After a difficult leg of nearly five days of light air and upwind
sailing, all teams have finished their first leg of the Spirit of
Bermuda Charity Rally, organized by the East End Mini Yacht Club
(EEMYC) and the Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF) Proceeds
from this race benefit the Bermuda Sloop Foundation and the sail
training vessel Spirit of Bermuda.
First in to the finish at St George's at 10:31 Friday night was Andy
Schell's Swan 59 Icebear skippered by Sean Westoby, followed by Hank
Schmitt's Swan 48 Avocation at 3:06 PM on Saturday, then fellow
North leg competitor Alessandro Pagani double-handing with Anthony
Johnson on his Spirit 47 Luna at 8:35 PM, with Andy Schell's Swan 48
Isbjorn skippered by Vincent Matiola crossing the finish on Saturday
night at 9:56 PM.
This race is unusual in allowing not only starts from two locations
- the West leg at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and the North leg
from south of Newport - but also motoring at the discretion of the
teams when the wind quit or some other obstacle to progress. The
time spent motoring was then deducted from the elapsed time used for
scoring the race. These times varied greatly among the teams:
Icebear motored the least at 2 hours 48 min, whereas Avocation
motored the most: 21 hours 22 min.
Using the SYRF Offshore Scoring System and each boat's polars from
their ORC certificates, Race Director Larry Rosenfeld then
calculated the optimized route time to sail from each boat's start
to the finish based on the Expedition routing program and weather
GRIB files. The optimized time was then compared to the actual
sailing time to determine "efficiency," which was then used to rank
With this approach, Icebear won with a corrected time of 4 days 9
hours 53 min, for an efficiency rating of 75%. Runner-up was Isborn
with a time of 4 days 22 hours 4 min, for an efficiency rating of
68%, with Luna in third with a time of 5 days 1 hour and 40 min and
an efficiency rating of 66%.
"This was an encouraging start to learning more about this complex
but potentially more fair approach to offshore race scoring," said
Rosenfeld. "We will score the return legs in the same manner and
look forward to evaluating those results too.
Currently the teams are relaxing in Bermuda before returning to sail
back to their start points, although this afternoon Luna had decided
to get an early start back by leaving for her return leg to Newport.
She is starting her journey by sailing first clockwise around the
island and the perimeter of reefs before heading north. The weather
ahead for her indicates quite favorable southwest winds to push her
quickly home once she is north of the island.
The other teams are spending a little more time enjoying Bermudian
hospitality and will head back in the next few days.