Newport Bermuda Race - Carina steals the show

Carina - Rives Potts
In the Newport Bermuda Race, going into Monday evening, LLwyd Ecclestone’s ‘Kodiak’ crew was hopeful of winning the St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy, the most coveted of the three main Newport Bermuda Trophies awarded to the corrected time winner of the large amateur division. Then came ‘Carina’ to steal the show.

It looks as though, Based on provisional results, Rives Potts’ McCurdy and Rhodes 48-foot ‘Carina’ (Westbrook CT) won Class 3 and the silver scale model St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy for first in the Division and probably more loot to boot. ‘Carina’ with Potts at the helm won the same first place trophy in the 2010 race and in 1970 ‘Carina’ won it under Richard Nye. This ties ‘Carina’ with ‘Finisterre’ as the boat with the most lighthouses on her trophy rack. ‘Finisterre’ won three in a row under Carleton Mitchel 1956, 1958 and 1960.

‘Carina’ finished at 6:16PM in Bermuda and had a corrected time of 45:08:16. The US Naval Academy’s new Navy 44 ‘Defiance’ was second in Class 3 behind ‘Carina’ and also second in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division. Her corrected time was 45:42:50. The US Naval Academy’s older Navy 44 Class 2 boat, ‘Swift’, was first in her class and third overall for the division with a corrected time of 46:09:04. It was a pretty tight race with just 26 corrected minutes between these top two boats in the division after a 635-mile sleigh-ride.

2012 Newport Bermuda Yacht Race -start in Narragansett Bay Class 3 St David's Lighthouse division: Defiance - NA 23 - Navy 44 training yacht skippered by Bryan Weisberg

2012 Newport Bermuda Yacht Race -start in Narragansett Bay Swift - NA11 - Navy 44 yacht skippered by Steve Jaenke

For Potts and crew, this is his second St. David’s Lighthouse win in a row. 'We had a fantastic race,' Potts said. ' Pretty straight forward. We powered through the stream and then played two big shifts down the rhumbline further south. We gybed twice and then tacked twice for the finish when the wind got lighter and went forward. We finished under a light number one headsail.' These gybes and tacks were more than most of the other boats in the race made and probably helped ‘Carina’ win overall.

'The boat just got back from a circumnavigation and racing in the world’s top races three weeks ago. My son and nephew did a great job of getting ‘Carina’ ready for Bermuda. In a race like this, preparation is one key to winning. Crew work is another and we had a family based crew working together,' Potts added.

The crew of ‘Carina’ is made up of four fathers and five sons. One of the fathers, Bud Sutherland, is Rives Potts’ brother-in-law and his son Rives Sutherland is the Captain of ‘Carina’ who took her on her global trek.

Change happened overnight in the Double-Handed Division, too. Perennial double-handed winner Hewitt Gaynor (Fairfield CT) slipped his J120 Mireille into first in Class 15 and first in the division. Joe Harris (South Hamilton MA) who sailed such a fast race in his Class 40 ‘Gryphon Solo2’ was alone on the leader board Monday. Harris had an elapsed time of 60:20:26 while Gaynor’s was 74:12:34. On corrected time, ‘Mireille’ beat ‘Gryphon Solo2’ by roughly four hours.

2012 Newport Bermuda Yacht Race -start in Narragansett Bay Double handed division - Mireille - USA 50622 - J120 production yacht skippered by E Hewitt Gaynor

The provisional Gibbs Hill Division winner is ‘Shockwave’ a Reichel/Pugh 72 skippered by George Sakellaris of Farmington MA. Sakellaris will win the silver replica of the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, a top prize along with the St. David’s Light. ‘Shockwave’ took double silver snatching the North Rock Beacon Trophy, the third important prize for the IRC corrected time winner, which is a silver replica of the 1960-1990 North Rock Light Tower that once warned mariners of the rocky approach to Bermuda from the North.

2012 Newport Bermuda Yacht Race -start in Narragansett Bay. Shockwave - USA 60272 - a mini maxi yacht skippered by George Sakellaris

‘Med Spirit’ sailed by Michael D’Amelio (Boston, MA) in the Open Division is the other winner that seems clear under the provisional results for the Royal Mail trophy. Six boats started in this division that featured boats from 40 feet to 100 feet in length. Their common denominator was moveable ballast, either canting keels or water ballast. The three Class 40 boats all had water ballast and were fully crewed so they did not qualify to sail against the three Class 40’s that went double-handed in Class 15.

2012 Newport Bermuda Yacht Race -start in Narragansett Bay Med Spirit - FRA 1575 - Welbourn 92 maxi skippered by Michael D'Amelio.

The Wally 100 ‘Indio’ under Mark Fliegner (Monaco) came second. ‘Donnybrook’, in her maiden race skippered by Jim Muldoon (Washington DC) had to retire with damage to her daggerboard and daggerboard trunk. Under corrected time only about five hours separated the winning 100-footer and the bottom Class 40.

‘Spirit of Bermuda’, the Bermuda Sloop Foundation sail-training vessel, was the sole entry in the new Spirit of Tradition Division. She finished Monday night at 11:20 ADT.

No Cruiser Division winner will be projected until late Tuesday or on Wednesday.

Bermuda Race website