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Sunday 5th June 2011


Photo compliments of www.sail-world.com.

The Awards Ceremony for the 2011 Charleston Bermuda took place on the terrace of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club on Sunday evening. The formal occasion drew the largest contingent of Bermudian dignitaries ever to be on hand for this event, including the Deputy Governor, the Premier, the Minister of Development and Tourism, and the Mayor of Hamilton.  Racers were honored with acknowledgments of their efforts and all were thanked for being part of a continuing tradition between Bermuda and Charleston.

Also on hand to offer remarks was former Commodore of the RBYC, Ralph Richardson, a long time supporter of this race. He told the audience, “This is the largest fleet of large boats that have ever participated in this race.” He added, “There are three certainties that characterize this race: “One, the city of Charleston is one of the most beautiful places on the East Coast from which to launch a race. Two, Bermuda is the most beautiful place in the world as a destination for a race. And three, the most predictable thing about this race is the unpredictability of the weather you’ll have.”

Race Director Bjorn Johnson then made the award presentations, along with Richard Speer, the CEO of the OnDeck Group U.S., principal sponsor and organizer of the race, and Bermudian dignitaries. The first place in the PHRF Racing Class and IRC Racing Class went to Tucana, the Shipman 63, skippered by Pat Maflin, chartered by Hank Hofford and Susan Ford and sailed by a crew of family and friends. Second place in the PHRF Racing Class was awarded to the yacht Spirit of Juno. Along with their fellow Juno crewmembers,  skipper Tim Scarisbrick and comedian Stephen Colbert stepped forward to receive the award.

“Thank you,” said Colbert. “For those of you who’ve not done this race, it’s not always easy, but it’s always beautiful.” He expressed his gratitude to Juno’s professional crew, saying “their English accents made us calm with their quiet sense of authority.” He spoke fondly about the beauty of being at sea, and of “the isolation you feel and the sense of gratitude you get from each other’s hard work while under way.”

Noel Sterrett and Matt Henderson were presented with the first place award in the PHRF Doublehanded Division.  The J/130 was the only doublehanded entry to finish under sail.

At the time, PHRF Cruising Class trophies were still up for grabs as Bernie Schapiro and the Pied-a-Mer crew and his closest rival Rob Turkewitz and crew on board his Cherubini 44 First Light were still at sea sailing towards the finish line.

David Skidmore and Barry Link on Eagles’ Wings were awarded the Perseverance Award. They were expected to arrive safely some time on Monday despite a crossing with electronics and communication issues that forced them to sail the race virtually blind.

The ceremonies were concluded and the RBYC and Goslings sponsored reception ensued with a great time had by all in attendance.

Subsequent to the Sunday reception, Pied-a-Mer and First Light officially crossed the finish line early Monday. Shapiro’s crew secured the first place spot reaching the finish at 1:45am with First Light sailing in about 10 hours later. Eagles’ Wings has also safely arrived in Bermuda on Monday afternoon.

The next Charleston Bermuda Race will take place in the spring of 2013 and promises to be another exciting ocean challenge.

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