Marion Bermuda Race - Leaders fight for late night finish
by Talbot Wilson on 18 Jun 2013
In the Marion Bermuda Race, as anticipated late Sunday, the ‘line honor’ leaders hit the wall Monday afternoon. According to the YellowBrick tracker they now seem to be sailing on the wind, on a long port tack to Bermuda.
2013 Marion Bermuda Race - Shindig and Lady B started together and will probably finish together. Line honors will depend on which way the wind blows late Monday and early Tuesday morning, and how much. Talbot Wilson ©
The ‘handicap’ leaders are the smaller boats that have kept the old, reaching breeze longer and made their time on the other boats in their class. Integrity, the Navy 44 Mk II STC (NA22) skippered by Mario Avilia, leads his Class B and appears to be one of the best on corrected time in the whole fleet. Other class leaders are Gardner Grant’s J120 Alibi in Class A and David Caso’s perennial winner Silhouette in Class C. Classic Division entry Spirit of Bermuda, a heavy 112 footer, suffers in these light conditions. She’s slogging along at 3-4 knots vmg at 74º. Her heading is less than perpendicular to the rhumb line in that report. Spirit was 122 miles from home.
At 15:00 EDT Monday afternoon, Integrity seems to have found a fairly steady southeasterly breeze. The Andrews 68 was about nine miles west of the original 164º rhumb line to Bermuda sailing 159º 57miles from the finish. Lady B, a Swan 62, was in a similar breeze 22 miles off the rhumb line some 72.5 miles out steering 168º. Both boats are doing between six and seven knots so they should reach the island in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. It is still a battle for line honors between Integrity and Lady B although Integrity holds the inside edge. The outcome will depend on which way the wind blows… and how much.
Southerly winds 5-10 knots should persist around Bermuda until Tuesday night. Pressure should then build from the West as a low moves off the mid-Atlantic coast and squeezes the high back to the southeast. This should give the boats in the back of the pack a nice boost to their finishes.