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23 June 2005, 01:45 pm
Mameluke Takes Monohull Line Honours
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Marion To Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race 2005
Hamilton, Bermuda

In a tight battle down to the finish, the US Naval Academy's Mameluke, a N/M 49 footer skippered by Tom BOCK, snatched line honours from Sam VINEYARD in Hawke, a more cruise oriented J/46.
VINEYARD was leading much of the way after 2003's first finisher, James MULDERIG's Farr 72 Starr Trail withdrew from the race with light air sail problems. However, Hawke ran into a six hour hole of light to no winds on Monday. This allowed Mameluke, sailing in from a more westerly course, to converge on Bermuda with a better angle more pace and snatch the lead just at the reef marks north of the island.

As the sun set in the west and a full moon rose 180 degrees opposite, Mameluke powered across the finish line on Tuesday evening off St. David's Lighthouse, Bermuda with an elapsed time of 4 days, 7 hours, 58 minutes and 25 seconds to make the red sloop the first monohull. Hartsease Larus Roc, the trimaran from St. Maarten, had taken line honours for the new multihull division at dawn on the same day. Hawke finished as the second monohull some ten minutes later.

Mameluke's crew did not know that they had crossed the line first since the iBoat tracking system had incorrectly shown that Starr Trail had finished hours before. When the finish line boat pulled alongside and the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club's Rear Commodore John 'EJ' THOMPSON awarded them champagne and a case of beer, reality set in and they began to celebrate their fast passage. The cork popped and the bubbly sprayed from skipper onto the joyous crew.

Nick GODDARD, one of Mameluke's trimmers, said that when Hawke reached Kitchen Shoal the were overpowered with their chute up and Mameluke was able shoot out to the slim lead they carried to the line. Navigator Jaime MORIANO said their initial course was 180 degrees to enter Gulf Stream at the top of a southeastly flowing meander. They were aiming for current heading south out of the stream but failed to get the boost they wanted

Mameluke came through the same light air below the Gulf Stream, but she was able to overcome Hawke's boat-for-boat lead just at the end by sailing a hotter angle to the northern reef marker an hour away from the finish.

On corrected time Hawke took 13th place in the fleet and first place in Class A. Mameluke, in the celestial navigation group, ranked 40th in fleet and seventh in Class C.

Talbot Wilson. Image, Mameluke:© Talbot Wilson Photo
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