The prize list for the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race has been posted online. More than 100 prizes will be awarded at the race’s traditional prizegiving ceremony at Government House on Saturday between 6 and 8 pm.
Three special seamanship awards are being presented this year for exemplary seamanship in a dramatic evacuation of an ill sailor, Nathan Owen, from his boat Seabiscuit early in the morning of June 18. Two awards go to the crews of the racing boats Flying Lady and Spirit of Bermuda, which were called to assist Seabiscuit. The third award goes to Seabiscuit’s crew, Jonathan Green, who assisted Owen, handled the boat when Owen was evacuated to a cruise ship, and then continued racing singlehanded to Bermuda.
“Thirty-one cases of trophies weighing a total of 1,100 pounds have been shipped to Bermuda from New York,” said Bob Darbee (New York, N.Y.), chair of the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee’s Prize Committee. “Many prizes are distinctive, including two replica models of Bermuda lighthouses, two trophies made from sextants, and the half-model for the winner of the Carleton Mitchell Finisterre Award as top boat in the Cruiser Division.”
Because there are five divisions for different types of boats and amateur and professional sailors, the race doesn’t have an official overall winner, yet the Lighthouse trophies tend to get the most attention because they go to the top boats and first finishers in the St. David’s and Gibbs Hill Lighthouse divisions. This year, Rives Potts’ Carina became the first three-time winner of a Lighthouse since Finisterre in the 1950s.
The race also awards prizes for achievements such as family participation, largest victory margin, best finish by an older yacht, top boat with a U.S. Naval Academy crew, winning boat and team in the Onion Patch Series, and best combined performance between the Newport Bermuda Race and the Marblehead-Halifax or Marion-Bermuda races.
“Our objective is to honor the various dimensions of the race,” Darbee said. “One of the oldest and best known perpetual awards is the Galley Slave Trophy which since 1946 has been presented to the cook on the last boat to finish.” In recognition of her or his long-suffering patience, the winner is always rewarded not only by the trophy but by a standing ovation from all competitors.