Leaving most of the fleet far behind in light winds, George David’s Rambler 88 crossed the finish line off St. David’s Lighthouse at 5:51:51 Eastern daylight time on Sunday evening. Earning line honors among the 169 boats racing in the 51st Newport Bermuda Race, the big gray boat’s elapsed time over the 635-mile course was 50 hours, 31 minutes, 51 seconds.
The custom 88-foot Juan K design ran into some slow patches with light winds early in the race, but after sailing through the Gulf Stream on Saturday, 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, but 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.
Broadcasting the finish live was Nic Douglass, Adventures of a Sailor Girl.
“It was a pretty benign race,” said tactician Brad Butterworth, while he and the rest of the crew enjoyed a traditional Goslings Rum Dark ‘N’ Stormy after landing at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club dock. “There was no water on the deck—at least not back where we were,” he added. “Stan Honey gave us the right direction to head,” he added, “and we pushed it hard.”
As of 11pm, the close competition between the two Volvo Ocean Race 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’ Proteus lay in fourth with 50 miles to cover, and in fifth was the first boat in the Multihull Division, Jason Carroll’s Elvis.
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 Spookie appeared to have sailed into better winds and was making 11 knots, nearly 30 miles in front of the next boat, Privateer.
Follow the fleet with the Pantaenius tracker.