The Pineapple Cup Celebrates its 2017 Winners at Awards Dinner
Prospector Awarded the Governor General's Trophy & Hermie Louise the Arawak Trophy
“Winning the Pineapple Cup is like a dream come true. You hear about these trophies, the trophies that have been around for forever, and now to have gone out and won that trophy is extraordinary.” Prospector’s Paul McDowell
A stunning evening under a moonlit sky had the over 100 attendees enjoying the superb Montego Bay hospitality while the hardware was presented.
Some of the notable dignatires in attendance included Acting Custos Rotolorum Claudette Bryan, Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis, MBYC Commodore Nigel Knowles and Royal Jamaican Yacht Club Past Commodore Andrew Thwaites.
The trophy itself was presented byActing Custos Rotolorum Claudette Bryan on behalf of the Govenor General Sir Patrick Allen. In addition to the Govenor Generals trophy, the Silver Rose Bowl was presented to Wizard for line honors. The Arawak Perpetual Trophy was presented to Hermie Louise for their first place finish in the PHRF division. The Silver Seahorse Trophy also was awarded to Prospector for the top corrected time in the IRC division.
Paul McDowell co-owner of Prospector said, “The Pineapple Cup was one of those races that you remember from way back in the day. I used to do a lot of IOR races in the 1980’s, so you’d see Kialoa and Windward Passage win [the Pineapple Cup]; some of the greatest ocean racers of all time have won this race. So we said ‘this has got to be one on our bucket list that we have to do, the Pineapple Cup.’ And so here we are!
We have a mixture of professionals and Corinthians, we’re not one of the all professional crews where you have just owners and nothing but professionals; we race with our friends. Ken Read is one of the top professionals in the world, but he’s been my friend of 35 years, so he raced with us as a friend, not as a professional. [We said] 'Lets go have fun like we used to back in the day.’ We came to race with our friends, but we take it seriously.
Winning the Pineapple Cup is like a dream come true. You hear about these trophies, the trophies that have been around for forever, and now to have gone out and won that trophy is extraordinary.”
Acting Custos Rotolorum Claudette Bryan on behalf of the Govenor General Sir Patrick Allen. Custos Bryan said, “This is a wonderful tradition that Jamaica has held for many years and to see the camaraderie, the participants and competitors in this kind of fashion and to see the time and effort they have made to compete in this traditional race, it is an honor. And so I believe Jamaica has something great going and I encourage this race to continue as long as it can because Jamaica has much to offer.”
Eamonn de Lisser, Owner, Senara,"It's always a great race, this is my seventh, I love 'em. Sailing through the Bahamas was some of the prettiest sailing we've done and our last night was just beautiful lots of moon, light air, easy sailing. If you were cruising, you'd never stop!"
2nd place PHRF Renegade's Tom Slade, "If you’ve never done [the Pineapple Cup] before, you’ve gotta try. it’s got a little taste of everything for you, so it can be miserable and it can be exhilarating. Our last night we had great winds from behind us, we did a lot of time surfing, and it was an experience of a lifetime!"
The skipper's logs are a long standing tradition at the Pineapple Cup and creativity is always encouraged. This year's overall winner went to the team of Amhas for their submission which included a text logbook with photos and videos to supplement! Check it out here!
33rd Pineapple Cup - Montego Bay Race Start at 2pm Today!
Teams and Sponsors Celebrated at the Welcome Cocktail Party Last Night
Pineapple Cup competitors gathered at the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club in Coconut Grove yesterday evening for the Skippers Meeting and Crew Party. FitVine Wine and Red Stripe beer was enjoyed over talk of weather predictions, speculation on estimated time of arrival and a fair amount of griping from the New Englanders about missing the Super Bowl.
We touched base with Alex Clegg, Quantum Sail Consultant, who is racing on the TP-52, Heartbreaker, on the latest outlook for the race: "For the Pineapple Cup 2017, I’m expecting the race course to start in a moderate upwind of 10-12 knots, almost fetching the first mark. The first night might be similar conditions and I’m really hoping the velocity picks up as we start the right hand turn through the Bahamas and we have reaching in the high teens or maybe even 20 knots. That would be ideal for us on the TP 52. And then as we approach Cuba, we’ll hopefully be bombing south and getting our A2 up in similar high teens and holding that high pressure to Jamaica. The hope is that we keep the velocity above 15 because this boat really needs that [speed] to extend against our competitors.”
Jay Cross, Co-Skipper of Heartbreaker, on competing in his first Pineapple Cup: “As a kid I’ve always remembered the Miami-Montego Bay Race as such a famous race. When I was growing up, the really hot maxi boat of the time was called Windward Passage, it was built down in the Caribbean and has competed in the Pineapple Cup [and set the record in 1971], so there’s always been this kind of lure for me to do the race.”
