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Speedboat claims line honours in the Newport-Bermuda Race

Monday June 21st 2010, Author: John Rousmaniere, Location: Bermuda

Alex Jackson’s 100ft supermaxi Speedboat finished the Newport Bermuda Race on Monday morning at 3:49am EDT. Finishing second at 6:25 was Il Mostro (Puma), the VO70 skippered by Kenny Read, whose brother, Brad, was in Speedboat’s afterguard. Boat boats sailed in the Open Division for racing yachts with canting keels.

It was a slow race, with Speedboat making the 635-mile course in just over 59 hours after the start at Newport on Friday. The crew of 25 never reefed the boat. In the light to moderate conditions that prevailed through most of the race, Speedboat was hard pressed by Il Mostro, Rambler, and several Mini Maxis over the first third of the course.

“We really didn’t get away from them until we were in the Stream,” said navigator Stan Honey after Speedboat tied up at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s marina early Monday morning. “Then they gained a lot in the light stuff as we came into the finish.”

At 5 AM EDT Niklas Zennstrom's J-V72 Rán reported less than 10 knots as she beat to windward toward the buoys guarding Bermuda’s reef. “Titan is downwind from us and is not a threat. Rambler and Beau Geste are upwind and in front as we thought they would. We are still in a strong position although it now looks like Beau Geste is the biggest threat. Just a few more hours to go.”

At 6:30 the Rán crew reported, “As we are approaching the finish slowly but surely, we are all on deck, no more watches, all are on duty for the final stretch. Coffee and tea served on the rail – black only as no more milk powder onboard. Very calm water. Wind speed of 9 knots – just over – and land in sight.”

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