Royal Bermuda YC Anniversary Regatta - Finale to Onion Patch series

His Excellency the Governor of Bermuda Mr. George Fergusson was at the helm of the US Naval Academy 's Constellation for the final leg in Hamilton Harbour. Skipper Midshipman Josh Forgacs points the way to the finish.
© Talbot Wilson
The US Naval Academy TP52 Constellation has won the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta held Friday June 27 in Bermuda’s Great Sound and adjacent waters. Only the second race counted in the results and Constellation won that. His Excellency the Governor of Bermuda Mr. George Fergusson, who sailed aboard Constellation in both races, was at the helm of last leg of the final race. He drove the yacht from the Great Sound, through Two Rocks Passage and on to the finish off the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in Hamilton Harbour.

Rocket J Squirrel skippered by Christopher L Otorowski.
Barry Pickthall / PPL

Race one was a windward-leeward course that was eventually abandoned following a protest against the Race Committee that raised the point that boats had sailed the proper course. The Race Committee abandoned Race one under RRS32.1(e) 'for any other reason directly affecting the safety or fairness of the competition.'

Constellation passing ahead of Zoe II, skippered by Francois Brassard from Canada.
Barry Pickthall / PPL

Apparently there was confusion over the course being sailed. The course posted on the signal boat was Course one, a windward-leeward, three-lap course. Constellation rounded the leeward mark for the second time and then saw the Principal Race Officer sighting the line and the secretary in place to record finishers. They thought they needed to finish and returned, crossed the line and got a horn, signaling a finish. Boats them followed across the finish line and got the signal.

Close racing on the Great Sound.
Barry Pickthall / PPL

There were two misses miscommunication and misunderstanding. The committee abandoned Race one as unfair competition.

Race two featured ‘tour of the Island’ courses. Class one through three sailed a course to the windward mark, then deep into Port Royal Bay and back out to a right turn into the Grannaway Deep and returned back out into the Great Sound, and around a ship channel mark in the middle of the Sound. From there the course went straight back through Two Rocks Passage to the finish in Hamilton Harbour.

Christopher Dragon skippered by Andrew & Linda Weisst.
Barry Pickthall / PPL

The new Navigators Division race for cruiser types was also a flexi course, but different. This group called Class four didn't go into the Grannaway Deep. Instead they sailed to the far west corner of the Great Sound and on to the finish.

Only one race was scheduled for Class four. It was won by Glenn Doncaster's Sabre 426 Nanuq from Fishing Bay,Virginia.

Nanuq skippered by Glenn W Doncaster
Barry Pickthall / PPL

Anniversary Regatta Results:

Overall top three winners of Class One through three, the ‘traditional’ Onion Patch Racers:

1- Constellation, USA 52221, TP52, Joshua Forgacs, USNA, Annapolis, MD
2- Stark Raving Mad, USA 61011, Swan 601, James Madden, Irvine, CA
3- Christopher Dragon, USA 4304, Sydney 43, Andrew and Linda Weiss, Mamaroneck , NY

Overall top three winners in Class Four/Navigator’s Division:

1- Nanuq, USA 93555, Sabre 426, Glenn Doncaster, Raleigh, NC
2- Defiance, USA 51868, Defiance, Swan 56, Peter Noonan, San Jose, CA
3- Black Watch, USA 71, Black Watch, Custom Yawl, John Melvin, Riverside, CT

His Excellency the Governor of Bermuda Mr. George Fergusson in tie, his wife Mrs Fergusson and Malcolm Gosling present US Naval Academy yacht Constellation skippered by Midshipman Josh Forgacs (right) and crewman Charlie Morris (left) with first prize, after winning the Royal Bermuda YC The Anniversary Regatta.
Barry Pickthall / PPL

For more information and full Anniversary Regatta results click here