Pyewacket on course for record

Record Bermuda fleet blasts out into the Atlantic

Sunday June 16th 2002, Author: Talbot Wilson, Location: United States
Roy Disney's 75ft Pyewacket was reveling in 20­30 knot southwesterly winds, power reaching at 14 knots directly for Bermuda's St David's Lighthouse this morning, her crew hopeful of finishing by 5:30 pm EDT ­ or earlier!

At 8:00am EDT today, George Coumantaros' Boomerang the current record holder, which had been leading until today, was trailing Disney's down-wind
sled by 6 miles and holding an almost identical course, a little to the west of the rhumb line from Newport.

Morning Glory Hasso Plattner's German maxi, which had been slugging it out toe-to-toe with Boomerang yesterday, has fallen 40 miles behind overnight and is now in 5th place, 8 miles astern of Richard C Breeden's 75ft Bright Star and 66ft Blue Yankee owned by Robert C Towse.

Close behind the Racing Division were two big Cruiser/Racers in Class 8. Huntington Sheldon's Zaraffa at 175 miles from Bermuda led Bob Limoggio's Spank Me BT, (ex- Congere), a former race winner in 1988, by 25 miles and William McKinley's Denali just 5 miles further back.

The testing conditions and big Atlantic swells have taken their toll on two more boats, and other crews have reported losing gear and equipment overboard. Fred B Detwiler's 70ft Trader was dismasted at 19:20 EDT on Saturday. Her owner reported that the yacht fell off the back of a big wave and the shock waves snapped the mast in 3 places. "We simply crashed down too hard" he said. Trader's crew rallied round to set up a jury rig using the yacht's spinnaker pole as a mast and were continuing to Bermuda at 4.5knots.

Another retirement, the 7th to date, is Somerset a Frers 45 owned by Walton W Alder which suffered a split mainsail and headstay problems overnight.

The race may have turned to disappointment for some, but others were reveling in the exciting conditions. Among the Class 1 IMS Crusiser/Racer Division fleet, Mark Melvin's Oceanis 461 Devocean was tied for the lead with Peter Bretcher and Clifford King's 'Baltic 39 Foxfire. In Class 2, Bill Kardash's Swan 44 Aura which has twice won the Onion Patch series of which the Bermuda Race is a part, held a handy 4 mile lead over Brian E. Ray's Flirt.

In Class 3,  Rives Pott's Carina which last won handicap honors in this race back in 1982, was leading Paul Kaplan's Incessant by 5 miles and in Class 4 Orion skippered by Donald Patterson leads John Santa's Galadriel by 2 miles.

The J44s in Class 5 are led by Lennie Sitar's Vamp which is 23 miles ahead of a large group of her sisterships including Charlie IV,
Diogenes, Mabuhay II, Gold Digger, Brown Eyed Girl, and Stampede.

Class 6 leaders are Allan Blair's Elan and Carpe Diem sailed by Michael Fracchia.  In Class 7 William Douglass' new Swan 45 Goombay Smash leads
Robert Watson's old style Swan 56 Neva by 11 miles.

In the AMERICAP Cruising Division Class 10, Palawan owned by Joseph Hoopes has a 10 mile lead over Jim Reiher's Sky and in AMERICAP  Class 11 Polish skipper Krzysztof Grubecki's Inessa II leads the pack.  Scott Piper in Pipe Dream IX leads the AMERICAP double handed Class 12 by 12 miles over Gryphon sailed by Joe Harris.

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