Flurry of finishes in Bermuda Race

Published on June 22nd, 2016

(June 22, 2016) – Based on Wednesday’s provisional results, Warrior Won, the Xp44 skippered by Christopher Sheehan out of Larchmont YC has emerged as the St David’s Lighthouse winner for the 50th Thrash to the Onion Patch, the 2016 Newport Bermuda Race. She finished Tuesday morning at 10:10:25 and her corrected time was 70:40:03.

The St. David’s Light House Trophy goes to the corrected time winner of the largest division. This year Warrior Won defeated 70 boats vying for the silver lighthouse replica. Only amateurs are allowed to drive the boats in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division

Second place in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division goes to the little Cal 40, Flyer, owned by Douglas Abbott. She finished Wednesday morning at 7:20:24 with a corrected time of 71:33:05. High Noon, the first ‘Traditional’ boat to finish, came third on corrected time.

After a slow approach to Bermuda, the Newport Bermuda race organizers expect the entire fleet to be in Hamilton Harbour Wednesday night. There were nine boats moored at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club marina overnight.

At 08:00 this morning three more had made their way around from St. George’s where yachts are asked to stay after arriving after dark. By mid-afternoon 102 boats had finished off St. David’s Head in Bermuda. Another 25 were closing in on the line. 133 boats started in Newport and nine had retired during the race for various mechanical problems or gear failures.

The Double Handed Division leader by mid-afternoon was Yankee Girl, a Morris Justine 36 co-skippered by Zachary Lee and Gust Stringos. Standing second was Jeroboam, Jonathan Green’s Oceanis 351.

The Cruiser Division leader was Shearwater in Class 12. She’s a Mason 43 skippered by Daniel Biemesderfer. Eight of her class-mates were still racing, but expected in by 20:00 Wednesday.

The Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Trophy will not be awarded. All seven boats in the Gibbs Hill Division decided not to start because of wind and weather concerns. The Gibbs Hill Division allow unlimited professionals aboard.

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

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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

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