The Varsity Offshore Sailing Team’s season continues throughout the summer, providing us with some actual results to talk about while the Brigade is spread around the globe. There are 5 boats that have been competing in June, with 2 in the Bermuda Ocean Race and 3 in the Newport to Bermuda Race. I’ll be writing more on the Newport to Bermuda race when the boats return to Annapolis, but there are a couple of things to address before then.
In the Bermuda Ocean Race, which began on June 8th, the Navy 44’s finished in 2nd and 3rd place in their class. It’s the 3rd race in a row (the BOR is held every other year) that Navy has finished 2nd in class and the first time since 1996 that the team places 2 boats in the top 3 of the class.
The Newport to Bermuda Race started a week later on June 15th. Navy has 3 boats in this race – 2 Navy 44’s and the TP 52 Invictus, the latter of which yours truly coached aboard for the 2010 running of the race. The weather set up to be fantastic for the race, with low pressure systems bringing winds that would favor the fastest boats and set up a rhumb line run under spinnaker.
While the 44’s are still on the course and looking to finish sometime during the night tonight, Invictus finished around dinnertime Sunday. In finishing the 635 mile race in 53 hours and 11 minutes with an average speed of nearly 12 knots, they became the 6th of the eventual 7 boats that broke the 10-year-old course record of 53 hours 29 minutes and 22 seconds set by Roy Disney’s Pyewacket in 2002 (yes that Disney). By comparison, it took us 76 hours 51 minutes and 56 seconds to complete the race in 2010. The new course record was set by the 90 foot boat Rambler which sailed the course in an astonishing 39 hours 39 minutes and 18 seconds for an average speed of 16 knots.
Invictus finishes the race in 3rd place in their class (the top class of the non-professional division) and will likely finish 3rd overall out of the 94 boats in the division. And as an added bonus, they beat the US Merchant Marine Academy TP52 Conviction across the line by 37 minutes 7 seconds when the USMMA boat had a faster handicap rating.
Here’s a shot of Invictus at the start of the 2010 Newport to Bermuda Race.