North Sails NEWS

July 3, 2019

CLASS 40 PRIVATEER TAKES OVERALL BERMUDA ONE-TWO VICTORY

Owner credits North Sails for great sail design and durability

Bermuda 1-2 victory class 40 privateer
Photo: Billy Black

One week after finishing the second leg of the Bermuda 1-2, Jonathan Green, owner of the Class 40 Privateer, is still grinning. The unique race takes a fleet of singlehanded sailors across the Gulf Stream to Bermuda, 635 miles away. A week later, the boats race back to Newport  doublehanded. Elapsed times for the two legs are combined to find an overall winner.

Racing was tight among the Class 40s, and on Leg 1, Privateer was only able to manage a fourth place finish. “First, I had some equipment failures that hindered my competitiveness in less than 15 knots,” Jonathan admits. “Second, I had some strategy missteps that ate away at my initial lead and allowed my competitors to walk on by.” 

For leg 2, Jonathan was joined by co-skipper Jeff MacFarlane. “Jeff always amazes me with his attitude, drive, and determination—a true competitor. We did some racing together on Privateer last summer so were well familiar with each others’ sailing style, and knew we had a good shot at the title.”

Class 40 Privateer reaching upwind during Bermuda 1-2 offshore race

At the restart off Bermuda on June 20, Privateer hit the line first and quickly gained 15 miles on the other Class 40s. Jonathan gives a lot of credit to their Solent sail. “Some of the conditions far exceeded the design specs, but it held together beautifully and allowed us to extend a big lead on the competition over the first 50 hours of the second leg. Most of our competitors were probably sailing their J3. It was a risk, because if the Solent blew up, we’d be far less competitive later in the race, but it persevered and put us in a fantastic position over the fleet.”

After finishing on 23 June at 1507, Privateer more than made up the time deficit from Leg 1 to take the overall win.

Conditions for leg 2 included thunderstorms and 35 knots from the northeast. Asked if there were any scary moments, Jonathan says, “We were definitely on the edge of our seats reaching in wind gusting over 35 knots, with big walls of water thrown up against the Solent. If we were sailing conservatively, we’d have dropped it at 25 knots, but with the monumental gains we were making, it was too tempting to press on and hope North built it strong. Sure enough, the sail held together and allowed us to post enormous gains.”

Working with the North Sails team on sail design, testing, and refinement has allowed Privateer to become more and more competitive over time, Jonathan concludes. “With North’s help, I think we can continue to climb the ladder among the Class 40 fleet. Next year’s Atlantic Cup will be a true test of our program, as we set out to score wins against US and European programs with very experienced teams. Tune in June 10, 2020 for some exciting Class 40 racing!”

Privateer on the dock after finishing in Newport Bermuda 1-2