Warrior on Pace to Break Record

Published on June 4th, 2017

Annapolis, MD (June 4, 2017) – Annapolis to Newport Race is a 475-nautical-mile passage that combines inshore (Chesapeake Bay) and offshore (Atlantic Ocean) elements. Warrior, a Volvo 70 skippered by Stephen Murray Jr., is on pace to break the course record for the 2017 Annapolis-to-Newport Race.

Warrior was 131 nautical miles from the finish line today at 7:30 p.m. and was sailing at steady speeds ranging between 14 and 16 knots. Based on wind forecasts for the next 12 hours, organizers with host Annapolis Yacht Club estimate the Volvo 70 will cross the finish line between 1 and 4 a.m. on Monday.

If those estimates prove accurate, Warrior would shatter the course record of 42 hours, 58 minutes and 12 seconds. That mark was set in 2001 by the Farr 60 Carrera, owned by Joseph Dockery and skippered by veteran professioinal Chris Larson.

Carrera sailed the traditional course of 473 nautical miles that started on the Chesapeake Bay off Annapolis and finished at Castle Hill Lighthouse. This year’s finish line is located about eight-tenths of a mile further up the Narragansett River off Fort Adams. That change was necessary because the Coast Guard informed race officials that Castle Hill Lighthouse was off-limits to civilians.

Warrior started the 36th biennial Annapolis-to-Newport Race on Saturday, June 3 at 11:05 a.m. and exited the Chesapeake Bay in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Upon entering the Atlantic Ocean, navigator Jan Majer set a course that took Warrior well east of the rhumb line.

Warrior sailed in fairly close to the Virginia coast before gybing and sailing back to the rhumb line while hitting top speeds of 15-16 knots. As of 7:30 p.m., Warrior was maintaining a rhumb line course while passing Asbury Park. Of course, Majer and others in the afterguard must make the always crucial decision of whether to go inside or outside of Block Island.

Principal Race Officer Bruce Bingman started 32 boats in four classes on Saturday morning (June 2) at 11:05. Orion, a J/122 owned by Paul Milo of Leesburg, Virginia, held the overall lead until Sunday evening.

Despite getting underway 24 hours later, Warrior had passed all the Friday starters on Sunday, overtaking Orion around 4:30 p.m. At press time, the Volvo 70 had moved nine miles ahead of the J/122. Kenai, a modified J/44 owned by Chris Lewis of Houston, Texas, was 1.6 miles behind Orion.

Black Pearl, a German-flagged Carkeek 47 skippered by Stefan Jentzsch of London, was in second place on the course among the 16 boats that started on Saturday. Black Pearl was 36 miles behind Warrior and one mile ahead of the TP52 Hooligan, a Naval Academy entry skippered by Teddy Papenthien.

In a bit of an oddity, the NASA Flight Facility at Wallops Island cancelled a rocket launch that was scheduled for 4:26 a.m. on Saturday because of “boats in the impact area.” Those were sailboats participating in the Annapolis-to-Newport Race.

As always, the Annapolis Yacht Club had filed a detailed report about the race with the United States Coast Guard well in advance of the start.

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Source: Event Media

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