Skip to main content

Record-Breaking Newport Bermuda

It was a Newport-Bermuda Race competitors will not soon forget, with “perfect” conditions that allowed race leaders to not just break records but shatter them. Leading the charge was George David’s 90ft maxi Rambler.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

It was a Newport-Bermuda Race competitors will not soon forget, with “perfect” conditions that allowed race leaders to not just break records but shatter them.

Leading the charge was George David’s 90ft maxi Rambler, which covered the 635-mile course in just 39 hours, 39 minutes and 18 seconds, hacking 14 hours off the previous course record set by Roy Disney’s Pyewacket in 2002.

An hour and 45 minutes behind Rambler were Hap Fauth’s 72-foot Bella Mente and George Sakellaris’s 72-foot Shockwave, crossing the finish line a mere three minutes apart. In all, seven boats beat Pyewacket’s time, including the U.S. Naval Academy’s TP52 Invictus, racing in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division for boats with amateur crews.

Key to the blistering pace was the absence of the Bermuda, or Azores, high that can create calms and often turns the latter part of the race into a starboard-tack close reach. A low in the open Atlantic also created 20-30 knot northeasterlies, which proved ideal for powering the fleet south across the Gulf Stream on starboard tack under reaching headsails.

Although meteorologists originally predicted a “big boat race,” with winds going light before the bulk of the fleet would have a chance to finish, the breeze held even as it backed first north then west. Newport-Bermuda veteran and author John Rousmaniere described it as the fastest race ever, by just about every standard.

Winning the St. David’s Lighthouse Division on corrected time for the second time in a row was the 48-foot Carina, owned by Rives Potts, which finished the race in just under 76 hours. Shockwave corrected out to win the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division for boats with professional crews.

Winning this year’s Onion Patch series—which includes scores from the New York Yacht Club annual regatta and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s Anniversary Regatta in addition to the Newport-Bermuda—went to Steve Murray’s new Carkeek HP40 Decision, edging out Lawrence Dickie’s Ptarmigan by a half a point.

“Doing the Onion Patch Series has been a dream of mine since I was 12,” Murray said. “I had heard about it as I grew up sailing. I’m really excited at being able to win it now.”

For complete Newport-Bermuda results, visit For complete Onion Patch results, visit

Top photo: Steve Murray’s Decision competing in the the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s Anniversary Regatta. Photo courtesy of Newport-Bermuda/Barry Pickthal/PPL



Cruising: Safety Lessons Learned

It’s not often that sailors get a chance to put their rescue and MOB training to the test, rarer still that they do as quickly as newbie California sailor Khosrow “Koz” Khosravani did recently. If and when an emergency situation ever arises, though, it pays to be prepared. This more


At the Helm: Sailplans

The first thing you notice when you look at the sailplan for the Farr 65, Falken, which Mia and I recently added to the fleet here at 59-North, is the sheer number of headsails. Falken was built in 1999 as a racing boat to go around the world, and the crew would have carried the more


Racing Class Reunion

Where does an old VO70 go to retire? Right back to the racing circuit, apparently. This spring saw a remarkable contingent of Volvo Ocean Race one designs back on the water and duking it out on the Caribbean circuit. While it’s no surprise that some of the VO65 teams intending more


Charter: Sweden

With 2,000 miles of coastline, 270,000 islands and seemingly countless bays and inlets, Sweden is truly a sailor’s paradise. One of the top sailing destinations here is the archipelago just outside the country’s second largest city Gothenburg (locally known as Göteborg), on the more


Crowdsourcing Age-of-Sail Weather Data

Although big, multi-million-dollar projects like the Large Hadron Collider and the human genome project with their legions of PHD’s tend to grab headlines, there’s still a part of play for the “citizen scientists” of the world. Amateur birders have long contributed to an more


Ultims to Race Solo Around the World

For years now, maxi-trimarans, both solo-sailed and fully crewed, have been racing the clock on their own around the world in an effort to set ever faster records for the world’s fastest circumnavigation under sail. Back in 2000-01 there was also a no-holds-barred more


Juneteenth on the Water

Discovering Amistad and Mystic Seaport Museum have partnered to organize their third annual Juneteenth festival, featuring concerts, speakers and a reflection on the lasting legacy of racial injustice in America. Declared a National Holiday in 2021, Juneteenth celebrates the end more


New Multihulls for 2022

Lagoon 51 In keeping with many of the more recently launched models created by French multihull builder Lagoon, the Lagoon 51 is all about comfort, “en plein air,” in particular, as the French might say. Topside, a whopping 80 percent of the boat’s flybridge is given over to more