The 50th Newport Bermuda Race will hold firm in both memories and the record books. Just under 200 boats and some 1,700 crew members readied for the start on Friday, June 17, but with conflicting forecasts indicating strong northerly gales and extremely rough seas as the wind clashed with the Gulf Stream’s northerly flow more than 50 boats declined to race with 133 boats taking the start.
The early story centered on the 100-foot boat, Comanche, owned by Jim and Kristy Hinze Clark and skippered by Ken Read. Comanche shot off the start and was through the Gulf Stream in less than 24 hours with Read reporting they were making 20-25 knots. Comanche continued on and set a Newport Bermuda Race record at a provisional elapsed time of 34 hours, 42 minutes, and 53 seconds–almost five hours ahead of the previous record set in 2012 by George David in Rambler.
For those interested in following race developments on social media, search the hashtag #bermudarace.
For those interested in the meteorology and planning in advance of the race, Mystic Seaport trustee Frank Bohlen, a multi-time navigator, published a pre-race weather analysis that gives an insight into what goes into preparing for the “Thrash to the Onion Patch.”
Mystic Seaport was well represented in the race with a number of members and friends participating. We look forward to reports from the race and photos from Bermuda. In the meantime, we have a selection of images from the start taken by Captain Brad Baker of the yacht Rena.