As of noon on Wednesday (EDT), none of the boats competing in the seventh edition of this 777-mile race had reached the designated cut-off point (67 degrees west longitude) and the race committee pronounced the contest concluded. At that time, Dave and Shelly Warters’ Able Apogee 50 Cadence held the lead, having logged 498 nautical miles toward Bermuda after 120 hours at sea. By comparison, Ken Johnson’s C&C 40 Grateful Red had logged 485 n.m., while Jay Cook’s Beneteau 432 Tohidu logged 462.
This hierarchy made Cadence the boat-for-boat winner, but after all the numbers were crunched, it was Tohidu that prevailed as the overall winner of the race on corrected time. Members of the race committee employed a formula based on the boats’ ratings and the respective distances traveled, to make this determination.
“We think it’s the most equitable way to address the situation,” explained Race Director Brad Van Liew, who is also the Executive Director of the South Carolina Maritime Foundation, the organization that stages this race. “We conducted the race using PHRF ratings, and all of the competitors agreed before the start that, should no one cross the 67th degree of longitude by Wednesday at noon, the race would be called and we’d score them as of where they were at the time.”
Describing it as “a pretty cool approach,” Van Liew explained the process that the chief scorer Luis Kahl of www.yachtscoring.com used to determine the corrected times and finish rankings. “We took the distance that each boat actually traveled by noting their latitude and longitude as of 1200 on Wednesday. And then we plugged each boat’s PHRF rating into a publicly available ratings-conversion website, which generated a speed for that boat. We multiplied each speed by 120 – the total time at sea – and derived theoretical distances that each boat should have sailed given its rating. We then subtracted the actual distance sailed from the theoretical distance, and the boat with the smallest differential was our winner – Tohidu.”
According to Van Liew, all of the competitors deserve recognition for persevering through some challenging days on the water. But he said Cook and his crew on board Tohidu actually sailed quite competitively. “When you consider that there were just two true sailors on board and four who were participating as ‘students,’ I think they turned in a strong performance.” Cook and one other crew, Steve Enloe, are both instructors with Ocean Sailing Academy. The remainder of the crew included four OSA students: Rick Bruno of Atlanta, Ga.; John Knight of Huntsville, Ala; Rick Estee of Charleston, SC; and Scott Rogers of Rogers, Ark.
Cadence placed second on corrected time, and Grateful Red third. After the boats were notified of the committee’s decision to call the race, the crews on board both Cadence and Grateful Red indicated that they would attempt to finish the remaining miles under sail. Though the winds were gradually increasing at that time, by later Wednesday evening, it was clear from the online tracking data that only Grateful Red was still under sail. The tracking data for both Cadence and Tohidu showed them each making progress at well over seven knots, straight down the rhumbline. According to shoreside sources, Grateful Red won’t be in any hurry. Though Ken Johnson and his crew would like to reach Bermuda in time for Saturday’s awards festivities, they plan to stay in Hamilton only briefly before departing for the Azores, and after that, northern Europe.
As for the other boats in the fleet, the Spirit of South Carolina and Lee Edwards’ chartered Littler Harbor 63 Spray were both continuing to motor toward Bermuda, some 60 miles out as of nightfall on Wednesday. According to Van Liew, the skippers on board both vessels planned to purposely slow down during the night in order to arrive at Hamilton Harbor with plenty of daylight on Thursday. With luck, all of the participants will be in Hamilton Harbor by the time of the awards gala at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club on Saturday evening.
Final Finish Places
1. Jay Cook, Tohidu………………………..260 corrected score
2. Dave and Shelly Warters, Cadence……..279.3 corrected score
3. Ken Johnson, Grateful Red………………299.8 corrected score
Lee Edwards, Spray…………………………did not finish
Mark DiStefano, Nova…………………… did not finish
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