Pac52s Warrior Won and Callisto Duel to Finish in 52nd Newport Bermuda Race

June 20, 2022

By Sean McNeill


The two yachts are provisional leader of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse and St. David’s Lighthouse divisions, respectively

HAMILTON, Bermuda (June 20, 2022)—A pair of Pac52 class boats, Christopher Sheehan’s Warrior Won and Jim Murray’s Callisto, renewed a lively rivalry in a race to the finish of 52nd Newport Bermuda Race last night.

Warrior Won owner Chris Sheehan (left) trades compliments with Callisto owner Jim Murray after arrival at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club docks in Hamilton this morning. Credit: Dave Reed

That the two were racing in different divisions—Warrior Won’s Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division is more oriented to professionals and Callisto’s St. David’s Lighthouse, for amateurs—didn’t matter. It was the third head-to-head showdown between the crews over the past year, and they were within sight of each other on the water, which allowed each crew to gauge their performance against a well-known competitor. Trial and error are how racing programs advance.
 
Sheehan (Larchmont, New York), however, placed another notch on his belt when Warrior Won came out on top, finishing at 02:10:34 ADT for an elapsed time of 56 hours, 43 minutes and 34 seconds and line honors in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division.
 
Murray’s (Lake Bluff, Illinois) Callisto wasn’t far behind, finishing at 02:55:01 for an elapsed time of 57:48:01 and line honors in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division.

The two teams were the third and fourth finishers overall in this year’s Bermuda Race, and now they’re the provisional leaders in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse and St. David’s Lighthouse divisions, respectively. There are many more finishers to come, but this year could be a year that the bigger, faster boats do best.
 
“The Callisto program and Jim are wonderful people,” said the 56-year-old Sheehan. “They pushed us hard in every race we’ve been in. We’re pushed to be as good as we are because they’re as good as they are.”
 
Sheehan’s Warrior Won captured overall and class honors in the Transpac Race last year and in the Caribbean 600 last February. In both races, Murray’s Callisto placed third in class and fifth overall.
 
“Chris and his team are setting fire in offshore racing,” said the 49-year-old-Murray. “We’ve had the opportunity to line up against them three times in the past year, and it’s great to race those guys. They set the standard.”

Three 52-footers berthed at Royal Bermuda Yacht Club this morning were, left to right, Hooligan, Callisto, and Warrior Won. Credit: John Burnham

Berthed next to each other at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club marina, members of the two crews both spoke of difficult conditions, which started before the race even began.
 
“I think it was an incredibly challenging race,” said Murray. “The forecast went out the window when the front moved through the starting line (on Friday). It immediately became a downwind race. We chased the front all the way to Bermuda, so we had a confused sea state. The winds were up and down and quite shifty. It was a whole mix of everything you could get. It was a great race.”
 
“The pre-race forecasts had us doing a jib reach the whole way. It transpired on the day of the start that it would be downwind and we brought a couple of spinnakers for that scenario,” said round-the-world sailor Stu Bannatyne of Warrior Won. “It was a tricky race at the end. Hard on the gear. A lot of boats sustained damage but we kept it together. We pushed the boat hard; it was a great effort.”

Interview with Jim Murray, owner of Callisto. Credit: BermudaRace.com

The Warrior Won crew outdueled Callisto in part because they had all-hands on deck for the final 17 hours or so, from 0900 on Sunday to the finish.
 
“I reckon one key part of the race was the full court press,” said Bannatyne. “We had everyone on deck, pushing 110 percent. We watched tracker religiously over the last day and that made a difference. It was cool to do a downwind race to Bermuda.”
 
Being in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division, Callisto’s crew had 10 amateurs and four professionals. The pros, however, are not allowed to helm the boat. Murray said that they rotated through six amateur helmsmen who knew how to handle the boat, and the pros were great at coaching in the very hard conditions.
 
“Saturday night we were going 20 knots and launching off waves,” said Murray. “They were only 3 to 4 feet, but quite steep and coming out of nowhere. And it was pitch black. The crew buckled down and kept their heads in the game. We were able to get through the evening and keep everybody present and focus on driving the boat to Bermuda.”
 
Murray said that they broke one important spinnaker due to the rough conditions. Warrior Won also blew out a similar sail.
 
“We lost one spinnaker, just due to the incredible sea state,” Murray said. “It was our A2+, our up-range spinnaker, so pretty important. We used an A2 the rest of the race, but had to nurse it. We dialed back about 10 percent. Luckily, the kite we had was really well made and held together to the finish.”

CollinLeon Stuart Bannatyne video
Interview with Warrior Won‘s Collin Leon and Stuart Bannatyne. Credit: BermudaRace.com

The Fleet is Closing on Bermuda
The bulk of the fleet is making good progress towards Bermuda, and more and more boats are beginning to cross the finish line off St. David’s Lighthouse.
 
About 32 minutes after Callisto, the Reichel/Pugh 74 Wizard, chartered by Fred Detwiler (Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan) and Bruce Aikens (Birmingham, Michigan), was the fifth overall finisher and second in St. David’s Lighthouse Division.
 
A little more than two hours later Zygmund Beatty’s (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) TP52 Hooligan finished, followed by Dawn Riley (St. Clair Shores, Michigan) and crew aboard the Maxi yacht OC86 from Oakcliff Sailing, both in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division. (See results for further arrivals.)
 
Winds have been lighter across the course on Monday, and the double-digit speeds of many boats yesterday have fallen significantly. Still, several boats should finish this afternoon, with more to come in the evening. Stay tuned to the race with the Bluenose Yacht Sales YB tracker at the Bermuda Race website.

Latest Bermuda Race News


June 24, 2022

Competitors Bulletin #30: Prize-Giving, Scoring Correction, Navigators Forum

A message to competitors related to the Prize-Giving, corrections in the scoring, and new YouTube videos

June 23, 2022

Competitors Bulletin #29: Bermuda Logistics

A message to competitors on clearing Bermuda Customs and options for duty-free fuel purchase

June 23, 2022

US Sailing Inquiry to Report on Crew-Overboard Incident

Bermuda Race organizers look forward to lessons learned aboard Morgan of Marietta to improve safety for all sailors

SPONSORS


Official Host

Official Rum

Safe Harbor Marinas logo

Premier Sponsor

Race Tracker Sponsor

Official Hospitality Sponsor

Official Performance Partner

Official Shipyard

Official Sponsor

Official Sponsor

Official Luxury Hospitality Sponsor

Official Media Sponsor

Official Sponsor

Official Media Sponsor

Official Gear Supplier

Helly-Hansen-Newport-Logo

Official Gear Supplier

Official Sponsor

Official Connectivity Sponsor

Official Sponsor

Official Sustainability Sponsor

SUPPORTERS


Become a Race Fan!

Get our Race News right your Inbox