Dramatic Developments in the 53rd Newport Bermuda Race: Dismasting, An Abandoned Ship, and Close Contests

Alliance at the start on Friday before abandoning ship early Sunday morning. All crew are safely aboard Ceilidh. / Photo: Steve Clouter

Just 48 hours into the 53rd Newport Bermuda Race, the fleet has already faced significant challenges, including a dramatic dismasting, an abandoned ship, and several retirements. Despite these setbacks, sailors are experiencing a wide array of sailing conditions and sea states on their journey to Bermuda.

Peter Isler, navigator on the anticipated first-to-finish Pyewacket 70, commented on the dynamic weather: “We have had every headsail up in the inventory (except the storm jib).” His words capture the varied conditions that have tested the fleet’s mettle.

Challenges on the High Seas

The race started with very light winds off the coast of New England on Friday night. Passing thunderstorms on land left the fleet drifting at sea. At 0200 on Saturday, George Sakellaris’s JV 72, Proteus, suffered a dismasting while sailing in moderate conditions due to a mast failure at the base. Fortunately, all crew members were unharmed, and after cutting away the rig, they safely returned to Newport.

As Saturday progressed, the breeze filled in, and boats began making swift progress along the rhumb line towards Bermuda. Regular updates and photos have been shared on social media and the race website, keeping enthusiasts engaged with the unfolding drama.

Early Morning Drama and Heroic Efforts

At 0300 on Sunday, Alliance USA 52770 J/121, owned by Eric Irwin and Mary Martin, reported water ingress via a rudder post and subsequently decided to abandon ship. Multiple competitors halted their races to provide assistance. By 0400, all crew members had safely transferred to the J/121 Ceilidh, which will continue racing with the rescued Alliance crew aboard, aiming to arrive in Bermuda by Tuesday afternoon.

Race to the Finish

Roy Disney’s Pyewacket 70 is expected to be the first to finish, likely arriving off St. David’s Lighthouse tonight or early tomorrow morning. Pyewacket 70 currently leads the Live Leaderboard for the Gibbs Hill Division, closely followed by Andrew Berdon’s Summer Storm 52.

In the St. David’s Lighthouse Division, a fierce battle is brewing between Carina and Hound. These two teams, with a storied history spanning 50 years in the Bermuda Race, are competing for the top spot. Carina, with three wins since her launch over 50 years ago but none since 2012, is vying for a comeback. Hound, built for the Bermuda Race in 1970 by the father of Art Santry, the skipper currently in 5th place helming Temptation, boasts 88 Bermuda Races among her crew compared to Carina’s 67. With such experienced crews, the coming days promise an exciting showdown.

Stay tuned as the Newport Bermuda Race continues to deliver thrilling maritime action and showcases the resilience and skill of its competitors.

How to Follow The Race:

📊 Live Results: https://bermudarace.com/results
🛰️ Palm Beach Motor Yachts Tracker: https://yb.tl/nb2024
📸 Photos: https://photos.bermudarace.com
🎥 Videos: https://youtube.com/bermudarace
📰 News: https://bermudarace.com/news




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