Dragon's owner and co-skipper, Mike Hennessy, on Class40 competition within the PHRF division:“Amhas is racing with 4 people, were going double-handed, but we’re confident we’ll still be extremely competitive out there. The lighter weather favors Dragon, because we have less beam, less wetted surface area, but between the Class40s it’s definitely going to be a tight one."
Wizard and Prospector Expected to Arrive in MoBay Monday AM
Plus PHRF Fleet in a Tight Battle!
Prospector and Wizard, leading the IRC fleet, rounded the waypoints off Cuba's east coast this morning and are currently south of Guantanamo in an ENE breeze of about 14 knots. Prospector continues to lead on corrected time while Wizard is in contention for line honors. The PredictWind forecasts show this breeze staying in the 8-20 knot range from this same direction for their duration of the race. Expected arrival time into Montego Bay for Prospector and Wizard is tomorrow morning. Follow on Facebook and Twitter for live updates!
The tight PHRF fleet is making their way through the Bahamas and are certainly keeping things exciting! Renegade, Amhas and White Rhino are leading the fleet, all within a 5nm range of each other, but it's Hermie Louise who is coming out on top when corrected time is taken into account! This is anyone's race! The fleet is forecasted to get into stronger breeze as they near Cuba so it's a race to see who gets there first and can make some gains on the rest of the fleet. Stay tuned to see who can come out on top!
Wizard Take Line Honors, Prospector in First Place on Corrected Time
Tight battle continues for PHRF with the first finishers anticipated late Tuesday evening
Peter and David Askew's Wizard crossed the finish line in Montego Bay at 09:00:15 ET this morning to capture line honors for the 33rd Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race! One hour 38 minutes and 50 seconds behind Wizard was the Shelter Island Partners' Prospector. If the provisional results are confirmed, Prospector’s finish is close enough to propel them ahead of Wizard for 1st in IRC and overall Pineapple Cup winners.
Ken Read, Prospector Strategist on the potential win, "It was a great race for Prospector. It’s a really good group, a bunch of old friends, a really good team. Really good boat. It’s a handicap, corrected time game for us and so far it looks good for us with Wizard. We worked hard I can tell you that, this boat is new to them and it was fun, but it’s bloody hard work.”
On sailing in the Pineapple Cup, “You know I’ve sailed around the world a couple of times and two of the prettiest nights I’ve ever been out on the water for were in the last two days. Bright moon, stars, just gorgeous sailing conditions. I just did an 800-mile race and I didn’t tough my foul weather gear, so it’s heaven. For people not to consider this race as part of their bucket list if you have a boat that even semi races is crazy, because this is about as good as it gets.”
Paul McDowell, co-owner, Prospector, “It was our first time doing it — Larry Landry, Dave Siwicki and I. We bought a Farr 60 a few years ago to do bucket list races. We did the Transatlantic Race, we did the Fastnet Race, we did the Middle Sea Race, some of the iconic ocean races. And we had so much fun doing that, we said 'let's buy a boat that’s bigger and faster and even more exciting and lets continue to do all these different programs’. The Pineapple Cup was one of those races that you remember from way back in the day. I used to do a lot of IOR races in the 1980’s, so you’d see Kialoah and Windward Passage win [the Pineapple Cup]; some of the greatest ocean racers of all time have won this race. So we said ‘this has got to be one on our bucket list that we have to do, the Pineapple Cup.’ And so here we are! The race couldn’t have been better, it really was spectacular all the way along. It’s one of those rare things where you get to race through amazingly scenic islands, the weather is good, the wind is from the right direction, and you come to a spectacular place."
On the Prospector team, "We have a mixture of professionals and corinthians, we’re not one of the all professional crews where you have just owners and nothing but professionals; we race with our friends. Ken Read is one of the top professionals in the world but he’s been my friend of 35 years, so he raced with us as a friend, not as a professional. [We said] 'Let's go have fun like we used to back in the day.’ We came to race with our friends, but we take it seriously. We have all the weather data, the grib files, our own weather router, and we pay attention to all that, so we take the racing part seriously. But when we’re out on the boat we have a ball. We’re very intense but a lot of fun, a lot of laughs."
Peter Askew, co-owner of Wizard, "This was my first time doing the race. I grew up in the days of IOR boats and always wanted to do this as a kid and was happy to be able to do it. Dave [Peter’s brother] and I bought this boat so we could go around and do a bunch of these races that we always admired doing, so it’s fun. I would love to come back and do it again."
