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View Full Version : Weather Or Not: Newport Bermuda Racers Must Decide



Photoboy
06-16-2016, 02:24 PM
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Images from www.windyty.com for next 4 days show a building low pressure area over the
race course that has some participants rethinking their participation


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By John Rousmaniere,

Dateline Newport RI: June 16, 2016 — As nearly 1,700 sailors who will soon race to Bermuda make their preparations, loading food and gear into their boats and lining up to pre-clear Bermuda customs and immigration, all of them have one question in mind: “What will the weather be?” And one answer: “I just hope it’ll favor my boat.”

Sailors don’t agree on much. Some prefer big boats, some small. Some like light displacement, others heavy. Yet this question and answer can be counted on whenever two or three of us are gathered together. We all talk about the weather, and talk and talk. The weather is our obsession.

On land, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it,” to quote Mark Twain (or his friend Charles Dudley Warner — the sources disagree). But on water, we can do something about it. We trim or shorten sail, we change course, and we look around for better weather.

Weather is the deep concern of the 2016 Bermuda Race fleet of 184 boats. There has been some attrition, some due to boat damage during deliveries and in a race. One withdrawal is the Maxi 72 Bella Mente, a frequent candidate to be first to finish that is not sailing this time out of her owner’s weather concerns.

Over the past three days, conflicting weather forecasts have stirred up concern about the conditions that will confront the fleet after the start on Friday. One forecast seemed to indicate a high wind at the start, another suggested a hard blow down the course, and a third offered the specter of rough going, with a hard north wind.

That last weather alert has attracted a lot of attention because of the Gulf Stream. The body of water running northeast is Benjamin Franklin’s “River in the Ocean.” It’s more like a drifting octopus—a complicated patch of moving water turning in every which direction and greatly affecting the state of the sea. To quote the race’s Gulf Stream expert (and multi-time navigator), oceanographer Dr. Frank Bohlen, “Wind blowing against the current results in a significantly larger wave amplitude and shorter wavelength than what appears when wind blows with current or when there is no current.”

Click HERE (http://www.covarimail.com/linksite.lasso?1=1269777&2=bermudarace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Gulf-Streasm-Note-3-wi-Figs-June-2016.pdf) for Frank Bohlen’s analysis of this year’s Gulf Stream.


History marks two postponements

Despite more than 100 years of excited sailor talk about the weather in 49 races, only two Bermuda Race starts have been postponed a day or longer. The 1968 start was delayed for one day out of concern about an early-season hurricane. Then in 1982, the race committee, chaired by James A. McCurdy (father of Selkie skipper Sheila McCurdy), postponed the start for two days because of a storm in the Western Atlantic. Once the weather settled down, the then-record 178 starters got off the line quickly on a spinnaker reach.

There’s another, quite startling weather story about the 1982 race. Carina (today owned by Rives Potts) was sailing almost directly toward Bermuda when her owner-skipper, Richard Nye, poked his head up through the companionway and took a look upwind around just as a lightning bolt flashed down to the water. “Tack,” Nye ordered. The crew looked at him incredulously. They were only 10 degrees off the layline to the finish. “Tack! There’s lightning to windward. There’s warm water up there. The Gulf Stream’s up there.”

Carina tacked, sailed on the “wrong” tack for a couple of hours until she was well into hot water, tacked back, and with a 3-knot current on her stern, charged toward Bermuda at 10-plus knots over the bottom. She won her division by a comfortable 34 minutes.

That’s one good reason why we obsess about weather.

Click HERE (http://bermudarace.com/race/) for more facts about the Newport Bermuda Race.

Watch the start and follow your favorites to Bermuda

Coming alive for you on BermudaRace.com … join Livestream 2PM-5PM on Friday June 17 for live video and commentary on the start. Commentator Andy Green will be host the program from the Inn at Castle Hill overlooking the starting line. With cameras on the hill and on the water, he’ll get close to the action bringing live sailing directly to you. Audio also airs on Newport radio FM 105.9.

Virtual spectators will watch the story unfold as their favorite yachts, skippers, or crewmembers in this 635-mile ocean classic tack and gybe their way through the Gulf Stream and hunt for the wind in the ‘happy valley’ north of Bermuda. All boats in the 2016 fleet will be tracked by YB satellite trackers as live as it can be on Pantaenius Race Tracking — www.pantaenius.com/NBRtracking — your link to all the action in the race.

