Don Nicholson’s APOLLO shortly after the start of the Newport to Bermuda Race
The results are in! Congratulations to the J/121 teams and their amazing performance in what proved to be a long and tactically gruelling Bermuda Race. To have all four boats place so well in their debut offshore race is a credit to the owners and great launch for the J/121 fleet!
1st Place – Class 14 – APOLLO, Don Nicholson
3rd Place – Class 6 – JACKHAMMER, Andrew Hall
4th Place – Class 9 – INCOGNITO, Joe Brito
5th Place – Class 9 – ALCHEMY, David Southwell
J/News will be carrying a report of all the great J performances in the fleet, but here are a few quick bullet points on the race:
- Four out of the first eight J/121s built entered this 635 mile classic, which starts in Newport, Rhode Island and finishes in St. Georges, Bermuda.
- This year’s event drew 169 boats spread across multiple classes, with most J/Boats in two primary fleets – the St. David’s Lighthouse Division for Corinthian teams; and the Gibbs Lighthouse Division which is open to Group 3s, water ballast, canting keels, etc. All racing was scored under ORR, which is the VPP based rating system used for Chicago Mac, Transpac and several other North American offshore races.
- The St. David’s division did not allow water ballast, so the three J/121s sailing with Corinthian crews (ALCHEMY, INCOGNITO and JACKHAMMER) sailed with normal size crew (8-10) and no water ballast. With an ORR rating that reflected smaller sails and a three blade prop, JACKHAMMER was assigned to a different class (Class 6) than ALCHEMY and INCOGNITO (Class 9).
- Don Nicholson’s APOLLO joined the Grand Prix fleet based on the team being comprised of more than one industry professional (including David Malkin of Northpoint Yacht Sales); and the team wanting to use water ballast.
- APOLLO not only won their Class but finished 6th overall in the Gibbs Lighthouse Division, beaten only by two Volvo 70’s, a Maxi 72, RAMBLER 88, and the TP 52 SPOOKIE – all of whom escaped the massive hole most of the fleet sailed into mid- race.