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Sail Scene

Local crew winners in

Charleston-Bermuda Race

Winners in the Charleston to Bermuda Race made their hometowns proud by representing both ends of the race. Midnight Rider, the Santa Cruz 70 owned by Hank Hofford and Susan Ford of Charleston, won the Spinnaker Class as well as honors for First to Finish, and First Overall.

The Bermuda team of Richard Hartley on Alice Kay took second place in the Spinnaker Class.

“We were pushing hard to win,” said Hartley. “Jody Walker and the rest of our crew had every sail out of the locker.”

The people of Bermuda were watching Hartley, marking the first Bermuda entry in the C2B event. As Hartley and his crew tacked up the south shore of Bermuda, dozens of calls came in to race organizers and finally they were greeted on the dock with a healthy crowd of spectators, family and friends.

Bermuda’s Minister of Tourism, Ewart Brown, joined U.S. Congressman Henry Brown from South Carolina to commend the sailors and promote the future of the race.

Midnight Rider’s watch captains Jeffrey Wargo and Teddy Turner represented the crew of 15 by receiving the First Overall trophy, a large silver cup standing tall above a leather-wrapped stand, designed and constructed for the event by sponsor Bauer International. Charles Gosling complemented the trophy by presenting the sailors with a special bottle of Gosling’s Old Rum.

Donnybrook takes

Annapolis-Newport Race

For the fourth time since 1993, Donnybrook, Jim Muldoon’s custom 72-footer from Annapolis, Md., has taken line honors as the first yacht to finish the Annapolis to Newport Race. At 17:39:26 on June 12, Donnybrook crossed the finish line off Castle Hill Rock at the mouth of the Narragansett Bay in 12 knot breezes flying her trademark shamrock-logoed asymmetrical spinnaker.

With an elapsed time of 53:24:08, Michael Brennan’s TP 52 Sjambok from Newport, R.I., finished second across the line less than 15 minutes behind. According to the IRC Rule under which both yachts were racing, Sjambok, with a rating of 1.336, beat Donnybrook, with a rating of 1.442, by 5:18:26.4 on corrected time.

Sailing for the Annapolis Yacht Club team, Donnybrook experienced her lightest breezes and lowest boat speeds of seven to eight knots at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay after leading the fleet down the Bay, according to navigator Bert Collins. Per Collins, as Donnybrook sailed upwind down the Chesapeake Bay, she worked the current, sailing to the eastern shore south of Cove Point and over to the middle and then the western shore south of Smith Point as the current shifted. “It was a great race; fairly straightforward,” said Collins. “We were expecting sweat and drift. It was one of the more fun Annapolis to Newport Races we’ve done.” Donnybrook’s elapsed time was 53:09:26.

Aboard Sjambok, watch captain Matt Beck credits increased breeze for the last 100 miles as well as splitting with Donnybrook to sail around the east side of Block Island for the close on-the-water finish with Donnybrook. According to Beck, Donnybrook was faster upwind coming down the Bay, and Sjambok kept all the crew on the rail as they played their tactics to not lose Donnybrook and work with the current as it changed. “We started watches when we were out of the Bay,” said Beck. As they left the Bay, “Donnybrook did a good job of sailing downwind,” according to Beck, “but when the breeze picked up in the last 100 miles, we were able to take a big chunk out of them by the finish. On the back side of Block Island, we had up to 25 knots of wind.”

Full fleet race tracking is available at

First AC yacht built

to new standards debuts

South African-based Team Shosholoza on April 25 unveiled the hull of its new America’s Cup Class yacht for its world premiere at the Royal Cape Yacht Club in Cape Town. It is the first boat built to meet the new Version 5.0 standards of the America’s Cup. The British boat designer Jason Ker developed the high-tech construction.

The team worked for a total of six months on the new yacht. The hull is the result of 15,000 hours of research and design work. Building time took a total of 25,000 hours.

Instead of the previous 25 tons, the new V 5.0 yachts weigh one ton less. In addition they have a deeper keel and more sail area than the 2003 America’s Cup boats. The number of crew members has also changed: in 2007 a total of 17 sailors and one spectator will be on board. At the last Cup the crew numbered just 16 sailors.

Rolex Swan American

Regatta to debut in July

One of the certain highlights of Newport’s summer sailing season will be the debut of the Rolex Swan American Regatta. The event, organized by the New York Yacht Club, is scheduled for July 25 to 29.

More than 50 of the majestic Swan yachts, ranging from 35 to 80 feet, will gather at the Newport Shipyard, in downtown Newport, where a specially designed dockside Regatta Village will serve as the hub of activity for competitors. Social activities are planned at Harbour Court, the New York Yacht Club’s Newport clubhouse. A series of around-the-buoys and distance races is planned for competitors, with a Rolex timepiece awarded to the winning Swan owner.

The Swan yachts will be divided into four classes. Three of these, including the ever-popular cruising division, will race under the Nautor’s Swan Rating System, while the Swan 45 class will race as a one-design class. Races will take place daily on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound.;