2012-06-15 Newport Race Update

1. Greetings Triple Lindy family and friends! We had a beautiful New England day for the start of the Newport-Bermuda Race. Fresh northeast breezes and sparkling skies contrasted with the busy scene of boats milling aroiund Narragansett Bay as each class prepared for their start sequence. It was very special to have Triple Lindy’s own spectator fleet following us on the water. Former crew member Scott Perrin was a tremendous host to the Mele family, and friends, bringing his powerboat over to Newport Shipyard just prior to our getting underway and monitoring events in the starting area. The start of class 3 went well, and we were in a tight group of boats jockeying for position in the first few hours of the race. The wind was blowing out of the Northeast, so we launched our spinnaker right at the start. It was very colorful all afternoon long as boats flew all manner of reaching sails, jib tops, staysails and spinnakers to get the most speed possible.

2. The Bermuda Race is really several challenges packed into one event: it begins with cool sailing from the waters off Block Island, where fog, water temperatures in the 60’s, and heavy ship traffic can make the transit out over the continental shelf waters a brisk introduction to ocean sailing, the second stage of the race occurs when we get several hundred miles offshore and approach the huge moving river called the Gulf Stream that brings warm waters (temps in the 80’s), squalls and typically rougher seas because the underlying water is moving so fast in comparison to the overall ocean environment; and finally, there is the several hundred miles from the Gulf Stream exit to Bermuda that can be beautiful or lousy, depending on the weather as boats try to maintain their momentum all the way to the finish at St David’s lighthouse on the east side of Bermuda.

3. Triple Lindy’s crew has 6 crew members from previous Bermuda Races, and two great sailors (Kent Paisley and Brian Phillips) who have joined us for this race. We have organized into two watch sections with Joe Mele, Rob Long, Brian Phillips, and John Mackay in one section, and Sean McDermott, Jay O’Brien, Kent Paisley, and Pete Ramsdale in the other section. Today we were all on deck for most of the afternoon doing numerous sail changes, frequent navigation updates, lot’s of spinnaker stuffing, and a few repairs as we settled in to the offshore routine. It is pretty out here, with sunny skies and solid NE winds driving the fleet down the race course. We did have to repair a small tear in the Code 0 reaching sail, Joe and Sean busied themselves with crafting replacement shims to go in the area where the mast penetrates the cabin top. The food today was outstanding as always on the Lindy. We had cold cut wraps for a late afternoon lunch, and dinner reservations for Rob’s beef stew was for a “later sitting” after the watch changover at 2200. So we enjoyed each others company for a great meal while sailing the boat, downloading weather, and repacking spinnakers continued. The sunset was beautiful, and the stars tonight are amazing in their clarity. We are approaching the edge of the continental shelf waters. We expect to reach the vicinity of the Gulf Stream by early afternoon Saturday.