The MOD70 trimaran is the first Saturday finisher after a Friday start in the history of the Bermuda Race
Jason Carroll (New York City) and the crew of the MOD70 Argo outran every elapsed-time record associated with the Newport Bermuda Race when they completed the 52nd edition Saturday night at 2320:09 (ADT).
Argo’s elapsed time of 33 hours, 0 minutes and 09 seconds is more than 30 hours faster than Carroll’s Gunboat 62 Elvis set in the first multihull division in the 2018 Bermuda Race. It is also 1h:42m:42s faster than the 100-foot monohull Comanche’s Open Division mark of 34h:42m:53s, set in the 2016 race. And it’s more than six and a half hours faster than Rambler 90’s mark of 39 hours and 39 minutes, which earned owner George David the Schooner Mistress Trophy in 2012 for fastest elapsed time by a monohull in the race’s four major divisions.
Argo is the first-ever Saturday night finisher in the history of the storied Bermuda Race, co-organized by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
Owner/skipper Carroll’s international crew aboard Argo included Chad Corning (New Rochelle, New York), Pete Cumming (Warsash, England), Thierry Fouchier (Marseille, France), boat captain Chris Maxted (Melbourne, Australia), Charlie Ogletree (Seabrook, Texas), Alister Richardson (Bournemouth, England), and navigator/sailing master Brian Thompson (Cowes, England).
“This crew has been on the boat a lot, we’ve all worked together for a lot of years,” said Corning, the 50-year-old crewman and program manager in a pre-race interview. “For the shorter 600-mile races we like to sail with eight. It just makes sail handling that much easier.”
Argo averaged 19.24 knots in setting the multihull course record, and sailed approximately 486 nautical miles in the 24 hours after the start. Argo sailed mainly to the west of rhumbline and took advantage of a meander in the Gulf Stream that gave it a favorable boost towards Bermuda.
Argo started the Bermuda Race on Friday at 1420 ADT. Watching the boat do its pre-race preps one could see the mast canted heavily to starboard, indicating the crew knew it would be a starboard tack slog until they got within sight of Bermuda. The only two maneuvers were a tack to port and one back to starboard to the finish line off St. David’s Lighthouse in the final 10 miles of the course.
In April, Argo set a record from Antigua to Newport of 3 days and 15 minutes, shaving five and a half hours off the previous mark set by sistership Phaedo. The Bermuda Race record is the sixth course record to go with two world records that Argo has set since Carroll purchased the foil-assisted trimaran in 2018.
Argo’s preparations for the Bermuda Race included fitting a new rudder to replace one that was broken in April during training in Antigua prior to the record run to Newport.
“We toasted the V2 rudder and replaced it with one of our first version rudders for the record run,” said Corning. “We’ve got two generations of foils and rudders, and the new rudder is a direct replacement of the first V2 rudder.
“Argo is as good as a MOD70 can be,” Corning continued. “The only development we’re considering is a switch to flip-up rudders instead of being destroyed. Things break when we hit things, and that’s a problem. In terms of how the foils and rudders work together, it’s as good as can get across the range. The underpinnings of the V2 foils and rudders are from our capsize in 2019. We wanted a safer boat. The boat’s a bit faster in some conditions, but better overall because it’s safer and more under control.”
More under control likely means many more records for Carroll and the Argo crew in the future.
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