Race Blog 8: “midnightexpress” Captures Double-Handed Division Honors

June 23, 2020

The fourth and final division of boats, the Double-Handed Division's Jeanneau Sun Fast 3300s, began finishing today at 8:52:36 local time/ 12:52:36 UTC. First to arrive was Tony Phillpot/midnightexpress (UK) followed by Sloan Burns/SloanBurns (US) and OscarBoteco1 (Brazil), all separated by less than 10 minutes. The trio had a solid 20-minute lead on the boats that followed.

Tony Phillpott/midnightexpress shown winning the Double-Handed Division, finishing at the port end of the line with SloanBurns to windward.

Many top sailors in the Double-Handed Division elected to sail well east of the rhumbline early in the race, seeking stronger winds. In the race chat, after the finish, Burns/SloanBurns explained his strategic move at that same time: " I was borderline one of the east-siders. I went out 20nm [east] of the rhumb and couldn't justify it so I had to work back. Some good re-enforcement of IRL lessons learned during this virtual race."

Burns led Phillpott/midnightexpress for a while, but as happened in some other divisions, the windward position of midnightexpress allowed Phillpott to sail faster and lower on the long reach to Kitchen Shoals. OscarBoteco1 was also to the west but unable to sail over the top of SloanBurns as the breeze lightened.

Several Sailonline.org sailors decided it was a nice morning to keep sailing rather than make the turn to the finish off St. David's Lighthouse.

In all divisions, a few sailors rounded Kitchen Shoals Beacon and kept on sailing, or made the turn at Mills Breaker Buoy and set a course that just missed the finish line...and kept on sailing. All were good-humored about it, at least in their public comments. As one said in the race chat: "Work took me away from the helm! Grrr, overshot the mark by 3nm. Heading back now. Really enjoyed participating in this event. Thanks to the Organizers."

The Double-Handed Division is sponsored by Jeanneau North America.

Results for all classes are available at Sailonline.org's Races tab under the "leaderboard" for the Newport Bermuda Race.

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