Marion Bermuda Race - The battle for line honors

The Swan 62 Lady B legs it out on Little Harbor 60 Linley III and the J120 Alibi in the Class A start of the 2013 Marion Bermuda Race
©SpectrumPhoto/Fran Grenon
Not much has changed in the race for line honors on the second full day of racing in the 2013 Marion Bermuda Race. It is just wait and see… and enjoy the pink beaches and the bright Bermuda sunshine or a round of golf while you’re at it. Today, the Bermuda fitted dinghies are match racing in Mangrove Bay. Monday is a Bermuda holiday— Hero’s Day— and they have fleet races there, too. Many of the Race officials from the US are traveling to Bermuda today.

At 1600hrs Sunday in Bermuda, the Yellowbrick tracking site reported that the closest boat to Bermuda was Shindig, Mass Maritime’s Andrews 68 that has led from the start. She was 161 nm out and doing 6.9 knots for the previous hour, well below the record pace she had carried for the first 48 hours. Shindig may finish Monday afternoon while the volunteers and guests are having cocktails at St David’s Lighthouse overlooking the finish line.

Shindig would have to finish before 10:13:45 Monday EDT/ 11:13:45 ADT to break the record. The furthest racer was Regulus, a Class C Hinckley SW 51CB, 357 miles North west of Bermuda. She is skippered by Emmett Harty from Stonington CT.

Early wind in the Bermuda ocean races often dangles race records like a time carrot in front of the bows of the big boats. But the record is very elusive. When the top of the course has pressure and speed, the system that is producing the wind is already moving out into the North Atlantic.

A high pressure expands from the West and the South of the original windy area. A ‘parking lot’ grows right in the middle of the last 100 miles of the course. Racers call it the 'happy Valley. A boat would have to average over nine knots to break the current record from Marion.

Boats behind Shindig are moving faster now compared to the leader, still carrying the pressure. On corrected time at this stage, two boats have moved ahead of Shindig in Class A. Alibi stands first and Lady B has moved up to second. This trend should continue through Sunday evening until they, too, find their parking place.

Integrity, a Navy 44 skippered by Mario Avila of the USNA, leads Class B. Roust, a Sea Sprite 34 (the smallest boat in the fleet) leads Class C on corrected time. Roust’s Skipper is Ian Gumprecht from Oyster Bay NY. George Cubbon’s Alice Kay from Bermuda has moved up to second in that class.

The second nearest boat to Bermuda was the Class A Lady B, John Madden’s Swan 62 from Newport RI. She was 214 nm out. Kismet was third 253 miles out while the local Bermuda favorite, Spirit of Bermuda, had fallen back to ninth. On YellowBrick boats look like they are piled on top of each other. It is a close race with many more miles to go.

Marion Bermuda website