The small-boat experience served the crew well, but Burnham also gave credit to navigator Roy MEBERS (Charleston, S.C.) for helping them make it through an 'intense' race. 'Our kite just blew to pieces on the first night,' said Burnham. 'The spreader was in the water, and the boat was pegged over, going downwind sideways for a while. None of us had sailed together before, so we all experienced a big learning curve.' It was Burnham's fourth race to Jamaica. 'It was the best for sure; it doesn't get better than that.'
According to Titan 12's tactician Peter ISLER (San Diego, Calif.), the wind blew hard out of the north, at 22-30 knots for the first 200 miles. The boat was sailing under a double reef and with a #4 headsail.
'The Wind Gods blessed us,' said Isler, a three-time veteran of the race. 'I had been studying the wind for a week ahead, and the breeze was better than the best I had hoped for. When we passed Eleuthera, I knew that we were already a half hour ahead of the record.'
Isler added that the boat carried its spinnaker for almost 600 miles. 'Tom HILL is over the moon. You can retire from this race after this one,' Isler joked. 'It is the best we'll ever have.'
The Pineapple Cup Montego Bay Race is jointly hosted by the Storm Trysail, Lauderdale and Montego Bay Yacht Clubs.