On what he liked best about the Pineapple Cup, "The whole race! Doing it in February - it’s nice to come down to warm weather. We did the Key West Race and then this one a month later and it’s good to put them back to back like that. Downwind once we turned from Cuba in was awesome. The boat does really well in that type of stuff and reaching down the Bahamas was really cool. It sure beats a bad day at the office."
Ralf Steitz, crew member onboard Wizard, former America’s Cup sailor and President of the USMMA Sailing Foundation "It’s great to see that we have two of these boats around to compete against each other. It gets pretty boring when the size gap is huge so to have Prospector on the water where we can push each other was really good.
On the Pineapple Cup, "The Pineapple Cup is one of the greatest offshore races you can do. You have land in sight for pretty much the whole race and there’s really no other race that’s 800 miles where you have that. The Bahamas are beautiful. If you’re hitting it right and even if it you’re hitting it wrong you’re seeing some amazing sights."
Stay tuned, more action is coming! Heartbreaker is expected to finish in the early hours of Tuesday morning and the front of the PHRF fleet are expected to arrive Wednesday.
Grateful Red expected to arrive late in the evening on Feb 9
Senara was the sixth boat in the PHRF division to cross the finish line this evening at 17:12:10. Provisional results are showing them in sixth place in the PHRF division.
Eamonn de Lisser, Owner, Senara,"It's always a great race, this is my seventh, I love 'em. Sailing through the Bahamas was some of the prettiest sailing we've done and last night was just beautiful lots of moon, light air, easy sailing. If you were cruising, you'd never stop!"
Arielle de Lisser, Eamonn's daughter and one of the drivers onboard Senara, “This was my second Pineapple Cup, I did the race two years ago. On the boat, I'm driving every shift for at least an hour, hour and a half. The highlight for me was having the top speed, 14.5 kts. The worst part was sitting around in no wind, just after the Windward Passage yesterday morning, throughout the whole day."
Update on Merrythought: Merrythought have retired from the race due to technical difficulties. The boat pulled into Port Antonio this morning, the crew is safe and will be heading over to MBYC by car to enjoy the rest of the race festivities!
We had contact with Grateful Red's Chief Ration Officer today: "Have rounded Cuba on the "sleigh ride run". Winds are 5ish, spinnaker up, boat speed is pressing 5 knots on a stupendously beautiful morning. Crew is up having a cold round of Barley soup (aka PBR) ...
As the boat CRO, I misjudged the sleigh ride winds hence the ice has RUN OUT. True emergency conditions ... starting this afternoon - all rum drinks served on the Grateful Red Lido Deck will be WARM. Crew morale is dropping."
Better hurry up and get to MBYC soon! There is plenty of ice and cold rum here awaiting their arrival!
Pineapple Cup competitors, friends and family are celebrating the "spirit of Jamaica" tonight with a Jamaican themed cocktail party at the MBYC! Guests are enjoying traditional Jamaican specialties such as beef patties, coconut water, Red Stripe and the signature Pineapple Cup drink: Smatt's rum, pineapple juice, ginger beer and mint!
Tight Battle Ensues for Wizard and Prospector in IRC while White Rhino and Renegade lead in PHRF
The first 29 hours of the Pineapple Cup - MoBay Race have been a tightly contested battle between Wizard and Prospector in the IRC Class! In the PHRF fleet, Renegade has been leading since the start but White Rhino is hot on their tail! As the PHRF fleet make the turn around Great Isaac in the Bahamas, they'll get into the classic running conditions the Pineapple Cup is known for.
The IRC boats are well into that weather pattern, having rounded Great Isaac early this morning. We heard from Mike Buckley, Tactician on TP-52, Heartbreaker, earlier today: "The boys are getting used to being on port tack as we have spent 95% of the race hard on the wind on port. Not much to report, wind shifting between 55-90 all night, beautiful star display in the sky, very calm seas crossing the streams. We're pushing hard with a medium jib and dull main. Looking forward to a left shift and some down wind sailing to see if we can make up some time on the big boats in front."
The IRC fleet is now seeing wind speeds in the mid to high teens from the NE. They will be sailing downwind for the remainder of the 500 nautical miles to MoBay.
Hugh Piggin, Race Director,"The leaders are in a steady 10-18 knots of breeze which will hold for the remainder of the race. This is classic Pineapple Cup conditions as teams make their way to tropical paradise. At the current speeds, we look forward to welcoming the first finishers to Montego Bay on Monday afternoon."
Dragon, White Rhino & Hermie Louise Finish within 10 minutes 16 seconds!
