Illusion won the largest division in the race, St. David’s Lighthouse Division with 108 boats. Illusion, a Cal 40 owned by Sally and Stan Honey of Palo Alto, California, is the fourth Cal …
Illusion won the largest division in the race, St. David’s Lighthouse Division with 108 boats. Illusion, a Cal 40 owned by Sally and Stan Honey of Palo Alto, California, is the fourth Cal 40 that has won the St. David’s Lighthouse Division.
Racing with crew, Carl Buchan, a 1984 Olympic Gold medalist, Don Jesberg and Jonathan “Bird” Livingston, Illusion completed the 635-nautical-mile course with an elapsed time of 87 hours, 1 minute and 33 seconds, good for a corrected time of 51:02:13 and a decisive victory of more than two hours over Andrew Clark’s J/122, Zig Zag. Jim Murray’s Pac52, Callisto, was the divisional line honors winner and finished third, just 15 seconds astern of Zig Zag, on corrected time.
Sailing their last voyage in Illusion, since they’ve recently sold the vessel, Sally Honey said it was the perfect ending to an illustrious, 33-year run with the boat.
“The conditions were perfect for our boat, and we had a pretty good navigator onboard,” said Sally, referring to her record-setting husband, Stan.
“Stan chose a really good course, and the conditions were just what the boat loves, heavy-air reaching. We got into a Gulf Stream eddy and stayed in it for about seven hours. That gave us a good boost. We managed to stay in the wind most of the way down. We had a couple of light spots, but nothing like the later boats."
Sally Honey said that they hit a top speed of 22 knots with Buchan on the helm Saturday night. She woke up the sleeping crew with hoots and hollers of excitement, but otherwise spent most of the race on the beam.
“We didn’t have that much water on the deck,” said Sally Honey. “When reaching, the boat heels right over and the more wind you get the faster she goes. Really, it was a dream trip. Fabulous. I wouldn’t change anything.”
In the 38-boat Finesterre Division, Prevail, a Tripp 65, owned by Dudley Johnson of New York, earned first place, by beating Masquerade, a Baltic 47, owned by Andrew Burton of Newport, by just over 25 minutes. The division was divided into three classes, with Prevail winning Class 9, Masquerade winning Class 8, and Toujours, a Tartan 37-2, owned by Brian Bush of North Chatham, winning Class 7.
Ago sets new course record
Argo, a Mod 70, the overall line honors winner, owned by Jason Carroll of York, finished late Saturday night, marking the first-ever Saturday finish in the 116-year history of the race. Argo set a new course record of 33 hours at an average speed of 19.24 knots.
“It’s the most significant race close to home for us,” said the 44-year-old Carroll, who co-founded Hudson River Trading in 2002. “It’s amazing because only recently multihulls have been allowed in the race. It’s exciting. It’s the race people around New York City and Newport know the best. To be the record holder is cool.”
Warrior Won captures Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division victory
In the high-performance Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division, Warrior Won, a Pac 52, owned by Christopher Sheehan of New York, captured first place not only on corrected time but also elapsed time and the Corporation of Hamilton prize as the elapsed-time winner of the combined St. David’s Lighthouse and Gibbs Hill Lighthouse divisions.
Warrior Won’s elapsed time of 56 hours, 43 minutes and 34 seconds corrected out to a win of nearly 37 minutes over Sunfast owned by Darren Walters of Boston. Sunfast was the smallest boats in the division.
In 2016, Sheehan won the St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy with his Xp44 of the same name. He’ll become the first owner to take home a Lighthouse trophy as winner of both Gibbs Hill and St. David’s.
“It’s very humbling,” said Sheehan, who last year won the Transpac Race and last February, the Caribbean 600.
“I’d been thinking about it before the race. I had a ton of confidence in my team and my boat that we’d have a shot at the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse. There are so many wonderful records and legendary sailors in this race.”
Spirit of Tradition Division
In the Spirit of Tradition Division, the Bermuda Sloop Foundation’s sail-training vessel Spirit of Bermuda, captained by Alexander Peacock of New Hampshire, completed the course in 92 hours, 25 minutes and 9 seconds. It was the fourth time the three-masted schooner, designed by Bill Langan, has sailed the race.
In the Double-Handed Division, 20-year-old Zachary Doerr of Pennsylvania and 53-year-old Vladimir Shablinsky of New York sailing the Figaro, a Custom 2 Groupe 5, won Class 6 and scored a nearly five-hour victory over James Hammitt in Reveille, a Sigma 41 which won Class 5.
“It was a lot of fun as my first real offshore race,” said Doer adding “A lot of it had to do with our comfort with the boat, especially on the second night when it was blowing 30 and we were going 20 knots with the A2 spinnaker up. I feel like most boats in the doublehanded class didn’t push as hard, and we just kept pushing and made a lot of miles that night. It was different than anything I’ve ever experienced before.”