Artforms takes the double in the Bermuda 1-2

Monday, 20 June 2005
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Footing in a rare eight knots of breeze north of the Gulf Stream

Footing in a rare eight knots of breeze north of the Gulf Stream

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Merfyn Owen and Kip Stone on Artforms winning the Bermuda 1-2

Merfyn Owen and Kip Stone on Artforms winning the Bermuda 1-2

Image © Paul Cronin
Kip Stone and designer Merfyn Owen arrived in Newport, Rhode Island, in first place at 08:17 EST, 19 June to complete a successful double winning both legs of the Bermuda 1-2 and setting up a new record time for the outward leg of 66 hrs 57 minutes.

After a win in the single-handed leg to Bermuda, Kip was joined by Merf on what was scheduled to be a close race back with the main opposition Joe Harris and Brian Harris in the Finot designed Open 50 Gryphon Solo. The first 24 hours of the race from Bermuda to the Gulf Stream saw the two Open 50’s flying along in near-ideal reaching conditions, jousting for the lead just miles apart. As Artforms approached the south wall of the Gulf Stream she was power reaching with full main and genoa at sustained speeds of 18-22 knots. Approximately halfway to the north wall the the wind shut down and headed. The challenge was then to make progress towards the finish, while being swept east by the warm current. The winning tack was called in the failing breeze and it was Artforms that managed to break free first, lee-bowing the east going stream and using the last of the breeze to gain northing out of the danger zone.

The remainder of the fleet were left frustrated with little wind, a sloppy sea and having to contend with the adverse effects of the Gulf Stream taking them away from the mark. Once free of the stream Artforms was again able to make steady progress towards the finish in winds of 5 to 7 knots, picking up a 2 to 3 knot favourable push from a warm water eddy that they'd identified on the gulf stream analysis before leaving Bermuda. Finally, with the breeze filling in from the east, the final 12 hours were a swift ride home. As well as finishing first on elapsed time in both legs it seems likely that although there are still boats left to finish Artforms will maintain her overall lead winning the combined legs 1 and 2 on corrected time as well.

Artforms and Gryphon Solo line up next in the Marblehead to Halifax Race on July 10. Kip will be joined by Jeff Pritchard, one of the shore team who helped prepare Artforms for the Bermuda Race and a native of Halifax. Both Kip and Joe are building up to the Transat Jacques Vabre on 5 November this year and ultimately the 5-Oceans Race in 2006.

For more information on Kip Stone and Artforms visit www.ksopen50.com

For more information on Joe Harris and Gryphon Solo visit www.gryphonsolo.com

Results: Class 5, Leg 2, Bermuda 1-2 2005. 1 Artforms – Kip Stone/Merf Owen 2 Swordflounder – John Ryan/Ryan Finn 3 Gryphon Solo – Joe Harris/Brian Harris 4 Velocity – Mike Millard/ Bjorn Johnson


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