“When you round Bermuda’s reefs and cross the finish line with three other boats at virtually the same time after four hard days of racing, you realize the Newport Bermuda Race is a game of inches and seconds,” says Chris Culver skipper of Cetacea, hull #1 of the SW Hinckley 59′ design built in 1983. “Boats that may have chosen three separate and distinct tracks for the race come together at the very end and are separated by less than a boat length.”
Cetacea is one of the 132 entries for the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race that has been received as of February 20th. There are 147 boats that have entered the registration portal on the race website. Of these, 132 have filed their online Application for Entry (AFE) for this invitational race, and 108 applications have been approved. So far, 22 boats with AFE’s submitted have elected the Cruiser Division, the St. David’s Lighthouse (amateur) Division has 66 entries, Double-Handed has 15, the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse (professional) Division has 11, the Open Division has only James Muldoon’s canting keel Donnybrook, and 16 boats have not elected their division yet. At a similar date before the 2010 race, 131 AFE’s had been filed.The race starts off Castle Hill in Newport, RI on the afternoon of June 15 and runs 635 miles across the western Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream to the finish off St. David’s Lighthouse Bermuda.
Cetacea — so named after the order of mammals that includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises— has been under Culver’s leadership in the past four Newport Bermuda Races and has finished in the top three in class in every race. She sails in the Cruiser Division, but Culver and his crew of 11 or 12 surely enjoy a racing attitude not just cruising.
“Think about the blown jib in a 35 knot squall,” Culver remembers. “As you work to get another jib up and drawing full, you are thinking you just went from first place to third. This is tough sailing, but it can happen to the competition, too. We never give in and we never give up”.
For the complete story, go to www.bermudarace.com.