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North Sails powers the Newport Bermuda Race 2022

by North Sails 27 Jun 15:57 BST
Argo during the Newport Bermuda Race © Daniel Forster

The Newport Bermuda Race has kept North Sails buzzing (and busy!) since well before the 186-boat fleet set off on June 17th. This year marked the 52nd edition of this East Coast offshore classic and the return of racing after a canceled 2020 event. And while we waited a bit longer than expected to see the competitors return to the start line, race fans and North Sails were quickly rewarded with a steady flow of results.

As the official performance partner to the race, North Sails is committed to helping our clients get the results they expect. The 2022 Newport Bermuda Race featured 186 boats competing across 19 classes. Race results are the ultimate test for sailmaking brands, and the proof is on the podium. This edition of the Bermuda Race saw North clients set a new overall course record, capture line honors, several major divisional wins, and 26 of the possible 49 class podium positions. Keep reading for a rundown of the North Sails-powered performances.

Jason Carroll's Mod 70 Argo led the pack into Bermuda, claiming overall line honors and setting a new race record of 33 hours. Carroll and his crew are the first boat in the race's history to finish on a Saturday, which proved both an honor and a challenge for the eight sleep-deprived sailors.

"It was some of the roughest conditions we've had on the boat," Chad Corning said. "The sea state was just nasty, coming from all different directions. You never knew where the waves were coming from, and they would hit the boat at all different angles. You had to crawl around the cockpit to get anywhere. It was a very violent motion; a lot of the guys got sick."

Argo's record-breaking run set a new multihull record as well as the new overall course record. However, the monohull record of 34 hours, 34 minutes, and 52 seconds set by Comanche, skippered by North Sails President Ken Read, in 2016 still stands.

Powered by North 3Di and a heavy helping of Helix sails, 11th Hour Racing Team skippered by Charlie Enright was the second boat into Bermuda. Their IMOCA Malama was the first monohull to complete the 635-mile race, and the wild ride proved an ideal opportunity for Enright to log training miles before the start of The Ocean Race in early 2023.

Like Argo, the Malama crew was pushing hard and was short on sleep upon arrival. Enright compared the onboard conditions to spending 41 hours in a washing machine. "This has been full-on," he said at the finish. "There has been no rest for anybody onboard. From the moment we left Newport, we have been racing at speeds between 20-30 knots in a heated sea state."

Sailing with Enright were his 11th Hour teammates Justine Mettraux and Amory Ross, as well as Red Bull athletes Olympic snowboarder Elena Hight, and big wave surfer Ian Walsh.

North Sails powered both Lighthouse Division winners: with Chris Sheehan's Warrior Won on top in the Gibbs Lighthouse Division and Sally and Stan Honey's Cal 40 Illusion claimed the St David's Lighthouse prize.

The Newport Bermuda 2022 is the latest in a string of wins for Warrior Won; Sheehan and his team were named the 2021 Transpac overall winner and the overall winner of the 2022 RORC Caribbean 600. Warrior Won’s sail inventory includes North 3Di which has been onboard with the team for each of their wins in the past year.

Illusion bested the 108-boat fleet to place on top of the podium in the St David's Lighthouse Division. And with an owner who's also a world-class navigator, you'd expect nothing less. Honey is a multi-race veteran and was navigator onboard Comanche during their last record run.

"The conditions were perfect for our boat, and we had a pretty good navigator onboard," said Sally of her husband. "Stan chose a really good course, and the conditions were just what the boat loves, heavy-air reaching, a lot. We got into a Gulf Stream eddy and stayed in it for about seven hours. That gave us a good boost. We managed to stay in the wind most of the way down. We had a couple of light spots, but nothing like the later boats."

Prevail, Dudley Johnson's Tripp 65 won the 38-boat Finisterre Division. Dudley and his crew knew they were on the right track when they were passed by Warrior Won in the Gulf Stream. Navigator Adam Klyver commented: "We felt like we were doing something right. We tried to stay in the middle of the Stream and found a five-knot current pushing us south-east. We probably had favorable current for close to 90 percent of the race."

North Sails is a long-time partner to the Newport Bermuda Race and is honored to have been onboard in 2022. This year’s race saw a bumpy sea state, fast sailing and we know it was a battle to arrive in Bermuda. Congratulations to all participants and a job well done to North clients who saw their names on the leaderboard.

In Memory

Our thoughts are with the family of Colin Golder and his Morgan of Marietta crew. Golder, a long-time client of North Sails, fell overboard en route to Bermuda and tragically passed away. He was not only a great client but an even better friend to our team who had the pleasure of sailing and working with him; he will be greatly missed. Sail on Colin.

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