'Carrera' Crew with Heiner and Rudiger break the Annapolis to Newport Race Record. The ASSA ABLOY Racing Team members raced in the East Coast Ocean Race from Annapolis to Newport in preparation of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Mark Rudiger and Roy Heiner sailed on the well-managed American Farr 60 'Carrera', with race manager Chris Larson. 'Carrera' was the first boat over the line in a record-breaking time. The previously record set in 1999 by 'Chessie Racing' a Santa Cruz 70, was broken by some 5 hours.
Joseph Dockery's Farr 60, Carrera crossed the finish line at 6:58 am on June 18, Carrera has been followed over the finish line by Blue Yankee, Trader and Chessie Racing. The remainders of tropical storm Allison determined the weather for this 54th East Coast classic. Gusts of up to 60 knots were measured onboard Donnybrook (shredded main). ASSA ABLOY Co- Skipper Mark Rudiger reports from Newport.
"Chris Larson had put together a good bunch of guys. Our biggest competition would be from "Blue Yankee" a mini maxi 66 owing us about 2 hours, "Trader" (an Andrews 70), "Donnybrook "(Santa Cruz 70) and a host of large IMS boats including "Chessie Racing"(A turboed Farr 52).
The first leg was strewn with land mines in the form of squalls and wind shifts left over from Tropical storm Allison which was quite nearby and would plague us for most of the race. We must have done 30 sail changes down the bay.
The next leg up the coast saw the Westerly build and we were treated to hours of awesome power reaching. Our girlfriend Alison, who was forecasted to move offshore, slowed down and became embedded in a stronger than forecast front which equalled an unexpected small storm for us. We had several squall lines hit us hard, the worst of which gave us sustained 38 to 48 knots gusting over 50. We had to convince the guys to keep the storm sails up in the lulls. Had we rehoisted the main, it would have been shredded. We were down to the Storm Jib and Trysail for several hours. At one point I was driving and we were laying practically flat on our side in the gusts trying to hold ground to weather. We kept our pace up the whole time and things finally calmed down to a mild roar by late afternoon. We had seen 'Trader' to leeward and we thought 'Blue Yankee' and 'Donnybrook' behind us, but by sunset we couldn't see anyone.
As the sun came up, we scanned the Horizon with no one in sight. (Always worrisome) Sure enough, one of the big boys emerged about 30 degrees abaft the beam. We had decided to go below to have a better angle on the wind and less current. As it got lighter, we could see it was indeed "Blue Yankee".
After finishing at 0658 AM, we had killed the record by almost five hours set last time by the Turbo 70 Blue Yankee finished 22 minutes behind us. It reinforced our feeling that it is important to do some of these races. Practice makes perfect."