The demanding 630 mile race from Newport, Rhode Island to Bermuda began with the solo leg down being won by Stanley Paris on Kiwi Spirit by some six hours. For both the boat and the sailor it was their first “serious” race. Twenty three boats started but only sixteen finished. One developed a loose keel and the captain was rescued before the boat sunk. The others turned back because of the heavy weather, but Kiwi Spirit plowed on, remaining on course for a comfortable line-honors victory.
On the return leg, Dr. Paris was accompanied by his son, Alan, a 1995 veteran of the event and who subsequently went on to enter and complete the 2002 “Around Alone” circumnavigation. Weather started out fine but became fickle alternating between calms and heavier winds not on the forecasts for the region. Constant changing of sails, loading up and dumping water from the ballast tanks and frequent heading changes became the standard operating procedures. Kiwi Spirit was in second to fourth position for most of the first day. Finally by noon on Sunday, Kiwi Spirit was twelve miles into the lead and stretching out with each mile. At the finish line off Newport, Kiwi Spirit, a true performance cruiser, was some eight and a half hours ahead of the second place finisher, Resolute.
"I have to be very satisfied with the outcome" said Paris. “It is my first single and double-handed race, and while I made a bunch of mistakes that caused delays in sail handling, and sometimes the wrong choices of sails, I am learning with each decision. I am quite confident that Farr Yacht Design designed what I wanted and that Lyman Morse built a strong and reliable yacht. I have confidence in both and that is critical when you are pushing the limits as I and we did in this event."