About the CCA/RBYC Newport Bermuda Race
Few tests of blue-water seamanship are as iconic as the 635-mile Newport Bermuda Race. The 2016 race (starting on June 17) is the 50th and also marks the 90th anniversary of the partnership of the organizers, the Cruising Club of America and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

Sailed almost entirely out of sight of land, the Bermuda Race was created in 1906 by Thomas Fleming Day, a yachting writer who believed in the then-radical idea that amateur sailors in small yachts could sail safely in blue water. The colorful Tom Day was a pioneer in the sport of long-distance racing. In the 1920's the race inspired Britain's Fastnet Race and the Royal Ocean Racing Club, and also the freshwater Bayview-Mackinac Race on Lake Huron.

An international fleet of some 190 boats will race in this biennial race. Many will also compete in the three event Onion Patch Series which includes the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex in Newport and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta in Bermuda.

The 2016 Newport Bermuda Race has six divisions, each with its divisional and class awards. The race has no single winner and hands out well over 100 trophies and prizes.
St. David’s Lighthouse Division: cruiser-racers with amateur helmsmen.
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division: racers with professional helmsmen permitted.
Cruiser Division: cruisers/passagemakers with amateur helmsmen.
Double-Handed Division: one crew may be a professional.
Open Division: cant-keel racers with professional helmsmen permitted.
Spirit of Tradition Division: replicas and other traditional boats.

Dutch Rudder
06-16-2016, 02:54 PM
Looks like fun. Put up the solent and hike, bitches!

The Flash
06-16-2016, 04:04 PM
no thanks man.

Cleveland Steamer
06-17-2016, 07:40 AM
Could be a record run or a nightmare.

Photoboy
06-17-2016, 09:32 AM
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TRACKER (http://pantaenius.us/en/home/newport-bermuda-race)

Race officials have declared the 50th Edition of The Newport Bermuda Race A Go!
The 635 NM "Thrash" across the Gulf Stream will start as scheduled and race competitors
are urged to use their own discretion in their crews and boats abilities. Commanders Weather indicates
that weather will be favorable for a quick return to Newport once boats hit the Gulf Stream if conditions
appear to be overwhelming.

An interesting piece on a previous event from Bill Springer can be found HERE (http://swizzlesportsmedia.com/sailing-to-bermuda-in-30-to-50-knots-is-a-great-way-to-lose-weight/)

http://www.bermudarace.com/

Carl Spackler
06-17-2016, 01:33 PM
They all seem to be enjoying lobster bisque and crumpets on the NYYC lawn and poo-pooing this yacht race thing.

Photoboy
06-17-2016, 03:24 PM
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Forecast Link (http://pantaenius.us/en/american-yacht-insurance/newport-bermuda-race/weather-forecast.html)

Ian Rogers
06-17-2016, 04:29 PM
direct link to tracker if you want to skip the ads. http://yb.tl/nb2016

Jack Fate
06-18-2016, 09:31 AM
hmmmm
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[img=http://weather.noaa.gov/pub/fax/PJAM98.gif]

Jack Fate
06-18-2016, 09:32 AM
hmmmm
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http://weather.noaa.gov/pub/fax/PJAI10.gif

http://weather.noaa.gov/pub/fax/PJAM98.gif

Photoboy
06-18-2016, 09:42 AM
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Dateline Newport RI: June 17, 2016— Racing in the 50th Thrash to the Onion Patch got underway right on schedule. It was a routine sequence with boats sailing close on the wind heading south to Bermuda. It was a flood tide, so only one boat was over early. Race historian John Rousmaniere said it was the most routine start he had ever seen.

Up until mid-week the race looked to be the second or third largest in history. Then the weather forecasts began predicting gales in and below the Gulf Stream. Following the weather briefing on Thursday night boats began withdrawing from the race. Finally 47 boats that had entered decided not to race. That brought the total from 184 on Monday to 142.

The 100-foot ‘Comanche’ took off in the last start, the Open Division, and drew a crowd of press boats at the beginning of her record-breaking attempt. The record of 39hr 39min 18sec was set by the 88-foot ‘Rambler’ in 2012.

In his morning briefing to the fleet, Chairman AJ Evans told the skippers that Commanders Weather advised and the committee suggests that if skippers decided to withdraw after starting they should decide before entering the Gulf Stream. He emphasized once again that the decision to race is the responsibility of the yacht’s person in charge.


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This image and images below © Barry Pickthall/PPL


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About the CCA/RBYC Newport Bermuda Race
Few tests of blue-water seamanship are as iconic as the 635-mile Newport Bermuda Race. The 2016 race (starting on June 17) is the 50th and also marks the 90th anniversary of the partnership of the organizers, the Cruising Club of America and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

Sailed almost entirely out of sight of land, the Bermuda Race was created in 1906 by Thomas Fleming Day, a yachting writer who believed in the then-radical idea that amateur sailors in small yachts could sail safely in blue water. The colorful Tom Day was a pioneer in the sport of long-distance racing. In the 1920's the race inspired Britain's Fastnet Race and the Royal Ocean Racing Club, and also the freshwater Bayview-Mackinac Race on Lake Huron.

