Newport Bermuda Race Update: Weekend Action

June 23, 2024

By Race Communications

It is just shy of 48 hours into the 53rd Newport Bermuda Race, and we've already seen a dismasting, an abandoned ship, and a few retirements. Despite these challenges, the fleet has encountered a variety of sailing conditions and sea states as they make their way to Bermuda. As the navigator on the expected first-to-finish Pyewacket 70, Peter Isler, said, "We have had every headsail up in the inventory (except the storm jib)."

Sailors faced very light conditions off the coast of New England on Friday night as passing thunderstorms on land diminished the wind, making it a drifter at sea. Unfortunately, the JV 72, Proteus, owned by George Sakellaris, dismasted at 0200 on Saturday morning while sailing normally in moderate conditions due to a mast failure at the base.  All crew were unharmed, the rig was cut away, and the crew safely returned to Newport.

On Saturday, the breeze filled in, and the boats have been making quick progress along the rhumb line towards Bermuda. (We have been posting photos and boat updates to our social media and website.)

At 0300 this morning (Sunday), Alliance USA 52770 J/122, owned by Eric Irwin and Mary Martin, reported dealing with water ingress via a rudder post and subsequently decided to abandon ship. Multiple competitors stopped racing and stood by to assist as needed. By 0400, all crew were safely aboard the J/121 Ceilidh, which will now resume racing with the Alliance crew, estimated to arrive in Bermuda on Tuesday afternoon.

Roy Disney's Pyewacket 70 is expected to be the first to finish tonight in Bermuda off St. David's Lighthouse. They are currently also sitting on top of the Live Leaderboard for the Gibbs Hill Division, but close behind is Andrew Berdon’s Summer Storm 52.

In the St. David’s Lighthouse Division, Carina and Hound look to be battling for the top spot. These two teams have a long history as powerhouses in the Bermuda Race going back 50 years. Carina has won the race 3 times since her launch over 50 years ago but not since 2012. Hound was built for the Bermuda Race in 1970 by the father of the skipper currently sitting in 5th place, Art Santry helming Temptation. Hound has 88 Bermuda Races among the crew onboard to Carina’s 67. With all that experience, it's bound to be something to watch over the coming days.  

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