Newport Bermuda Race: Mini-Maxis swap lead, Sinn Fein pushing hard

Published on June 21st, 2014

(June 21, 2014) – Following the start on Friday, the predicted battle for the elapsed time victory in the Newport Bermuda Race between the three Mini-Maxis in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division is coming to fruition. Based on the tracker report as of 5 AM on Saturday with 485 nautical miles to the finish, Bella Mente, Shockwave, and Caol Ila Rare racing head to head, though at slower speeds (3 knots) than they were making before midnight. Some 20 miles astern are the 70 footers Kodiak, Rima 2, Irie 2, and Terrapin.

By 12 PM Shockwave had taken the lead at 435nm from Bermuda. Caol Ila R and Bella Mente were close behind at 438nm and 442nm respectively. Shockwave’s vmg from the start is reported as 9.2Kts.

The rest of the 163-boat fleet is in a large clump extending about 50 miles, where the wind may be a bit stronger. Wind under 10 knots are predicted for most of Saturday. Everybody is a few miles to the west of the rhumb line, indicating that they’re all headed toward the favorable predicted current in the Gulf Stream, some 100 – 150 miles ahead. The sea is reported to be flat.

Right in the thick of things, the two yachts that have won all the St. David’s Lighthouse trophies since 2006, Rives Potts’ Carina and Peter Rebovich’s Sinn Fein, were well up in the pack. At the 10 AM report — tracking positions are still delayed for 4 hours — Sinn Fein in Class 1 was actually three miles ahead of the Class 3 Carina, 490nm from the lighthouse finish line.

Christopher Dragon, owned by Andrew Weiss, was the St David’s Lighthouse Division estimated elapsed time leader and was 477nm from the finish. Sinn Fein stood second.

Withdrawals
Toothface2, in the Double-Handed Division, returned to Newport Friday night. Michael Dreese, her captain, reported a broken pump in her water ballast system.

Next Boat, in the Double-Handed Division, owned by Mark Ellman, withdrew on Saturday morning due to concerns about possible damage and is returning to New York Harbor.

Source: Event media

Tracking Race website

Background:
The race has five divisions, essentially five separate race fleets:
– Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division: for professional crews on modern competitive boats
– St. David’s Lighthouse Division: for amateur crews on dual purpose racer-cruiser boats
– Double-handed: only two people on each boat
– Cruiser: for amateur crews on boats not designed for racing
– Open: for boats of a size or construction type beyond the normal range of the fleet

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