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22 June 2006, 12:46 pm
Temptress And Four Stars Take Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Trophies
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Newport Bermuda Race 2006
Hamilton, Bermuda

The long wait is nearly over for many among the 263 fleet participating in the Centennial Newport Bermuda Race. With over 200 yachts reaching the finish over the last 24 hours, the provisional winners are eyeing up the coveted Gibbs Hill and St. David's Lighthouse Trophies. The man with most anticipation is Dr Richard SHULMAN (USA) whose lifelong dream of winning the Lighthouse Trophy finally looks set to become reality.
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His IMX 45 Temptress, not only heads her class but the entire professional ORR section of the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division racing for the ORR Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Trophy including Hap FAUTH's (USA) line honours victor Bella Mente. 'We knew we had a good shot at winning this race as soon as we saw the kind of weather we would have,' said SHULMAN today, adding. 'I have one of the greatest crews who have been sailing with me for many years, and we have a boat that is extremely fast in light airs.'

In the IRC rating rule section of the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division, Timothy MCADAMS' (USA) 44 foot Four Stars has also earn the coveted trophy. 'We knew this was a good reaching boat. We set out to be competitive. It was a two year program and we felt we could do well, but to win it all is beyond our expectations,' said MCADAMS. Peter HENDERSON (USA), his bowman added, 'We sailed on a track close to everyone else but for the smaller boats there were a lot of restarts in this race, As the bigger boats got ahead, they then sailed into a hole, the smaller boats caught up, and the re-start gave us the edge. We all felt we had a good chance of winning and sailed as well as we could. We all wanted this win.'

Victory At Last

The Temptress team has been regular competitors in this race since the 1980s in three different boats named Temptress and have come close to winning several times. In 1994, they missed out on an overall win by just 3 minutes and 40 seconds. Nick NICHOLSON (USA), SHULMAN's veteran navigator from Newport, Rhode Island was just as ecstatic. 'This is big, both individually and collectively. We all wanted this.' Both men are members of the Cruising Club of America and involved in the organizational aspects of this race, with SHULMAN chairman of participation and NICHOLSON standing as Vice-Chairman of this race.

'We like light air sailing and have a depth of knowledge here. Our tactician is Jack SLATTERY [(USA)] from Marblehead and he made some fantastic calls. When we were in the Gulf Stream and watching the forecast, given our position within the fleet, we knew we had a shot,' NICHOLSON added.

SHULMAN put their victory down to a last minute change of plan. 'We had intended to head out east of the rhumb line but in the end we went west. We listened to the experts telling us that it would be best to go east, but the data they presented suggested that the westerly option through the Gulf Stream was best.'

For more than 300 miles, SHULMAN's Temptress was within hailing distance of Clayton DEUTSCH's (USA) larger 68 foot Swan Chippewa, and the two were still trading tacks close to the finish. 'It was great to wake up each morning to see a larger mast nearby.' SHULMAN joked.

Famous Names

The Newport Bermuda race is a right of passage for many ocean sailors ranging from the Governor of Bermuda to British heroine Dee CAFFARI (GBR) who on 18 May became the first yachtswoman in history to successfully complete a solo circumnavigation west to east.

'I will not easily forget getting a lesson in winch dismantling in the middle of the Gulf Stream, or for that matter cleaning my teeth in the dark with Savalon antiseptic cream instead of toothpaste!,' noted Sir John VEREKER, Governor of Bermuda who sailed aboard Colin COUPER's (BER) Swan 46 Babe. 'Altogether, we thoroughly enjoyed the race. We may have fallen into a hole without breeze after the Gulf Stream, but it was enormous fun and a great experience.'

CAFFARI sailed her first Newport to Bermuda race this year as navigator aboard Pindar Alphagraphics which included sailing journalists, corporate guests and world class sailors. While the Pindar Alphagraphics crew sailed a disappointing race, CAFFARI said she welcomed the challenge of navigating for a large team, particularly after months at sea on her own.

'This race is an opportunity for us to develop key members of our crew,' said CAFFARI. 'Lots of variable conditions made it challenging for all of us, especially in a boat like the Volvo 60 which is designed for heavy air and downwind conditions.'

The Newport Bermuda race has always been known for its innovation and boat design is key to sailing well.

For first over the line finisher FAUTH, credits his designer and boat modifications on his Judel VROLJK Bella Mente in part for the win.

'I would have loved to have been in the money for the Gibbs Hill Division and the number one satisfaction is taking a relatively small boat and winning,' said FAUTH. 'We are content with the first to finish honours and that is a thrill that lasts forever.'

Laurie FULLERTON (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Temptress looks set for handicap honours:© Talbot WILSON/PPL
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