Thursday, June 22, 2006

Final Race Update from the Newswire

Ashley Shephard from Hamilton, Bermuda is first to greet Hap Fauth and his 'Bella Mente' crew from Newport RI, with a tray of' Dark 'n Stormies' to celebrate their spectacular victory over 264 strong Newport Bermuda Race fleet. (Photo Credit: Barry Pickthal)

Temptress and Four Stars take Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Trophies
by Laurie Fullerton

Hamilton, Bermuda -- The long wait is nearly over for many among the 263- fleet participating in the Newport Bermuda Centennial race. With over 200 yachts reaching the finish over the last 24 hours, the provisional winners are eyeing up the coveted Gibbs Hill and St. David's Lighthouse Trophies.

The man with most anticipation is Dr. Richard Shulman from Barrington, Rhode Island, whose lifelong dream of winning the Lighthouse trophy finally looks set to become reality. His IMX 45 Temptress, not only heads her class but the entire professional ORR section of the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division racing for the ORR Gibbs Hill Lighthouse trophy including Hap Fauth's line honors victor Bella Mente.

“We knew we had a good shot at winning this race as soon as we saw the kind of weather we would have," said Shulman today, adding. “I have one of the greatest crews who have been sailing with me for many years, and we have a boat that is extremely fast in light airs."

In the IRC rating rule section of the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division, Timothy McAdams' 44-foot Four Stars has also earned the coveted trophy.

"We knew this was a good reaching boat. We set out to be competitive. It was a two year program and we felt we could do well, but to win it all is beyond our expectations," said McAdams from Brewster MA.

Peter Henderson, his bowman, added, “We sailed on a track close to everyone else but for the smaller boats there were a lot of restarts in this race, As the bigger boats got ahead, they then sailed into a hole, the smaller boats caught up, and the re-start gave us the edge. We all felt we had a good chance of winning and sailed as well as we could. We all wanted this win."

The Temptress team has been regular competitors in this race since the 1980s in three different boats named Temptress and have come close to winning several times. In 1994, they missed out on an overall win by just 3 minutes 40 seconds. Nick Nicholson, Shulman's veteran navigator from Newport, Rhode Island was just as ecstatic. “This is big, both individually and collectively. We all wanted this."

Both men are members of the Cruising Club of America and involved in the organizational aspects of this race, with Shulman chairman of participation and Nicholson standing as vice-chairman of this race.“We like light air sailing and have a depth of knowledge here. Our tactician is Jack Slattery from Marblehead and he made some fantastic calls. When we were in the Gulf Stream and watching the forecast, given our position within the fleet, we knew we had a shot."

Shulman put their victory down to a last minute change of plan. “We had intended to head out east of the rhumb line but in the end we went west. We listened to the experts telling us that it would be best to go east, but the data they presented suggested that the westerly option through the Gulf Stream was best.

For more than 300 miles, Shulman's Temptress was within hailing distance of Clayton Deutsch's larger 68ft Swan Chippewa, and the two were still trading tacks close to the finish.

“It was great to wake up each morning to see a larger mast nearby." Shulman joked.

The Newport Bermuda race is a right of passage for many ocean sailors ranging from the Governor of Bermuda to British heroine Dee Carraffa who on May 18 became the first yachtsman in history to successfully complete a solo circumnavigation west to east.

“I will not easily forget getting a lesson in winch dismantling in the middle of the Gulf Stream, or for that matter cleaning my teeth in the dark with Savalon antiseptic cream instead of toothpaste!," noted Sir John Vereker, Governor of Bermuda who sailed aboard Colin Couper's Swan 46 Babe. “Altogether, we thoroughly enjoyed the race. We may have fallen into a hole without breeze after the Gulf Stream, but it was enormous fun and a great experience."

- Laurie Fullerton

1 comment:

BRIAN said...