By Talbot Wilson
Hamilton, Bermuda, June 29, 2014 – Royal Bermuda Yacht Club – It’s a quiet Sunday after the Saturday evening prizegiving, crew dinners and the last party at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club for Newport Bermuda 2014. Return crews are now packing groceries, topping off tanks and clearing Bermuda Customs for the long cruise home. Time now for some 1600 racers and their guests in Bermuda to return to the ‘real’ world.
Although the prizegiving had to be moved from it’s traditional spot on the Governor’s House lawn to the Pier 6 on the Hamilton waterfront, it was certainly a gala affair. Prizewinners enjoyed a happy half-hour with Gosling’s Dark ‘n Stormy cocktails before His Excellency the Governor of Bermuda Mr. George Fergusson presented 112 regular prizes.
The Governor also presented three special recognition awards on behalf of the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee…
A special award for exemplary seamanship was presented to Black Watch. After a competing boat,Wandrian, suffered serious damage to her rudder that threatened the integrity of her hull, Black Watch’s crew volunteered to stand by as she slowly made her way to Bermuda. Proceeding side by side for nearly 300 miles and 60 hours, the two boats arrived safely in port. AsWandrian was being prepared to be hauled out for repairs, her owner pointed to Black Watch and declared, “They were our insurance policy.”
A tribute to retiring Finish Line Chairman Eugene Rayner recognized years of service to the race. Nearly 30 years ago Eugene Rayner heard that the Newport Bermuda Race was looking for a radio expert to handle communications, and so he volunteered. In 2003 Eugene was appointed Chairman of the Finish Line Committee. The Finish Line Committee of this race is the 14th that he has chaired for either the Newport or Marion Bermuda races. Over the years an atomic clock replaced the old chronometer, but otherwise Eugene sticks with the tried-and-true basics. He has his telescope, and he has his logbook, where finishes are recorded by hand before they are sent to race officials by computer. “That handwritten log is our Bible,” he says firmly. Eugene is retiring. He was thanked for his many years of superb service to this race and to yachting.
An award of recognition was presented to Fred Deichmann, Chairman of the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race. He was sited for his two years of dedicated service and commitment to making the 2014 Race safe and successful. Fred is spending his firsr post-chairman day relaxing by the pool at his hotel in Bermuda.
The ceremony started promptly at 6:00 PM and concluded with the presentation of the Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse Trophy and the St. David’s Lighthouse Division prizes to corrected time winners in those divisions Shockwave and Actaea. The last prize was the Galley Slave Trophy for the cook of the last boat to finish. This dubious prize went to Westray, Juan Corradi’s Concordia 39, which had an elapsed time of 141hrs 57min 22sec. Shockwave was first to finish and her elapsed time was 63:04:11.