Midnight Rider (Santa Cruz 70) sailed across the finish line at St David's Lighthouse in Bermuda to take line honours in the Charleston Bermuda Race yesterday morning

At 0345 yesterday morning the Charleston crew aboard Midnight Rider sailed across the finish line at St David’s Lighthouse in Bermuda to take line honours in the Charleston Bermuda Race. Unshaven, tanned and tired, the crew of 15 appeared more than ready for nap as they stepped ashore.

Midnight Rider, a Santa Cruz 70 with a stellar reputation for winning races like the Transpac, is a new boat for husband and wife team Hank Hofford and Susan Ford. They assembled a crew over the last two months, rallying friends, colleagues and family for the 777-mile adventure. Teddy Turner brought on his stepbrother Peter Sherman from Chicago. Otherwise, the crew was exclusively from Charleston. Bringing 15 personalities and varied skills together in a mere two months is a challenge at best. The entire crew only sailed together a handful of times before taking off for the race.

Midnight Rider’s total elapsed time for the race is 3 days, 15 hours, 45 minutes and 0 seconds (corrected time is 4 days, six hours, 38 minutes and 41 seconds). At this stage, their greatest threat is Crescendo, a Swan 44 sailed by Australian James Wilmot, which will likely finish later today. The crew of Midnight Rider figures that they have about 34 hours on Crescendo, meaning that if Crescendo finishes within that time period, they will take honors as the overall winner of the race.

Further back in the fleet, Alice Kay, a Hinkley B4 MKIII and the first Bermudian entry in the race, and E’s Alee, a Hylas 46, are trading tacks in fourth and fifth position.