2008 Newport-Bermuda Will be Second Largest

If you’ve never done any sailing, you’re probably blissfully unaware of the basic elements that underlie the sport’s phenomenal attraction. Let me take a moment to describe them to you. First, the vehicle you’re on – variously called a ‘boat’, or ‘tub’, or ‘She’ – gets increasingly small the farther you get from land. Second, as wind speed increases, this boat becomes increasingly unstable. Third, a sailor spends most of the time cold or wet or tired and very likely all three at the same time. Finally, it’s very expensive.

Bella Mente, a Judel/Vrolijk 66 foot sloop owned by Minneapolis financier Hap FauthSo I’m sure you find it no surprise that the 2008 Newport-Bermuda Race, to be held next month, had a near-record number boats entered by the April 1st deadline to compete in this year’s 635 nautical mile blue ocean event.

At noon on June 20, 224 boats will be maneuvering around the starting buoys beneath the Castle Hill waiting for the starting cannon to fire, beginning what for the faster competitors will be a 3 day journey from Newport, Rhode Island across the Atlantic to the finish line near St David’s Lighthouse off Hamilton, Bermuda.

Taking line honors – first of all entrants to cross the finish line – in the 2006, centennial race was Bella Mente, a Judel/Vrolijk 66 foot sloop owned by Minneapolis financier Hap Fauth. Fauth and crew will be competing again in this year.

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