Kids Crush Newport Bermuda Race
Published on June 21st, 2016
(June 21, 2016) – High Noon has captured ‘Traditional’ line honours in the combined St David’s & Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Divisions in the 2016 Newport Bermuda Race. The Young American Junior Big Boat Sailing Team from American Yacht Club (Rye, NY) sailed High Noon, a Tripp 41 on loan from US Merchant Marine Academy Sailing Foundation, across the finish line today at 09:07:05 am EDT.
High Noon was the second team in the 142-boat fleet to complete the course. Comanche, Jim and Kristy Hinze Clark’s 100-footer, smashed the Open record when she finished at 04:22:53 am EDT on June 19, breaking the elapsed time record with a professional crew.
High Noon sailed in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division, Class 10 with a mostly amateur crew of seven young sailors ranging in age from 15 to 18 along with three adults. She is the second smallest boat to take line honors…smallest was Thomas Fleming Day’s 38 footer Tamerlane.
“This Bermuda Race was the culmination of at least three years of work by these juniors,” said Peter Becker, one of the project’s leaders. “First they did overnight distance races, then weekend races, and then they looked for opportunities to sail offshore.”
High Noon is in line to win the St. David’s Lighthouse for the best corrected time in her division and four other major prizes, at least, including the first Stephens Brothers Youth Division Prize.
The 635-mile Newport Bermuda Race, starting on June 17, is the 50th edition and also marks the 90th anniversary of the partnership of the organizers, the Cruising Club of America and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
Leading up to the start, the fleet size looked to be the second or third largest in history. Then the weather forecasts began predicting gales in and below the Gulf Stream. Following the weather briefing on Thursday night (June 16), boats began withdrawing from the race. Finally 47 boats that had entered decided not to race. That brought the total from 184 boats on June 13 to 142 starters on June 17.
There are seven divisions, each for a type of boat. The race has no overall winner (only division winners), though the winning St. David’s Lighthouse Division boat (the largest in the race, and a division dedicated to amateur sailors) is regarded as the race’s top boat.
• St. David’s Lighthouse Division, for normal multi-purpose cruising-racing boats sailed by amateur or mostly amateur crews. This division is the largest at approximately 100 boats. There are limits on the number of professional sailors in these boats, and only amateurs are allowed to steer.
• Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division, for all-out racing, lightweight, high-performance boats often sailed by professional crews, who may steer. Ten to 15 boats usually enter this division.
• Cruiser Division, for boats that normally cruise, not race, sailed by mostly amateur crews, with only amateur helmsmen. The division usually has about 30 boats.
• Double-Handed Division, for boats sailed by two sailors. Approximately 20 boats usually sail in this division. One crew may be a professional and steer.
• Open Division, for racing boats with cant keels, which tilt from side to side. About five boats usually sail in this division. There is no limit on professionals.
• Spirit of Tradition, for traditional boats, most recently the Bermuda Sloop replica Spirit of Bermuda. No limit on professionals.
• Super Yacht Division. No limit on professionals.
Source: Newport Bermuda Race