The fastest three have finished, but the bulk are still stretched over 300 miles of N Atlantic water
On Monday morning at 9:12:56 Atlantic Daylight Time, Alex Jackson’s Speedboat (see photo) crossed the finish line at St. David’s light in Bermuda. They were the first to cross the line, and the first to finish in the Open Class Division. Speedboat’s total elapsed time was 64 hours 42 minutes and 56 seconds.
Less than 18 months ago Alex Jackson and Mike Sanderson started to shape their plan to design, build and fit out a super-maxi that would debut in the Newport Bermuda Race. Last Friday, 99-foot long Speedboat was in the limelight.
After leaving Newport with an upwind speed of 16 knots, Sanderson relayed back to shore, “She is all very new and it is going to take some learning before we get 100% out of her, but there is no doubt in my mind that Speedboat is going to be a great boat.”
Rumor has it there had been a friendly bet between Rambler and Il Mostro skippers. Rambler crossed the Newport Bermuda finish line after Speedboat at 12:45:27, with an elapsed time of 69 hours 5 minutes and 27 seconds. The 90-footer was the first to finish in its division. The Puma crew crossed the line at 14:03:24 with the chairman of Puma, Jochen Zeitz, at the helm. Il Mostro had a total elapsed time of 69 hours 33 minutes and 24 seconds and was the second boat to cross the line in the Open Division.
Puma’s Il Mostro is designed to the Volvo Ocean 70 box rule and tricked out with a canting keel and daggerboards. Its skipper Ken explained, “It’s a shame that there were no other boats like us and we created our own race between a boat that is twenty feet longer than we are [Speedboat]. We are thrilled to have finished within a day of Rambler. The race was a huge success. We needed to do a distance race and work on communications, sail changes, watch systems, diesel systems and everything else that goes into racing a boat around the world.” Puma was rated with it’s Volvo race sails and was raced in its Volvo Ocean Race configuration.
Although Shockwave 5 was the fourth boat to cross the finish line, she took line honours in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division, the largest division in the regatta, representing 123 of the 198 yachts entered in the Newport Bermuda Race.
Also finishing before sunset were Bella Mente, Hap Fauth’s Reichel Pugh 69; Roger and Farley Towses’ Reichel Pugh 66, Blue Yankee; Roger Sturgeon’s STP 65, Rosebud/ Team DTY and Moneypenny, a Reichel Pugh 65 owned by Jim Swartz. Not far behind this group is Dan Meyer’s Numbers and Norbert Plambeck’s all-German crewed Hexe, the former Boomerang, the Frers 80ft maxi that won line and handicap honours for George Coumantaros back in 1996.