Calm seas slow rate of finish in Annapolis to Newport Race


The calm that followed the storm slowed the flow of finishers to a trickle yesterday in the biennial Annapolis to Newport Race, one of the oldest ocean races still taking place on the East Coast.

This year's 435-mile race began Saturday at noon off the mouth of the Severn River, with 55 boats racing in three IMS and three PHRF handicap classes.

By 11 a.m. yesterday, all 18 starters in IMS Classes I and II, were finished or accounted for, as were eight in Class III IMS and Class IV PHRF. But by 5 p.m., only four more boats had crossed the finish line off Castle Hill Lighthouse in Newport, R.I., and there were still no finishers in Class V PHRF or Class VI PHRF Nonspinnaker.

At least 12 teams, most of which are in Class V PHRF -- containing the smallest boats in the race -- had withdrawn from the race after experiencing difficulty in heavy weather offshore.

First over the finish line, at 11:24 p.m. Monday, was New Yorker Bevin Koeppel's Pedrick 82 Congere, the largest boat in the race. This Congere, originally Australian financier Alan Bond's Drum Beat, is a replacement of the previous Congere, which took line honors in the 1989 Annapolis to Newport Race.

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