Newport Bermuda: Easy sailing so far
Published on June 16th, 2018
(June 16, 2018) – After a day of relatively light winds in the 51st Newport Bermuda Race, the competitors had made moderate progress down the 635nm course toward the finish line at St. David’s Lighthouse on the northeast corner of Bermuda.
Led by Rambler 88, George David’s 88-foot Juan K design, five boats crossed the Gulf Stream and opened up a significant gap on the rest of the 169-boat fleet, many of whom were sailing in lighter winds.
Early in the day, David Askew’s Wizard, a Volvo 70-footer, may have found better winds and a good wind shift on the west side of the rhumb line, as it passed Rambler at one point, before being overhauled again by the larger boat.
Also in this group were two other big boats in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division—Steve Murray, Jr. and Stephen Murray Sr.’s Warrior and Reginald Cole’s Proteus—as well as Elvis, Jason Carroll’s Gunboat 62, which had built a strong lead on the other two boats in the Multihull Division.
There are a total of seven divisional trophies, and each division has its own race and intrigue. With light winds forecast as most boats cross the Gulf Stream tonight and plot their approach to Bermuda, sailors will focus on nursing best speed from their boats while eying their competitors and hoping they are well positioned for the winds that develop in the next few days.
“It is rare to see your competitors on ocean races after the start, but this race has been very different,” shared Mark D’Arcy from aboard Inisharon, James Murphy’s F&C 44, racing in the Finisterre Division. “Many folks are targeting the same Gulf Stream crossing point and because most are along the rhumbline, we have seen a lot more boats this race.”