Hillier pulls plug on Newport race entry
Brian Hillier's J-125, Crossfire, has been scratched from this year's 50th Newport to Bermuda Race.
Sources close to Hillier have confirmed that the local yacht has withdrawn from the 645-nautical mile race from Newport, Rhode Island to St David's, Bermuda, reducing the number of local yachts taking part to two.
“Due to a number of different circumstances, the owner has decided to pull the plug on this year's Bermuda Race,” crewman Somers Kempe posted on his Facebook page.
“Was really looking forward to the race and all that goes on with it and sailing with some good friends.”
Hillier could not be reached for comment.
Crossfire was scheduled to compete in the St David's Lighthouse Division.
The remaining local entries taking part in the race through the Gulf Stream are Paul Hubbard's Oyster 435, Bermuda Oyster, and the Bermuda Sloop Foundation's sloop Spirit of Bermuda.
Bermuda Oyster is registered in the St David's Lighthouse Division while Spirit of Bermuda is competing against America, a replica of the yacht that inspired the America's Cup, in the Spirit of Tradition Division.
Local skipper Dr Stephen Sherwin has chartered the Frers 84, Metolius, but is flying a Cayman Island's flag this time around.
The 50th edition of the Newport Bermuda Race could potentially be the third-largest race in the event's 110-year history, with 191 boats competing in six different divisions, expected on the start line in Narragansett Bay on June 17.
This year's Newport Bermuda Race also marks the 90th anniversary of the partnership between organisers Cruising Club of America and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
Attempting to break the elapsed-time record of 38hr 39min set by George David's Rambler; in 2012 is this year's Sydney Hobart Race winner Comanche, a 100-foot supermaxi co-owned by American billionaire Jim Clark and former Australian supermodel Kristy Hinze-Clark.
Meanwhile, those fans not lucky enough to be able to get to Newport for the start can watch all the action live on the race website BermudaRace.com.
Commentator Andy Green will be posted overlooking the starting line at the Inn at Castle Hill.
With cameras on the hill and on the water, he'll get close to the action bringing live sailing to wherever you are.
With the race in progress, Green will deliver online commentary every morning and afternoon at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 5pm.
Updates, weather forecasts, team strategic analysis, competitor insights and a look at overnight possibilities are the bill-of-fare.
n Stevie Dickinson retained his Flagpole to Flagpole Race title on Sunday.
The East End Mini Yacht Club skipper made up considerable ground before passing leader Gladwin Lambert near the end of the run down the North Shore and keeping clean air on his sheets the rest of the way.
Lambert, who represents the West End Sail Boat Club, finished second with East End Mini Yacht Club skipper Maxwell Curtis in third.