Winning one Bermuda Race is hard enough, but how do you repeat? One of the first to do so was BARUNA (1938 & 1948), Henry Taylor's 72-foot yawl built to maximize the CCA rating rule at the time, was first both across the finish line and also on corrected time on her first win in 1938. To secure the repeat win in 1948, BARUNA, skippered by young Stillman Taylor, reached around Bermuda at 9 knots to finish from South to North.
"My theory was that the time to get everything right is before you leave the dock. And then, once you leave the dock, to be able to drive the hell out of the boat and never have to worry about something carrying away.” - Carleton Mitchell, FINISTERRE
Recovering from a setback is what sets successful offshore sailors apart. TOWHEE, Paul Jennings' Cal 40, suffered a broken spinnaker pole in this year's race and managed to repair it to sail themselves into 3rd place (just 30 minutes out of 2nd) in the very competitive Division 10.
With modern technology, navigating to Bermuda has gotten "simpler" some may say. Just imagine what it was like before Loran and Satellites for Navigators.
"All the self-doubts about what you had done for the last three or four days piled up at once. Were my sights accurate? Do I really have a clue? The first time Bermuda popped up in front of the boat approximately when and where it was supposed to be, it was a divine revelation. There was meaning to the universe.” - Nick Nicholson
Read Looking Back: A navigator’s race by John Rousmaniere via the link in our bio under History
Photo: Shelia McCurdy plots a fix during a pre-GPS voyage.