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2024 Bermuda Race Recap

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Carina Sails to Victory and into History Books, Summer Storm Takes Gibbs Hill 

By Kate Somers | Bermudarace.com

Photos: Stephen R Cloutier

[Hamilton, Bermuda] - The St. David’s Lighthouse Division of the 53rd Newport Bermuda Race has been won by Carina. Finishing with a corrected time of two days and 16 hours and 12 minutes, Carina sailed past the division’s namesake landmark just after 3:00 AM on Tuesday, securing its place in the history books as the most-winning yacht in the race's 118-year history since its founding in 1906. 96 boats started in the St. David's division.

This is the fifth Newport Bermuda Race win for Carina (1970, 1982, 2010, 2012, 2024)—three of which have been under the ownership of Rives Potts. “It means a great deal, I’m just so proud of the crew,” said Potts, who met the boat and its sailors this morning as they docked at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC). “A lot of [the crew] are on the boat for the very first time, and they all did well.”

Carina’s skipper W. Barrett Holby, Jr. added, “from five minutes before the start we just raced hard. We realized we were doing well, but we didn’t think about that, we just kept racing.” Holby sang the praises of his crew saying, “everybody pulled their own—we had great food, great navigation, great sailors, and great helmsmen. Everything came together.”

Carina was able to lead its class out of Narragansett Bay early but, like all competing vessels, was impacted by weather conditions near the top of the course. Holby stated that at times it felt like the boat had a personal rain cloud and still wind following the boat.

In the Gibbs Hill division, Summer Storm 52 has become the Gibbs Hill Division Champion. That boat’s experienced crew included owner and skipper Andy Berdon and navigator Chris “Lew” Lewis, who also navigated the division’s winning boat in the last Newport Bermuda Race in 2022.

“It was champagne sailing most of the way for us,” said Berdon. “The hardest part for us was getting out of Newport because a series of fronts caused light and variable winds. We were able to outside Newport and keep up speed the whole way to get into the ocean breeze.”

Berdon credits boat captain Alec Snyder with the boat preparation as well. The boat was inside a shed in Germany in February, and it is now sitting on top of the podium in Bermuda. There were 16 boats in Gibbs Hill, a division that has no limits on professional crew.

Summer Storm 52 finishing off St. David's Lighthouse

Scores of boats completed the race late Monday and early Tuesday, including some closely followed teams. Hound crossed the finish line Monday night with a corrected time of two days and 16 hours and 25 minutes. This includes a 30-minute penalty for crossing the starting line early - which means as the delta between Carina and Hound is 9 minutes, the penalty cost Hound the overall win.

In the Finisterre division, Northeast Wind won with a corrected time of 2 days 15 hours and 53 minutes. Skipper Frank Sobchak, along with his Hinckley 48 sloop and crew, were thrilled upon arriving in Bermuda to learn of their victory.

In the doublehanded division, the inspirational Phil Haydon and his Alexander Kraebel sailed into the top spot on board their Sunfast 3300 Fearless. Haydon founded Sail for Epilepsy and uses his story and journey to educate and inspire. He says they were not following the tracker at all during the race, so they are so happy and emotional to learn about their win upon arriving in Bermuda.

“We had a strategy we were going to execute, and we did, and it paid off. We have been working for over a year training, and all the hard work paid off.” Haydon dedicates the win to his virtual shipmates, those supporters he hopes to inspire to take “one more step” and “Fear. Less.”

Results for the remainder of the 53rd Newport Bermuda Race can be followed using our Live Results Page , including division winners.

At the time of writing, the crew of Gunga Din, who abandoned ship on Tuesday, reported that they were all safely aboard Desna, a 37-foot boat now holding 14. "It was a snug night but everyone got some hot dinner." They are racing to Bermuda and expected Wednesday afternoon.

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