21 Jun

Posted June 21, 2014

The Round the Island Race, aka the JP Morgan Chase Asset Management Round the Island Race—around the Isle of Wight—was every bit as slow as it looks in the Thierry Martinez pic above. This is the park-up at the Needles.

For your grab bag of trivia, you might want to know that the name of the Needles came from a fourth, truly needle-like upthrust of chalk that collapsed and went away in a storm in 1764. Now, 340 years later, the name sticks.

Call the race a 50 miler, scheduled to take advantage of the solstice, and this was the 83rd edition. First to finish was Team Richard Mille in a GC32 catamaran with Paul Campbell-James at the helm in a time of 8 hours, 51 minutes. Don’t bother doing the math. The thing to know is that Thomas Ratsey still holds the record for the slowest race, by about an hour, in 1931, and I guarantee you the good Captain Ratsey had no speed bursts like this one . . .

Copyright onEdition 2014

A year ago, Sir Ben Ainslie set a new race record, for speed, at 2:52:15 using his AC45 cat. His body language here tells you a lot about the spinie-tingling excitement of 2014 . . .

© onEdition 2014

There were hundreds of dropouts, though a breeze did pick up late for those who stuck it out. Friends of Cheryl Lincoln Nelson were treated to Facebook updates like this one, but this was as bad as it got . . .


A few more from onEdition . . .




BermudaRaceLogoIconOnlyAnd Yes, I’m Following the Bermuda Race

You can too right here.

The morning line from John Rousmaniere—
EDT 1030 – The predicted battle for the elapsed time victory between the three Mini-Maxis in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division is coming to fruition. Based on tracker report as of 5 a.m., with 485 miles to the finish, Bella Mente, and Caol Ila R are racing head to head, though at slower speeds (3 knots) than they were making before midnight. Some 20 miles astern are the 70 footers Kodiak, Rima 2, Irie 2, and Terrapin. The rest of the 163-boat fleet is in a large clump extending about 50 miles, where the wind may be a bit stronger. Wind under 10 knots are predicted for most of Saturday. Everybody is a few miles to the west of the rhumb line, indicating that they’re all headed toward the favorable predicted current in the Gulf Stream, some 140 miles ahead. The sea is reported to be flat.

A Final Note

On Friday I had a chat with SAIL Magazine editor Meredith Laitos and mentioned casually that my yacht club this weekend is hosting our annual Heavy Weather Opti Regatta. Meredith said something about how odd it is to use a name like that, and I responded, “Yes, but this is San Francisco Bay.” By the end of that day, it was blowing so hard on the cityfront that you had to be careful how you opened a car door. As I prepare to click Publish today, the breeze in the wind slot is 15-20 and building, and it’s not yet noon. Yep, this is San Francisco Bay, and as club photographer Chris Ray knows, the quest for bragging rights keeps bringing the little nippers back — Kimball


This article was syndicated from BLUE PLANET TIMES


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