Newport Bermuda Race

Shockwave repeats Gibbs Hill win as Actaea snatches St. David’s Lighthouse Division

By Talbot Wilson

Dateline: 25th June 2014 - Royal Bermuda YC.

Shockwave, skippered by George Sakellaris of Framingham MA, crossed the finish line in the Newport Bermuda Race at 6:34 Bermuda time Monday to take line honors in the 49th Newport Bermuda Race. All of the boats in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division have now finished.

Based on provisional results, Shockwave can be confirmed as the class 9 and division winner, taking home his second Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Trophy in a row. This is the first boat to win consecutive Gibbs Hill Trophies since the prize was dedicated to the grand prix,l division in 2002.

Actaea provisional winner of the St. David's Lighthouse Division  at the start of the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race.  Photo: Photo Daniel Forster/PPL
Actaea provisional winner of the St. David's Lighthouse Division at the start of the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race. Photo: Photo Daniel Forster/PPL

Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente and Caol Ila owned by Alex Schaerer finished second and third in the class and division.

For the St. David’s Lighthouse Division corrected time honors, first we thought the Class 2 Navy 44 Swift was the one, then as Class 1 boats began to finish. Five of the top 6 in the Division are in that class. Initially, it was the Tartan 41 Aurora, then the Cal 40 Flyer, before the Hinckley B40 Actaea stole the show.

Actaea is a classic cruising yawl owned by Michael Cone of Philadelphia Pennsylvania, PA.. Her crew are John Vj Chiochetti, Constance H. Cone, co-owner and watch captain, James Dalton, George J. Fallon, Rex Miyashiro, Stewart Rose, and Stanley Sneath. Cone is a member of Corinthian YC.

Bill Wagner wrote about the Cones in a 2011 Annapolis Capital Gazette article…

Michael and Connie Cone became enamored with offshore sailing in 1995 after buying a Bermuda 40-footer. The Philadelphia couple competed in the 1996 Newport Bermuda Race aboard Actaea and were hooked.

"We were bitten by the bug and haven't lost our mutual love of ocean racing ever since," Michael Cone said.

Inexperience and misfortune made that first offshore passage a struggle, and Actaea was the last boat to cross the finish line in the 1996 Newport Bermuda Race.

"We won the Galley Slave Trophy and I swore that would never happen again," Michael Cone said of the dubious honor that is based on the fact that the cook at sea the longest, has to cook the most meals for the crew.

In the 16 years since, Actaea has become known for being one of the best-sailed boats on the Chesapeake Bay and beyond. The Cones have enjoyed enormous success aboard the classic cruiser-racer, placing high in class in such offshore events as Newport Bermuda, Annapolis-Newport and Marblehead-Halifax.

Actaea was one of 125 Bermuda 40s designed by Bill Tripp and built by Hinckley Yachts. Launched in 1971, this particular vessel had one previous owner before the Cones bought her in 1989.

The provisional leader in the Cruising Division is Attitude, a Beneteau 423 in Class 10 owned by Shawn Dahlen of Duxbury, MA. Of the 34 starters, 17 in the division have finished, so the winner cannot be called. Jeroboam, a Beneteau 351, sailed by Jonathan Green and Russ Hancock leads the Double-Handed Division.

Sailors who found themselves in the ‘Happy Valley’ between the Gulf Stream and Bermuda were not happy Tuesday night. No records were set in one of the slowest Newport Bermuda Races ever for the majority of the fleet. Officials using estimated elapsed time calculations on the Pantaenius Race Tracker predicted a record 120 yachts would finish from dusk to dawn. As the wind went light, it was more like 16.

Through Tuesday night’s slow approach, boats slid into airless sink-holes on course to the finish off St. David’s Lighthouse. They parked for dismal spells of time. On Wednesday, a large portion of the fleet finished, whistling up little bits of wind to move slowly through the final miles. Only a few competitors are left to slog on into Wednesday night and Thursday.

Double-handed ocean racer Joe Harris wrote in what he hoped was his final blog— “GryphonSsolo2 and her fearless crew, me and Rob Windsor, are actually approaching the finish line of the world's longest race. OMG. Totally. 18 miles to the finish line and we actually have 7 knots of wind, which at this point feels like a frickin’ gale.”

The story on the dock is that the pre-race weather forecasts were less than accurate and that going a conservative distance to the west was the best choice. The Shockwave team went only slightly west and got through the upper Gulf Stream before the wind began shutting down in the frontal zone moving across the course. They snaked along in the southbound cold core eddy to the building southwest wind. They had to tack and jibe to reach it. Constellation had much the same story to tell.

