At 14.20 hrs local time on a bright and sunny afternoon, Kip Stone breezed into Boston harbour ahead of the remaining four open 60’s to win the 50’ monohull class in a record breaking time of 15 days 5 hours and 20 minutes.
A very happy Kip Stone arrived home today at the finish of the Transat Race, with his Open 50 Artforms looking like he’d just taken a trip around the bay. In a race that took its toll on the fleet Kip escaped with relatively few problems, a credit to himself, the boat’s preparation and her builders McConaghy Yachts of Sydney, Australia.
Having lead the fleet for most of the race, Artforms finally made the break three days ago from her nearest competitor the 50’ Finot designed Wells Fargo (ex Tommy Hilfiger) sailed by fellow New Englander Joe Harris. In a race that saw the two boats never more than sixty miles apart, Stone opened a comfortable lead in the final few days and extended this to almost three hundred miles by the finish today.
Kip who started his company Artforms with the goal of one day competing in a major singlehanded race was greeted on the water and then on the dock by dozens of employees from his Maine T shirt design and printing company. It was a great family atmosphere and a big American welcome to one of the home team on his arrival.
Commenting on the result in Boston, designer Merfyn Owen had this to say: “ From where I was sat in a comfortable armchair Kip sailed a great race and got the pace of things just right. I know how hard it will have been to get here never mind win. For all of us at Owen Clarke Design who’ve had the chance to work with Kip it’s been an absolute pleasure and a dream project. For Artforms to win this race and break the record is the icing on the cake when just to get to the start line and finish this epic event are great achievements in their own right. No one who hasn’t brought a boat to the start of such a race can begin to imagine the effort and drive required to make such a thing happen and Kip’s performance is a credit to everyone involved. My only regret today is that Tim Sadler our lead designer and Alan Nebauer our project manager for this project are back home in NZ and Australia and miss the opportunity to savour this moment first hand.”
Artforms arrival brings to a close an amazing race for Owen Clarke Design that has seen their boats finish 1st, 3rd and 4th in the 60’ class and now 1st in the 50’ division, with all four boats breaking their previous class records. Interestingly, both the 50’ and 60’ class winners Artforms and Ecover were not only designed by Owen Clarke, but also project managed from concept through construction and beyond. The same was also true of Ellen MacArthur’s Kingfisher when she won the same race four years ago before going on to a second place in the Vendee Globe.
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