Bermuda race winners claim the best
Illusiona Cal 40 owned by Sally and Stan Honey (Palo Alto, Calif.) won the 52nd edition of the Newport Bermuda Race’s largest division, the St. David’s Lighthouse Division (108 boats), marking the fourth time a Cal 40 won the St David’s Lighthouse Division, after Vincent Learson’s Thunderbird in 1966 and Peter Rebovich, Sr.’s Sinn Fein in 2006 and 2008.
Running with 1984 Olympic gold medalist Carl Buchan (Seattle, Washington), fellow Cal 40 owner Don Jesberg (Belvedere, CA) and multi-tasker Jonathan “Bird” Livingston (Richmond, CA) as archer, Illusion completed the 635 nautical mile course with an elapsed time of 87h:01m:33s, good for a corrected time of 51:02:13 and a decisive victory over two hours over Andrew Clark’s (Greenwich, Connecticut) J/122 Zigzag. Jim Murray’s Pac52 (Lake Bluff, Ill.) Callistothe winner of division line honours, finished third, just 15 seconds behind Zigzag corrected time.
Sailing their ‘last hurray’ to Illusion (they sold the boat to Stan’s nephew), Sally Honey said it was the perfect end to an illustrious 33-year run with the boat.
“The conditions were perfect for our boat, and we had a very good navigator on board,” Sally said, referring to her husband, Stan. “Stan picked a really good course, and the conditions were exactly what the boat likes, big reach. Lots of it. We got into a Gulf Stream eddy and were there for about seven hours. That gave us a good shot. of an inch. We managed to stay upwind most of the time. We had a few bright spots, but nothing like the later boats.
Sally Honey said she reached a top speed of 22 knots with Buchan at the helm on Saturday evening. She woke the sleeping crew with hoots and howls of excitement, but otherwise spent most of the race with the crosswind.
“We didn’t have much water on deck,” Sally Honey said. “At reach, the boat heels just above and the windier it is, the faster it goes. Really, it was a dream trip, fabulous. I wouldn’t change anything.
In the Finisterre division of 38 cruisers, the Tripp 65 of Dudley Johnson (New York City) Prevail won first place, beating Andrew Burton’s Baltic 47 (Newport, Rhode Island) Masquerade a little over 25 minutes. The division was divided into three classes, with Prevail win class 9, Masquerade Class 8 and Brian Bush (North Chatham, Massachusetts) Stilla Tartan 37-2, Class 7.
“Our plan from the start was to go east of the rhumbline and sail as fast as possible to follow the front,” said navigator Adam Klyver (Fairfield, Connecticut). “But the front was elusive and we kept running into the hollow.
“In the Gulf Stream, we had warrior won passed us on Saturday morning, so we felt like we were doing something right,” said Klyver, 55, who was competing in his second race in Bermuda and his first as a sailor. “We tried to stay in the middle of the Stream and found a current of five knots pushing us south-east. We probably had favorable current for almost 90% of the race.
Winner of General Line Honors Jason Carroll’s MOD70 (New York City) Argoended late Saturday night, marking the first-ever Saturday finish in the race’s 116-year history. Argo sets a new course record of 33 hours, at an average speed of 19.24 knots.
“It’s the most important race near home for us,” said Carroll, 44, who co-founded Hudson River Trading in 2002. “It’s amazing because it’s only recently that multihulls have been allowed to race. It’s exciting. It’s the race people in New York and Newport know best; to be the record holder is cool.
In the high performance Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division, warrior wonthe Pac52 of Christopher Sheehan (Larchmont, New York), took first place not only in corrected time but also in elapsed time, taking monohull line honors and the Corporation of Hamilton award as the winner in time elapsed from the combined St. David’s Lighthouse and Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Divisions.
warrior wonElapsed time of 56h:43m:34s corrected to 48m:47s victory over NEKA Sailing’s custom J/120 Desperadocommanded by Leonid Vasiliev (Port Jefferson, New York), and 58m:31s ahead of Darren Walters’ Sunfast 3300 (Boston, Massachusetts) Alchemist. Originally listed as the class winner and 2nd overall in the division, Alchemist was penalized 30 minutes on the time elapsed for an OCS start according to the notice of race, 2.2 l.
In 2016, Sheehan won the St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy with his Xp44 of the same name. Now, after this Saturday’s awards ceremony, he will become the first owner to win a Lighthouse Trophy as winner of Gibbs Hill and St. David’s.
“It’s very humbling,” said Sheehan, who won the Transpac race last year and the Caribbean 600 last February. “I had thought about it before the race. I had a ton of confidence in my team and my boat that we would have a chance at Gibbs Hill lighthouse.There are so many wonderful records and legendary sailors in this race.
In the Spirit of Tradition division, the sailing training ship of the Bermuda Sloop Foundation The spirit of Bermuda, commanded by Alexander Peacock (Newmarket, New Hampshire), completed the course in 92h:25m:09s. It was the fourth time the three-masted schooner, designed by Bill Langan, has taken part in the race.
In the Open Division, Charlie Enright’s (Barrington, Rhode Island) malama from the 11th Hour Racing Foundation, finished in 41h:28m:43s, good for the fourth fastest elapsed time in race history. In the 141-foot steel-hulled Martin Sutter (Austin, Texas) division, Superyacht Colombia finished in 87h:07m:34s.
In the Doubles division, Zachary Doerr (Butler, Pennsylvania), 20, an undergraduate at the Webb Institute, and Vladimir Shablinsky, 53 (Glen Cove, New York), sailing the Figaro Custom 2 Group 5won Class 6 and took a nearly five-hour win over the Sigma 41 Reveille of James Hammitt (Wayland, Mass.), which won Class 5.
“It was great fun for my first real offshore race,” said Doerr, who teamed up with Shablinsky, his North East Keelboat Alliance (NEKA) sailing coach. “It has a lot to do with our comfort with the boat, especially the second night when it was blowing 30 and we were going 20 knots with the A2 spinnaker up. I feel like most boats in the class in double didn’t push as hard, and we kept pushing and did a lot of miles that night, it was unlike anything I had ever experienced before.
Additional video interviews with competitors and class winners