The demise of the Pineapple Cup, as the saying goes, has been greatly exaggerated. According to a press release issued by the Southern Ocean Racing Conference, the 29th edition of the 810-mile race will start Feb. 6, 2009, just off Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades.
While the Storm Trysail Club has decided to sponsor a competing race starting a week later from Fort Lauderdale and sailing to the Dominican Republic, the 47-year-old tradition of the biennial run through the Windward Passage between Cuba and Hispanola will continue. The press release from the SORC follows. For more on the race, visit, www.montegobayrace.com.
Fort Lauderdale, FL (February 1, 2008) – The SORC (Southern Ocean Racing Conference) today announced the official schedule for the 29th Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race. The race kicks off February 6th 2009 just outside of Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades and finishes just off Montego Bay Harbor on the North coast of Jamaica.
The 810-mile race offers navigators, tacticians, and crews a challenging all-points-of-sail blast to a fabled destination. Immediately after the start the racers cross the Gulf Stream for the Northwest Providence Channel. The middle of the race usually offers a fetch down the eastern side of the Bahamas Island Chain towards the tip of Cuba. The final stretch is a sailor’s dream: a 240 mile downwind sleigh ride from Cuba’s eastern tip known as Windward Passage to the finish at Montego Bay. Typical twenty-plus knot aft trade winds and rolling, following seas push the racers downhill into the sunset toward the finish, where they’re greeted right at the finish line with the traditional case of Jamaica’s finest Red Stripe beer.
The race is sponsored by the Lauderdale Yacht Club (Fort Lauderdale, FL), the Montego Bay Yacht Club (Montego Bay, Jamaica), and the Jamaican Yachting Association (Kingston, Jamaica), and managed by SORC with the collective group.
The Pineapple Cup has long been an ocean racing classic. The race started in 1961 and has run either annually or biannually ever since. Past winners are a who’s-who of ocean skippers and yacht names. Ted Turner won three times in Vamoose (’67), Lightnin (’73) and Tenacious (’79). The Johnson family won in Ticonderoga (’65). John Kilroy won twice in Kialoa (’75 & ’77) and Jack King won in Merrythought (’91)
Line Honors went to Sir Peter Blake in Condor (’79), Larry Ellison in Sayonora (’97) and Roy Disney’s Pyewackett (’99). Other notable entrants include: the venerable yacht Windward Passage which maintained the overall elapsed time record from 1969 to 2003. Steve Fossett also made a run in the 90’s at the overall race record in the catamaran Lakota. The current record is held by Titan 12 in 2005 with an impressive elapsed time of 2 days, 10 hours, 24 minutes and 42 seconds.
Competitors will enjoy the traditional hospitality from local Jamaican “Hosts” assigned to each boat. The 2009 race also revives the J-22 “grudge match” with crews challenging each other in the Montego Bay Yacht Club’s fleet of J-22s in short course buoy racing.
Race management will also greatly improve the e-spectator experience. Recognizing thousands of fans globally that watch the race via the internet, there will be real-time boat tracking, blogging, and onboard communications from cooperative yachts.
Classes invited include IRC, PHRF and Multihull and ocean racing one designs.
Information on the race history, past events and accommodations can be found at www.montegobayrace.com. To automatically be placed on a future email list for announcements on this and other SORC events send an email to [email protected]