Morning Glory, the 86-foot maxi owned and sailed by San Francisco's Hasso PLATTNER, ran away from her competition as she set a new monohull race record to Bermuda yesterday.
Morning Glory finished first in the 157-boat Newport to Bermuda Race fleet in 48 hours 28 minutes 31 seconds.
Sailing in the IMS Big Boat Demonstration Division against two other maxZ86s, Morning Glory peeled a whopping 5 hours 10 minutes 51 seconds off the official race record for conventional-keel boats set by Roy Disney two years ago in the 75-foot turbo sled Pyewacket. Disney's time in 2002 was 53 hours 39 minutes 22 seconds.
Sailing under mainsail and jib and doing 15 knots in a 15-knot westerly, Morning Glory crossed the finish line off Bermuda's St David's Lighthouse just before 4:00 PM Bermuda Time to capture line honours in the new Big Boat Demonstration Division.
Disney, from Los Angles, CA, sailing his new 86-foot CBTF maxZ86 Pyewacket, finished five hours and 15 minutes later to take second place. Windquest a conventional-keeled maxZ86 sailed by Dick and Doug DEVOS, of Ada, MI, was third.
All three boats were designed by the San Diego naval architects Reichel Pugh.
Though the record eluded him this year, Disney still has the satisfaction of claiming the official record for the IMS Class with the mark he set two years ago. Morning Glory's time this year will only count for the Demonstration Division.
"This fast finish in the inaugural race for the division sets a very high benchmark for the future,"
said Race Chairman John WINDER. "In the years to come we hope to have more entries which show advances like the maxZ86 design's Canting Ballast Twin Foil (CBTFT) technology did this year. We hope to keep the Demonstration Division open for 2006, so this gives them their own record to race for."
Dee SMITH, sailing master and project director for Morning Glory, reported that Plattner was "ecstatic" over his victory. Two years ago Plattner finished in third place behind Disney.
"This boat is fantastic,"
Smith said. "It is quick. We feel comfortable sailing it. We have a lot of confidence in the design and the structure and the gear. With good people on the boat we just go ahead and push it around."
The lead changed several times during the race. Pyewacket led off the start but Morning Glory was only four boat lengths astern and overtook about three hours later before nightfall. Smith reported that that at one point last evening they sighted Windquest ahead of them in the Gulf Stream. At 2:00 AM yesterday, Stan HONEY, navigator aboard Pyewacket reported that they had just got clear of the effects of the Gulf Stream and its associated meanders.
"We have been jib reaching with a double-head rig,"
Honey said. "At the peak of the stream we were sailing at 25 knots over the bottom, with 6.5 of those knots contributed by the Gulf Stream. That is about 28 mph, which isn't quite fast enough to get us a speeding ticket on a residential street, but it is close."
"As we passed south of the front yesterday, the fog and mist lifted, creating nice weather in the late afternoon and evening. Compared to two years ago, when we were beating into 10 foot seas in 40 knots of wind, this Stream crossing has been delightful."
Full position reports and results are available on the event website at the address below.