The record 182 boats started Newport Bermuda Race at 1:00 pm on Friday, June 14th were met with bone-jarring rough waters in the gulf stream, with 25 to 30 knot south-southwest winds stacked up huge square waves against the 4 to 6 knot south current.
Roy Disney, on Pyewacket, a 75-foot custom Reichel-Pugh design that holds the TRANSPAC Ocean Race record, shattered the previous record (Boomerang, George Coumantaro, 1966) by three hours, 52 minutes, and 28seconds, coming to the finish line in the elapsed time of 53 hours, 39 minutes and 22 seconds. (Time unofficial at press deadline.) Boomerang crossed the line a close second at 20:17:44 also breaking her own record as well.
Three of the early finishers had man overboard incidents all occurring while changing either damaged sails or rigging. The four men overboard were rescued in five minutes or less, a feat that crew attributed to the safety drills practiced before the race. In fact, the official Notice of Race for this year's Newport Bermuda Race, which is sponsored by the Cruising Club of America and The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, clearly indicates that "30 percent of all crew members including at least two of the following (captain, navigator, port and starboard watch captains) shall have attended a sanctioned Safety-at-Sea Seminar within three years prior to the start of the race." In addition, the sponsors strongly suggested that all crew attend a CCA (Cruising Club of America) Safety-at-Sea seminar. The concern for safety certainly paid off when four men whose lives were in danger in the rough Gulf Stream waters were brought back on board so quickly. According to Steve Hayles, the 2nd navigator on Boomerang (George Coumantaro, Greenwich, CT), when a crew lost his balance and slipped over the rail, "it was all very quick. We had him back onboard within two minutes."
The water was so rough in the Gulf Stream that the leading boat, Pyewacket, had to slow their boat to prevent damage. According to tactician Robbie Haines, "At one time we had to go into speed control mode... we slowed down to 8 to 10 knots, with no headsail and a double reefed mainsail to keep the boat from breaking up." Added Roy Disney, captain, "We had sick people and food was a problem," Disney said. "Nobody wanted to smell food cooking while we were in the stream. Nobody could sleep because of the sound when the 75-foot sled hit the trough at the bottom of a 10 foot wave, 20 feet from top to bottom." His first comments upon his arrival in Bermuda: "You would not have wanted to be on the boat."
Several boats from our area are competing in this year's Bermuda Race. Official results in next week's column. (Please note: All the boats have more crew than indicated as only local sailors are listed here.) Bob Limoggio, Port Washington YC, is the captain on Spank Me BT, with crew; Robbie Lager (watch captain), Steve Moore (navigator), Flo Paterno (doctor), Peter Christie, Philip Fishman, Bill Simon, Kevin Lowes and Scott McFarland. Andy Perni, Manhasset Bay YC, is Captain and Watch Captain on Passion, with crew: Andrew Weber (watch captain, Navigator, Doctor), Michael Yorke (watch captain), Bill Cornachio (cook), Harry Nicolaides (cook), Dan Brown and Al Diaz. Ira H. Futterman, Knickerbocker YC, is captain on R Wave 3, with Fred Meyer (cook). Jim Miller, who until recently lived in Sands Point, and now resides in Oyster Bay, is captain of Antipodes, with crew: Wiley Crockett (cook), Rick Jordan and Jeff Shane. Rich du Moulin, who grew up sailing at Knickerbocker YC and Peter Rugg, who also grew up sailing for Manhasset Bay YC, are sailing on Lora An, in the two-handed spinnaker division. John Browning is sailing on Toscana, a Frers 50 out of Indian Head YC. Paul Cuneo, Louis Nees and Tom Egan, Port Washington YC, are sailing on Sceptre'D Isle, with Captain Dietrich Weismann, New York City.
On Friday, June 7, the Women's Racing Clinic held their first regatta of the year, following two full days of a sailing seminar. According to Sue Miller, Regatta chair, the cold front that followed Friday morning's low brought a dry easterly breeze by late Friday afternoon, with sunny skies greeting the WRC sailors by the start of the evening regatta. Five boats, with participation from four clubs (Manhasset Bay YC, Port Washington YC, Knickerbocker YC and Sea Cliff YC) sailed in seven races. Winds were from the east-northeast at 6-15 knots. Racing was extremely competitive. The results: 1. Joan MacInnes (PWYC), with crew Lorrain McIntosh, Laurie Carron. 2. Nan Barry (MBYC), with Jan Sprendi, Sheliah Lorson, and 3. Cindy Jordan (MBYC), with Jamie Gross, Jeanne Rosenthal, 4. Pam Prokop (MBYC), with Roxanne Lehmann, Paula Kaminsky-Davis, and 5. Bonnie Doran (MBYC), with Vivien Shiah, Loretta Chiofolo.
On Sunday June 9, the Sonars, MBOs and KODs were all out on the starting line for three races, with very little wind. On Saturday, June 15, racing was cancelled due to lack of wind. Race results for Sunday, June 16 were unavailable at press time. Results for June 9 racing: First race: #652, Sounder, Rick Jordan and Jeff Shane. 2. #421, Weekend Warrior, Dan/Bill Simon, and 3. #396, Delight, Bob Kirtland. (Protest pending for 22nd and 3rd place). Race Two: 1. Delight, 2. Sounder, and 3. Weekend Warrior. Race Three: 1. Delight, 2. #451, Ping, Sue Miller/John Browning, and 3. Sounder. The Knickerbocker One Designs (KODs): 1. #11, Bon Chance, Mathew Temares, 2. #15, Dybbuk, Roy Israel, and 3. #9 (Name unavailable). Finishes for the second and third race the same: 1. Bon Chance, 2. Dybbuk, and 3. #12 (name unavailable). Three Manhasset Bay One Designs (MBOs) raced. Their results: 1. #9, Miss B Haven, Grace Allen, 2. #11, (name unavailable), and 3. #17, Frolic, Bill Martin. Race 2: 1. Miss B Haven, 2. #11, and 3. Frolic. Race three results: 1. Miss B Haven, 2. Frolic, and 3. #11.
Race results for the Cow Bay Cruising Association (CBCA), commonly known as the Thirsty Thursday Series, completed race #4 on June 14. The results: DIV I (Course UMI, 4.8 nm): 1. Zero Gravity, Tony Dalia, 2. Free Fall (name unavailable), and 3. Avalanche, Al Albrecht. DIV II: (Course BMY, 4.57 nm): 1. Xcite, Yalcin Tarhan, 2. Vision, Marc Epstein, and 3. Irish Blessing, Ed Gillen. DIV III (Course MMY, 4.57 nm): 1. Tootsie, Ron Fink, 2. Sundance, Joel Ziev, and 3. Serenity, Jacques Blinbaum. DIV IV (Course BMY, 4.57 nm): 1. N Joy Two, Israel Gerber.