Heralding the introduction of canting keel racers to the biennial Newport to Bermuda Race, the maxZ86 boats Pyewacket and Morning Glory are poised to set record-breaking times in the 635-mile classic which starts today.
Powered by patented CBTFT (Canting Ballast Twin FoilT) technology, the two Reichel Pugh-designed 86-footers have the potential to exceed 500 miles in 24-hours, given the right weather conditions. That means they could finish at St David's Lighthouse off Bermuda in 30 hours or less.
Newport to Bermuda is the first major ocean race for Pyewacket, owned and skippered by Roy DISNEY (Los Angeles, CA), and for Morning Glory, owned and skippered by Hasso PLATTNER (San Francisco, CA). Both boats were launched late last year.
The current record for conventional-keel boats is 53 hours 39 minutes 22 seconds, set in 2002 but the maxZ86 twins, racing in the IMS Big Boat Demonstration Division will not be eligible for the "official" record. Nor will the third boat in the Demonstration Division, their conventional-keeled sister ship, the maxZ86 Windquest, sailed by Dick and Doug DEVOS of Ada, Michigan.
Disney already owns the official record. He set it two years ago in his 75-foot turbo sled Pyewacket. Plattner sailed his 75-foot Morning Glory to third place on elapsed time in that race, just four and a half hours later.
"Given the right conditions, the new Pyewacket is capable of exceeding wind speeds,"
Disney said. "Experienced sailors are amazed by the power generated by this boat. We're looking forward to a fast ride to Bermuda."
Dee SMITH, sailing master and project director for Morning Glory described the boat's performance as fantastic. "We're looking forward to pushing it in its first ocean race and seeing what it really can do. We've never been able to let it go for extended periods. On this 600-mile race we'll be able to set it up and kick it into gear."