Monday, 20 July 2009

Newport Bucket Regatta - Race 1

Shrouded in sea fog, the NEWPORT BUCKET, an annual Pursuit Race around Newport Bay, got underway with a 10 mph Southerly breeze but by the time Hanuman and Ranger were starting, the skies had cleared to a perfect, sunny 12-15 mph breeze.

Hanuman was awarded a one minute advantage and made the best of this, crossing the line at full speed. Ranger followed in spectacular style just a few hundred metres behind. Both yachts quickly accelerated away from the spectator fleet to concentrate on their battle within the Bucket regatta fleet.

After more than two and a half hours of close racing, it was the new Hanuman who crossed the line just ahead of Ranger by 38 seconds. Hanuman had been helmed by owner Jim Clark, assisted by the experienced America’s Cup tactician and sailmaker, Tom Whidden.

Ranger, helmed by New Zealander Erle Williams (fresh from racing the Volvo Ocean Race on board Puma) closed the gap in the last few minutes of the race by setting a kite for the last sprint to the finish.