An international fleet of some 190 boats will race in this biennial race. Many will also compete in the three event Onion Patch Series which includes the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex in Newport and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta in Bermuda.

The 2016 Newport Bermuda Race has six divisions, each with its divisional and class awards. The race has no single winner and hands out well over 100 trophies and prizes.
St. David’s Lighthouse Division: cruiser-racers with amateur helmsmen.
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division: racers with professional helmsmen permitted.
Cruiser Division: cruisers/passagemakers with amateur helmsmen.
Double-Handed Division: one crew may be a professional.
Open Division: cant-keel racers with professional helmsmen permitted.
Spirit of Tradition Division: replicas and other traditional boats.
See more at the ‘About’ tab on the race website. ABOUT THE RACE

Photoboy
06-18-2016, 02:43 PM
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June 18, 2016
“Champagne Conditions” for Comanche, Seeking Race Record
Less than 24 hours into the race, Comanche is already through the Gulf Steam and pressing to break Rambler’s elapsed time record from 2012. “We’re in Champagne conditions, making 20-25 knots,” said skipper Kenny Read.

2016 Newport to Bermuda Race
Comanche after the start. The Gulf Stream was rough, but she got through without trouble. (Daniel Forster/PPL)
Newport, June 18, 4:30PM. The existing (and probably soon to be old) course record is an average speed of 16 knots and an elapsed time of 39 hr., 39 min., 18 sec. That record was set four years ago, in the last “reaching race,” by George David’s 90-foot Rambler, which clipped a spectacular 14 hours off the previous best time set in the previous “reaching race,” in 2002, by Roy Disney’s Pyewacket. “These were perfect conditions,” David told Colin Thompson of the Bermuda Royal Gazette after collecting the bottle of champagne that’s the traditional reward for the line honors winner.

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Tracker (http://pantaenius.us/en/home/newport-bermuda-race)


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Current Conditions On The Race Course


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Rambler not only slashed the race record. She easily beat the next two boats by more than 90 minutes—the Maxi 72s Bella Mente (owned by Hap Fauth) and Shockwave (George Sakellaris), with Bella Mente winning by just 2 minutes on elapsed time. Shockwave turned the tables on her in 2014 by a margin almost as small—7 minutes.

With the Maxis opting not to race this year, when Comanche finishes on Sunday, whoever is observing will have the right to quote the sailor who told Queen Victoria about the yacht America in 1851: “Madam, there is no second.”

Photoboy
06-19-2016, 09:51 AM
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Comanche chopped hours off the elapse time for the Newport Bermuda race finishing pre-dawn in Bermuda on sunday June 19. Jim and Kristy Clark’s all-out, high-tech racer skippered by Ken Read finished in 34hr 42 min 53 sec. Credit Daniel Forster/PPL
Comanche chopped hours off the elapse time for the Newport Bermuda race finishing pre-dawn in Bermuda on sunday June 19. Jim and Kristy Clark’s all-out, high-tech racer skippered by Ken Read finished in 34hr 42 min 53 sec. Credit Daniel Forster/PPL
Dateline- Hamilton, Bermuda: June 19, 2016— Comanche has set a Newport Bermuda Race record celebrating her line honours victory in the 50th Thrash to the Onion Patch, Newport Bermuda 2016. Jim and Kristy Hinze Clark’s 100 foot screamer, skippered by Ken Read, crossed the line off St. David’s Lighthouse at 4:22:53 EDT. Her elapsed time is a provisional 34hrs 42min 53sec, almost five hours ahead of the previous 39:39:18 set in 2012 by George David in Rambler.

The next closest boat is Maximizer, a Farr 72, which now has an ETA of 17:48 tomorrow, June 20.

If you could not go to Newport for the start, the start can come to you. Watch a replay of live video and commentary of the start on Livestream. Commentator Andy Green hosted the program from the Inn at Castle Hill overlooking the starting line. With cameras on the hill and on the water, he was close to the action bringing live sailing directly to you.

Green is now posting race updates and commentary at 10AM EDT, and at 12, 2, and 5PM daily throughout the race. Facebook, twitter, and the web will be buzzing with news and reports.



http://bermudarace.com/comanche-chops-hours-newport-bermuda-line-honours-record/ Tracker (http://pantaenius.us/en/home/newport-bermuda-race)