The 75-foot Reichel/Pugh IMS sled Pyewacket skippered by Roy Disney continued to show the way to Jamaica. At the compulsory midday roll call, Pyewacket had extended her early advantage and led Jim Dolan's Langan-designed 76-footer Sagamore by about fi...
The first five boats in the fleet of 16 were spread out in an 18-mile north-south line close to the eastern shore of Long Island in the Bahamas. The two lead boats had just cleared the southern tip of the island at the noon report.
Seventeen boats in two classes, including 12 maxi-boats, started the 811-mile race to Jamaica from Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades on Friday afternoon. One boat, Marty Fisher's 48-foot J/145 Strabo from the Rhode River Boat Club in Chesapeake Bay, withdrew today and docked in Nassau, Bahamas, after hitting a reef.
Sailed every two years to Montego Bay, Jamaica, the event is recognized as one of the world's classic ocean races. The Pineapple Cup is awarded for the best overall performance by a monohull, but the big boats are also chasing an ocean racing record that has endured for 29 years - 811 miles from Florida to Jamaica in 3 days, 3 hour, 40 minutes and 7 seconds. The record was set by the Alan Gurney-designed 70-foot Windward Passage in 1971. Based on early weather conditions it appears to be safe for another two years.
An area of low pressure moving into the Bahamas has caused unsettled conditions, displacing the tradewinds necessary for a fast run to Jamaica, according to Commanders Weather, a private forecasting company based in Nashua, NH. According to Commanders, the lead boats in the fleet were sailing in light east-northeasterly breezes but could expect stronger breezes as they turned into the Windward Passage
The third placed boat at noon today was Doug Baker's Andrews sled Magnitude, which had moved up from fourth yesterday. Baker's sled was about seven miles astern of Sagamore. Zephryus IV, Robert O'Neill's 75-foot Reichel/Pugh sled, which was third yesterday, had dropped back to trail Magnitude by four miles. Bob Towse's Reichel/Pugh 66 Blue Yankee was fifth, about two miles behind Zephryus IV.