Rambler 88 aces Newport Bermuda Race

Published on June 17th, 2018

(June 17, 2018) – George David’s 88-foot Juan K design Rambler 88 led a breakaway pack to take elapsed time honors in the 51st Newport Bermuda Race.

Leaving most of the fleet far behind in light winds, Rambler 88 crossed the finish line off St. David’s Lighthouse at 17:51:51 Eastern daylight time, completing the 635-mile course in 50 hours, 31 minutes, 51 seconds.

David’s team ran into some slow patches with light winds early in the race, but after sailing through the Gulf Stream yesterday, maintained double-digit speeds the rest of the way and left the next-placed boats several hours behind. The winds weren’t strong during the race and the seas were relatively smooth.

“This race is typically a mid-sized boat race,” said David, “and rarely a big-boat race. But this time it was. It was almost like the ocean reached out and grabbed the smaller boats, one by one.

“It was a pretty benign race,” said tactician Brad Butterworth. “There was no water on the deck, at least not back where we were. Stan Honey gave us the right direction to head and we pushed it hard.”

As of 11pm EDT, the close competition between the two Volvo Open 70s, Warrior and Wizard, placed the former, owned by Steve Murray, Jr., and Stephen Murray, Sr., nearly five miles ahead of the latter, owned by Peter and David Askew, with only about 20 to go. George Sakellaris’ Maxi 72 Proteus lay in fourth with 50 miles to cover, and in fifth was the first boat in the Multihull Division, Jason Carroll’s Elvis, a Gunboat 62.

Meantime, most of the rest of the fleet was sailing in very light winds in the middle of a high-pressure area. Only Steve Benjamin’s TP52 Spookie appeared to have sailed into better winds and was making 11 knots, nearly 30 miles in front of the next boat, the Cookson 50 Privateer.

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