Thursday, 24 June 2010
Noonmark VI - a Swan 56 owned by Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy from London UK, winner of the Gibbs Hill Trophy. Image copyright PPL photo agency.
by Talbot Wilson
Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy’s Noonmark VI crossed the St David's Lighthouse finish line at 1:40:18 EDT on Tuesday morning to take first place in the ‘professional’ Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division in the 2010 Newport Bermuda Race. The Frers designed Swan 56, which is on a world cruise, taking in all the world's top races sailed under the English flag with an all-European professional crew consisting of one Spaniard and the skipper and twelve crew from England.
Sir Geoffrey will take home the silver Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, a replica of one of two lighthouses that warn mariners away from Bermuda’s reefs. Noonmark V is the second lowest rated boat in the Gibbs Hill Division, and defeated a bevy of top names including Rán, Bella Mente, and Beau Geste, to take the prize. She had a corrected time of 52:48:32 but like all results, this one is provisional until Friday.
Larry Huntington’s Snow Lion came second in the Gibbs Hill Division with a corrected time of 55:21:49, even though the bottom part of her mainsail blew out seven minutes after the start. Her crew reefed the sail, spent many hours repairing the rip, and was able to set the full sail during the last part of the race.
Bolands Mill - the Class 40 sailed by John Ryan and Joe Harris was one of the first boats to finish in the Double-Handed division. Image copyright PPL photo agency.
In the 26-boat Double-Handed Division, the four Class 40 boats finished 1-2-3-4 on Tuesday morning, with Dragon, owned by Michael S. Hennessey of New York, first at 9:50:51 EDT. The corrected time leader as of 5 PM Tuesday, when 19 boats in the division were yet to finish, was Nathan C. Owen’s J-46 Seabiscuit, from Norwell, MA.
The Cruiser Division’s first boat on elapsed time was Neal Finnegan’s Swan 56 Clover III, Dedham, MA, finishing at 1:17:11. She was the corrected time leader as of 5 PM, with 23 boats yet to finish
The St. David’s Lighthouse Division had its first strong candidate as winner when Carina finished at 5:55:06 EDT Tuesday morning with a huge 60-mile lead on Class 3. Skippered by Rives Potts of Westbrook CT, Carina was sailed by an all-amateur crew, mostly members of the Potts and Crump families. The 48-foot McCurdy & Rhodes design has sailed more Bermuda Races than any other boat, 19, and won the 1970 St. David’s Lighthouse. To win a second one, she has to save her time on the lead boats in Class 1, Sinn Fein, Belle Aurore, and Lindy, which are expected to finish Tuesday night.
Potts and his crew did some remarkable sailing, easing sheets on the top of the course to sail east of most of their competitors and putting 50 miles on her nearest class rival by the time she left the Stream. Carina beat all the higher rated boats in Classes 4 and 5 to the finish line. Second on corrected time in Class 3 is Dolphin, a J42 owned by Henry Morgan of Annapolis MD. “We were lucky,” Potts said. But most sailors know that sailing smart and fast makes your own luck.
Clover III - The Swan 56 skippered by Neal Finnegan leads Class 13 and the Cruiser division. Image copyright PPL photo agency.
At dawn on Tuesday, the iBoattrack screen looked like a massive bunch of 140 balloons trailing on strings southward from Newport to just north of Bermuda. Only 43 of the 183 starters had finished. By late afternoon 73 boats had finished and 110 were racing.