1996 NEMA Bermuda Race

HAMILTON, Bermuda, June 19, 1996--Greenwich Propane has set a new multihull course record for the Newport to Bermuda Race which has been run on alternate years virtually continously since 1965 (there was a six year hiatus from 1990 until now.) A fair breeze from the southwest and sunny skies greeted the fleet for the noon start on Saturday, June 15 in Newport, R.I. I t prevailed throughout the race, blowing 5 to 15 knots, with only one squall on the second day out, after the fleet had traversed the Gulf Stream.

Winner on both elapsed and corrected time is Greenwich Propane, skippered by John Barry of Branford, Conn. The sleek 40-foot Panache class tri, designed by Dick Newick, powered by her new screecher and trimmed by her crack French crew sailed to victory in a record time of 64 hrs. 29 min. (The existing record set by Moxie in 1987 was 64 hrs. 48 min. 15 sec.)

Second on corrected time is Triad, a 42 foot Newick desiged Creative class tri. Her co-captains Tom Cox of Gloucester and Nick Bryan-Brown of Mattapoisett (both of Mass.) clove to the rhumb line, which tactic paid off handsomely as the moderate conditions favored the lighter yachts in the fleet. Her elapsed time was 69 hrs. 23 min. 44 sec. which corrected out to 66 hrs. 03 min. 14 sec.

Skateaway, a 40 footer carefully engineered and crafted by her owner/skipper Keith Burrage of Chalfont, Penn. sailed to an elapsed second place of 67 hrs. 28 min. 26 sec., which corrected out to a third place of 66 hrs. 46 min. 06 sec. Her tactics of westing to meet an expected wind shift got her waylaid by an unpredicted Gulf Stream meander, which cost her 30 extra miles and several hours.

Transient, a 35-foot Newick design and multiple OSTAR veteran, sailed to fourth place on both elapsed and corrected time. Her skipper/owner Tim Ross of Fairhaven, NJ took a plunge into the briney when her bowsprit collapsed with him aboard as he was repairing a damaged screecher. Quick action by his attentive crew got him back aboard in less than a minute, but the reduced rig cost him valuable time on the long reach to Bermuda. The elapsed time of 74 hrs. 12 min. 50 sec. corrected out to 69 hrs. 16 min. 30 seconds.

All the racers are delighted to have arrived safe and sound at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club, the fleets' host in Bermuda, and are looking forward to the awards banquet Friday night when the five perpetual trophies, held by the RHADC, and the Phil Weld Memorial Moxie Trophy will be awarded.

The fleet also wishes to thank their Newport host, Ida Lewis Yacht Club, and support sponsors Boston Beer, Flyer Tours, Schaefer Marine, Bob Rice's Weather Window, and Tom Fair of the National Weather Service.