (3)

About five hours after Rambler, two Volvo Ocean Race 70s, Warrior and Wizard, crossed second and third, 17 minutes apart. The former, owned by Steve Murray, Jr., and Stephen Murray, Sr., finished in front, but the latter, owned by Peter and David Askew, easily finished ahead after time corrections were applied based on the boats’ different ratings. George Sakellaris’ Maxi 72 Proteus finished fourth, an hour and a half later. When all times were corrected, the leaders were Wizard and Proteus, less than an hour apart, followed by Rambler 88 and Warrior. [See results.]

Drying out the gear, Wizard rests at the dock, the current leader on corrected time in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division. Julian Aziz photo

Newport Bermuda Race June 2018 (4)

Just before dawn, Jason Carroll’s Elvis, finished first in the Multihull Division, a first in more ways than one as the 2018 race was the first Newport Bermuda Race to include multihulls. Elvis’ other competitors, Tribe and Arethusa, were still well back on the racecourse as of 1100 EDT Monday.

As of noon, most of the rest of the fleet continued to sail in very light winds in the middle of a high-pressure area. Steve Benjamin’s Spookie was the first to to sail into better winds and at 1100 EDT Monday was making 9 knots, more than 40 miles in front of Privateer and Merlin.

First multihull to Bermuda, the Gunboat 62 Elvis

To catch the flavor of what’s happening throughout the fleet, read “More News from the Boats – Sunday“.

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