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Kiwi Spirit II Shows her Stuff in the classic Newport to Bermuda Race

One of the classics of sailing is the bi-annual Newport, Rhode Island to Bermuda Yacht Race. Some 167 yachts entered in this year’s event including Kiwi Spirit II (KS2). My son Alan along with two Bermudian friends, Chris Jones and Claude Guay and project manager Steve Pettengill made up the five-man crew. Alan, Steve and I had sailed KS2 from Florida to the start in Newport.

On Friday, June 15th some 167 boats crossed the start line with classes separated by 10 minutes. KS2 was the third last boat to cross the line. After some twelve hours we had gained 42nd position overall and then the wind died, and we stopped. With a large wetted surface (read wide beam) we were “parked” while other boats could still make some headway. We fell back to 97th place and then the winds came back and so did we. At the finish after some four and a half days we were 51st across the line and first in our Open Class – problem was there being only two in our class and on handicap we finished second i.e., last in class! However, 51st out of 167 boats – not bad.

KS2 is designed to go fast in moderate to heavy winds and especially downwind. The winds in the race were moderate, to none and then moderate again but from ahead. In the circumstances I am well pleased with the boat and the crew’s performance and have confidence that I have the right boat for the fourth and final solo circumnavigation attempt early this November.

The accompanying photos are from Billy Black

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