Posts Tagged ‘cal 40’

The 2010 Bermuda Race starts Friday.

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

UPDATE: The results are in and Sinn Fein lost their chance for the third consecutive overall win.

Place, Yacht, Owner, Origin, Results (ORR(Cls, Div) / IRC(Cls, Div))
Class 1 (11 Boats) – St. David’s Lighthouse Division
1. Belle Aurore, Cal 40, R Douglas Jurrius, Oxford, MD, 1, 3 / 1, 8
2. Sinn Fein, Cal 40, Peter S. Rebovich, Sr., Metuchen, NJ, 2, 7 / 2, 10
3. Gone With The Wind, Cal 40, William M. LeRoy, San Francisco, CA, 3, 8 / NA, NA

Gone With the Wind is a San Francisco Cal 40 trucked to Newport, RI for the race. Pretty good showing as Cal 40s sweep the class.

The last two Bermuda Races, the east coast’s premier sailing event, were won by Sinn Fein, a 45 year old Cal 40. Peter Rebovich, the owner and skipper, is almost as old as I am and yet he manages to keep winning. Here is a nice column by John Rousmanier on the team and their boat. The only other boat that has won two consecutive Bermuda Races was the famous Finisterre, sailed by Carlton Mitchell. Finisterre won the third consecutive race, a feat never equaled. Maybe this year.

Cal 40eeeez

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

UPDATE: The business end of a Cal 40 looks like this:

The Cal 40 revolutionized ocean racing when it appeared in 1963. It was fiberglass, for one thing. For another, it was cheap by racing sailboat standards. William Snaith, famous and colorful ocean racer from the 1960s, once described ocean racing as being like a man standing in a cold shower tearing up thousand dollar bills. The Cal 40 was eventually retired from racing by the simple action of changing the rules. The IOR rule (International Offshore Rule) came in 1972 and penalized the hull shape of the Cal 40. In addition, the new rule set out standards for construction that would lead to a disaster in the 1979 Fastnet Race, where boats were lost and men’s lives were lost because many of the smaller, newer race boats were not seaworthy in extreme conditions. Here is a better link for that story. Olin Stephens, one of the authors of the rule, later wrote that they had erred in the rule’s factors for scantlings, meaning the hull construction.

Eventually, the Cal 40 came back and Stephens, at the age of 99, had the privilege (I’m not sure he considered it as such but he was a gentleman) of presenting a trophy named in his honor to a Cal 40 that had won the Bermuda Race twice in a row in 2006 and 2008.

The first winner of the Olin J. Stephens Ocean Racing Trophy was Peter S. Rebovich Sr. from Metuchen, N.J., and the Raritan Yacht Club. After winning a St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy in his Cal 40 Sinn Fein in the 2006 Newport Bermuda Race, Rebovich heard about the Stephens Trophy and entered his first Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race. His third-place finish in the race’s ORR Division in 2007 won him the trophy. Olin Stephens himself made the presentation at Halifax. When Rebovich, in his seventies, came up to the podium to accept his prize, the 99-year-old Stephens joked, “It’s good to see an old guy like me still sailing and winning.” A year later, Rebovich won his second St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy in the 2008 Newport Bermuda Race and was again presented with the Stephens Trophy at the award ceremony in Bermuda.

Now, the indefatigable Timm Lessley has provided us with more Cal 40 action.

I wish I could be there.


Thursday, November 15th, 2007


This is what a Cal 40 looks like finishing the Transpac . Unfortunately, this one is not my boat. We had hopes of being able to go this past summer but the boat, which had required three years of restoration, was not quite ready and my son, who is now the expert, was too busy with his law practice. He went with me when he was 16 years old, in 1981, and now he wants to take me, even if as he says, he has to lash me in a bunk for the duration.

Trophy Present

This is the trophy presentation in 1981 when we came very close to winning overall. They no longer award overall trophies anymore as the fleet has been broken up into different classes racing under different handicap rules. That was a great year as we sailed 2400 miles in less than 12 days. I had a different boat that year but it was about the same size as the one I have now and which is pictured below.


This is our present boat sitting at Catalina Island last Labor Day. It is in full cruising configuration and looks good. It took three years of hard work to get it there.