The J44 battle was classic. Gold Digger’s skipper, Jim Bishop, has done Newport Bermuda 24 times. Vamp’s skipper, Lennie Sitar has done it 14 times, 12 in this Vamp. Vamp finished at 07:27:25 today. Gold Digger followed at 07:28:31 today. Vamp’s corrected time was 90:26:26. Gold Digger’s was 90:14:41 and Bishop won by 12 minutes. Sitar said, “I’ve raced this race 14 times and I still haven’t figured out how to win it.”

With the arrival of the sailors, friends and families who have been exploring Bermuda alone will now have time to celebrate the completion of another classic ocean race. The famous bar at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club will be hopping tonight and through the weekend, when it will be time to collect some prizes at Government House before heading back to sea and home.

Commander’s Weather Summary:

1) Dissipating cold front is just a tiny bit N of Bermuda at 0500edt this morning
a) Very light, just about wind direction winds are found N of the front this morning
b) Slight S, SW, and W winds are found just S of the front

2) There are a few isolated showers/thundershowers early this morning, but they will be dissipating later this morning
a) At 0500edt, there is a small thundershower over and E of Bermuda - this thundershower is moving very slowly E

3) SSW winds will start to spread towards the N and NE this afternoon, starting from the southwest and west of Bermuda
a) There will be SSW winds from Bermuda to Newport by this time Thursday. Wind speeds will be light around Bermuda. Wind directions will be S-SW

4) Cold front will move thru Newport Thu afternoon and Cape Hatteras Thu morning, but will be slow to move further to the SE

The best way to follow the race is to log onto the Pantaenius Race Tracker. Dobbs Davis has a very useful Race Tracker Tutorial. Dobbs, an experienced racing sailor and columnist for Seahorse Magazine, is posting a daily morning race report on the website, beginning with his Friday Bermuda Race Preview.

  • Class assignments, handicaps, crew lists, and other important information is available on this website at Race Documents & Rules.
  • One of the most important players in any Bermuda Race is the Gulf Stream. Currents and winds are displayed on the tracker. For a report on this year's Stream, see Dr. Frank Bohlen's Gulf Stream Tutorials.
  • For information about the race, its history, its prizes, and its appeals, take a look at Bermuda Race Facts and other sections in the About tab on the website.

The following boats have withdrawn as of Tuesday morning:

Toothface 2 - minor damage, returned to Newport
Next Boat - ditto, returning to NY
Happy Valley - ditto, returning to LIS
Wandrian - damage, proceeding to Bermuda, escorted by Black Watch
Shine - proceeding to Bda Terrapin – ditto Hasabass – ditto
Beagle - crew injury, arrived
Sebastiana - 2030 Tues. No issues except lack of forward progress.
Sirena Bella – scheduling reasons, powering to Bda –

See more at:

For scratch sheets, crew lists, and other information about the boats, go to Race Documents & Rules.

Twenty-nine of the two Newport Bermuda Lighthouse Divisions’ entries are also sailing the 25th Onion Patch Series, a tough triathlon of offshore racing. These Onion Patch racers have just sailed the NYYC 160th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex in Newport and will form the core of the June 27nd RBYC Anniversary Regatta which now has 32 entries. The RBYC Anniversary Regatta is open to all IRC or ORR rated yachts over 25 feet in Bermuda. Anniversary Regatta entries close at noon on June 25th. Information is online at and at — carries Newport Bermuda Race rules, news, videos, photos, history, and expert advice. Race news is also posted on the Newport Bermuda Race 2014 Facebook page and on Twitter at @BdaRace.


About Newport Bermuda 2014

  • Onion Patch Series Races 4-5 and Navigators Race Series final race in the RBYC Anniversary Regatta June 27
  • Newport Bermuda Welcome Party, Bermuda, June 27
  • Newport Bermuda Prize Ceremony, June 28.
Bermuda is the Official Host of the Newport Bermuda Race. For details on all the excitement and events Bermuda has to offer, call your travel agent or visit

Gosling's Rum is the Official Rum of the Newport Bermuda Race. Try a Dark 'n Stormy ®, the taste of Bermuda. For more information visit

Pantaenius American Yacht Insurance is the official lead sponsor of the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race s tracker, which will be visible on the race s web site:

Newport Shipyard is the Official Shipyard of the Newport Bermuda Race. Come get ready for Bermuda, swap strategies, and walk the docks among veteran sailors.

Vineyard Vines is the Official Newport Bermuda Tie Sponsor providing commemorative ties to the afterguard of the competing yachts.

Brewer Yacht Yard Group is the Official Boat Preparation Resource of the Newport Bermuda Race. Experienced staff at Brewer yards from New York to Maine will help you and your crew plan and prepare for a successful race.

Hinckley Yachts is the Official Sponsor of the Captains Meeting for the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race, and will provide the check-in boat and other boats for official observers.

OCENS is the Newport Bermuda Race s Official Race Communications Partner. Satellite communications and weather information for the race and the world.



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