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Spirit of Bermuda in sprint finish

The Spirit of Bermuda and her rival replica sloop America are in a sprint finish in the Newport Bermuda Race.

With little more than a 100 nautical miles to go the two boats are said to be neck and neck, with Ben Fairn, director of the Bermuda Sloop Foundation, believing Spirit has the advantage.

“We're on the straight line for the finish,” Mr Fairn told The Royal Gazette at 6.30pm yesterday, with the two vessels about 120 nautical miles from the island.

“We're going at a good speed with very level waters, going at about nine to ten knots. It's a big race for the country and a big race for us.”

Spirit could cross the finish line at St David's by late afternoon today, Mr Fairn said.

Earlier yesterday High Noon captured ‘Traditional' line honours in the combined St David's and Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Divisions in the 2016 Newport Bermuda Race.

The win is an amazing accomplishment for the Young American Junior Big Boat Sailing Team from American Yacht Club.

They sailed High Noon, a Tripp 41 on loan from the United States Merchant Marine Academy Sailing Foundation, across the finish line at 10:07:05am yesterday morning.

High Noon was the second boat in the fleet to finish overall.

Comanche, Jim and Kristy Hinze Clark's 100-footer, smashed the Open record when she finished at 5:22:53 on Sunday, breaking the elapsed time record with a professional crew.

High Noon sailed in the St David's Lighthouse Division, Class 10 with a mostly amateur crew of seven young sailors ranging in age from 15 to 18, along with three adults. She is the second smallest boat to take line honors, with the smallest being Thomas Fleming Days' 38-footer Tamerlane.

“This Bermuda Race was the culmination of at least three years of work by these juniors,” Peter Becker, one of the project's leaders, said. “First they did overnight distance races, then weekend races, and then they looked for opportunities to sail offshore.”

High Noon is in line to win the St David's Lighthouse for the best corrected time in her division and four other major prizes, at least, including the first Stephens Brothers Youth Division Prize.

• Stevie Dickinson, with crew Pat Young in Kitty Hawk, sailed to a fourth straight and nineteenth overall victory in the long distance Comet race from St George's to Dockyard on Monday.

Dickinson had to bring out all his sailing skills in a race that lasted some five hours because of a lack of wind. Maxwell Curtis and Stefan improved on their third place finish last year when they placed second, while Gladwin Lambert and son Lorenzo finished third.

Dale Brangman and crew Comorie Matthews and Quinton Simons and Gregory Proctor completed the top five.

A total of 14 boats started the race and eight finished, including the last boat skippered by Antoine Wingood which took more than seven hours to complete the race.

Tre Maxwell and brother Taj were disqualified over a rule infringement.

Impressive finish: High Noon about to cross the St David's Lighthouse finish line (Photograph by Barry Pickthall/PPL)

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Published June 22, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 22, 2016 at 7:40 am)

Spirit of Bermuda in sprint finish

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