Genuine Risk wins open division
Bermuda executive Mark Watson made his first race to Bermuda memorable with a corrected time win in Genuine Risk in the Open Division for canting keel boats. Speedboat, owned by Alex Jackson, took line honours for the race, finishing just before dawn at 3:47:56 with an elapsed time of 59:17:56, well off the course record. Rán, the Rolex Fastnet and Sydney Hobart race winner, finished first in Class 10 and is a strong contender for the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse trophy.
Il Mostro (Puma) skippered by Ken Read, crossed the line second and corrected just behind Genuine Risk. “We were ahead of Il Mostro and Speedboat after we all came out of the Gulf Stream west of the rhumb line,” Watson said. “We decided to take a more easterly angle to avoid a cold eddy with negative current, but that let Speedboat separate from us.” Ralph Steitz, Sailing Director for the US Merchant Marine Academy (owner of Genuine Risk, which Watson sponsored), was one of many sailors who said how much they had enjoyed the race. “This was the easiest Bermuda Race I’ve ever done and I’ve done a few.”
Rán, Niklas Zennstrom’s JV 72, is the provisional winner in Class 10 for big professional boats in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division after being pushed hard by Tom Hill’s Titan XV for more than 600 miles. George David’s Rambler matched up with Karl Kwok’s Beau Geste and took line honours for these fixed-keel boats. “I’ve never sailed a Bermuda Race when you’re head to head with another boat for so long,” said Rambler’s tactician, Jerry Kirby. “It came down to the last tack to St. David’s Light.”
Vanquish, co-skippered by Bermudian Buddy Rego and Americans Russell Lucas and Jamie Hilton, crossed the line first in Class 8 for the big boats in the amateur St. David’s Lighthouse Division, but Gus Carlson’s Aurora is the provisional class winner. Some smaller boats have a good shot at winning the division. Carina, skippered by Rives Potts, has a 60-mile lead over her Class 3 competition. In the highly competitive Class 1, Sinn Fein, Peter Rebovich’s Cal 40 and the two-time defending St. David’s winner, has sailed farther west than anybody and is fighting for the lead with David Dickerson’s Lindy.
In the Double-Handed Division, iBoattrack showed Michael Hennessy’s Class 40 Dragon at the head of the pack, 160 miles from the finish, with the four-time winner Lora Ann not far behind. The Cruising Division’s leader, Clover III, was about 70 miles out on Saturday afternoon with a healthy lead on the 80-footer Nirvana.