Leaving most of the fleet far behind in light winds, George David’s Rambler 88 crossed the finish line off St. David’s Lighthouse at 5:51:51 Eastern daylight time on Sunday evening. Earning line honors among the 169 boats racing in the 51st Newport Bermuda Race, the big gray boat’s elapsed time over the 635-mile course was 50 hours, 31 minutes, 51 seconds.
The custom 88-foot Juan K design ran into some slow patches with light winds early in the race, but after sailing through the Gulf Stream on Saturday, maintained double-digit speeds the rest of the way and left the next-placed boats several hours behind. The winds weren’t strong during the race, but the seas were relatively smooth.
“This race is typically a mid-sized boat race,” said David, “and rarely a big-boat race. But this time it was. It was almost like the ocean reached out and grabbed the smaller boats, one by one.
“It was a pretty benign race,” said tactician Brad Butterworth, while he and the rest of the crew enjoyed a traditional Goslings Rum Dark ‘N’ Stormy after landing at the Royal Bermuda YC dock. “There was no water on the deck — at least not back where we were,” he added. “Stan Honey gave us the right direction to head,” he added, “and we pushed it hard.”
About five hours after Rambler, two Volvo Ocean Race 70s, Warrior and Wizard, crossed second and third, 17 minutes apart. The former, owned by Steve Murray, Jr., and Stephen Murray, Sr., finished in front, but the latter, owned by Peter and David Askew, easily finished ahead after time corrections were applied based on the boats’ different ratings. George Sakellaris’ Maxi 72 Proteus finished fourth, an hour and a half later. When all times were corrected, the leaders were Wizard and Proteus, less than an hour apart, followed by Rambler 88 and Warrior.
Just before dawn, Jason Carroll’s Elvis, finished first in the Multihull Division, a first in more ways than one as the 2018 race was the first Newport Bermuda Race to include multihulls.