After a dramatic 635-mile duel with Shockwave, Bella Mente completed the Newport Bermuda Race yesterday morning (Monday, June 23) at 6:41 a.m. local time, just minutes behind the fellow mini maxi which claimed line honors. Bella Mente was the second boat to finish, crossing the line, off Bermuda’s St. David Lighthouse, with an elapsed time of 63 hours, 11 minutes and 25 seconds. The team, led by owner/driver Hap Fauth, sailed with 18 onboard in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division (IRC).
“It was a extremely tricky and technical race,” said Bella Mente Racing’s Navigator Ian Moore. “The boys sailed really well and pushed the boat hard for two days straight. We did a great job of coming from behind Shockwave to finish on their transom.”
The race, which kicked off last Friday (June 20) in Newport, R.I., showed its 164- boat fleet a variety of different weather conditions throughout the weekend.
The Newport Bermuda Race lived up to its tough ocean classic reputation,” said Mike Sanderson who serves as the team’s offshore helmsman. “It was a brutal three days: from the converging breezes on the start line to a crossing cold front in the Gulf Stream on the final day.
“We held the lead on the first day, but being ahead showed to be a disadvantage, and by day break on Saturday we were about 25 miles behind Shockwave and seven or eight behind Caol Ila R. We fought back on Saturday, passing Caol Ila R, but Shockwave did an incredible job protecting their position throughout the rest of the race.
“Overall, the competition was intense and the team and the boat did an awesome job. We came here for a great race and we certainly got it,” said Sanderson adding that there are still many boats racing in the Newport Bermuda Race and results are yet to be finalized. “Congratulations to the team onboard Shockwave; they sailed a great and bold race and deserve to win on corrected time as well.”
The team will soon be heading across the Atlantic to embark on its European circuit, which includes the 33rd Copa del Rey MAPFRE in August, the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship in September and the Rolex Middle Sea Race in October.
“For the Bella Team it’s onwards and upwards,” added Sanderson, “and our hunger to win in Europe has only gotten a whole lot greater.”