There was a lot of excitement in the PHRF division this evening! The competitive fleet condensed around the Bahamas and have been battling it our for the past 811nm, with frequent lead changes. At around 4:30pm, Tom Slade's Santa Cruz 52, Renegade, crossed the finish line first in the PHRF division! Less than 30 minutes later, Class40 Amhas, skippered by Micah Davis crossed the line. Shortly after that, Dragon, White Rhino and Hermie Louise finished within 10 minutes and 16 seconds of each other!
Provisional PHRF standings show Leah and Gerald Harris' Little Harbor 78, Hermie Louise, in first on corrected time, with Renegade and Amhas in second and third respectively. Next up to finish will be the Farr 395, Senara; they're expected to arrive in MoBay tomorrow afternoon!
Gerald Harris, Co-Owner, Hermie Louise, “This was great. The boat does sail well on a reach, but we got a little lucky, a few wind shifts here and there, very tenacious on the sail trim and a lot of sleepless nights.
How often can you sail for hundreds of miles in sight of land, it’s just a special treat. A special shout out to the MoBay yacht club, the hospitality is legendary and that’s one of the reasons we’re here, look at all these great boats!"
Leah Harris, Co-Owner, Hermie Louise, "How often do you sail 800 miles and finish with two other boats in sight, that was amazing! This was a special time for us, we filled the boat with old friends. But, we have to give credit, we affectionately call [the boat] our fat bottomed girl, and she definitely sailed very well and we had a fabulous crew.”
Tom Slade, Owner, Renegade:"We’ve been racing together for a long time, this is Renegade’s sixth race, we’ve seen all kinds of conditions, some of which were pretty extreme…epic is a good word. This year’s race set up pretty well, when we looked at our competition we thought we would struggle a little bit because there were boats bigger and faster than us. But we started and raced hard, stayed at it all the time, so when we got here, we found it looks like we’ve done ok! So, it’s a real testament to each of these guys that sail with us and them pushing a boat which is pretty capable of being pushed."
Micah Davis, Owner, Amhas: "The race was exactly what we hoped when we came here, a little bit light to start but we got a little bit of pressure and then we had that beautiful magic carpet through the Windward Passage to here. This is our fourth race we've done in a row. I think given the conditions we did pretty well."
Heartbreaker was the third boat to cross the finish line in the IRC fleet in the early hours of the morning. Provisional results show them in 3rd place.
We caught up with Heartbreaker's owner, Bob Hughes:"Heading out of Miami it was very light and took a while to get going. Going around the Bahamas it was very tight reaching, the longer waterline boats were just faster than us so they got away a bit. But, then we started hitting the windward passage and we got the kite up and were really ripping, we started catching those guys. We were hoping that we’d be able to carry that the last hundred miles past Cuba and here but the wind lightened up on us and they never got that. The guys sailed the boat hard, the scenery was beautiful, everything from the dolphins to the stars in the sky and the beautiful warm water and you can’t beat the welcome!"
Three boats compete in the first edition of the Cuba Cup, completing the 2017 Western Caribbean Race Series
"The Cuba Cup is a thrilling addition to the historic Pineapple Cup race, heralding in the start of the new Western Caribbean Race Series which we plan to run and expand on each time we host our legendary race."Montego Bay Yacht Club Commodore, Nigel Knowles.
Three boats set off for Havana from Montego Bay last week to compete in the inaugural edition of the Cuba Cup! The Cuba Cup is a new, 611 mile race that makes up the second part of the Western Caribbean Race Series. The race, preceded by the Pineapple Cup, brings competitors from Montego Bay to Havana and east coast ports, giving boats a chance to make a race of the return trip to the U.S.!
This first edition of the race was run as a "gentleman's race," where competitors started at their own accord and reported their recorded start and finish times to the race officials. Overall results were calculated using a PHRF based formula.
The virtual start line was at the airport buoy in Montego Bay and virtual finish line off of Key West; competitors could choose to sail either direction around Cuba.
Amhas (Class40), Dragon (Class40) and White Rhino (Swan 56) battled it out to claim the honor of winning the first Cuba Cup! The three competitors set out on the new course between February 12th (Amhas), 13th (White Rhino) and 16th (Dragon). Despite having different weather windows, all three competitors rounded Cuba to the West. After all entries were submitted and scored, Amhas was declared the winner of the inaugural Cuba Cup!
Rob Windsor, Amhas, on winning the inaugural Cuba Cup, “I’m ecstatic! It was really fun, not too tough and pretty fast. We were reaching/running after we started all the way to the western corner of Cuba, then we had a tiny little light spot followed by more breeze on the beam for the rest of the way to the finish. From the finish line off Havana, we carried on all the way back to Charleston. The weather was beautiful, it was sunny, we were in shorts all the way. No foul weather gear, nothing! We’ll be back in 2019!”
Matthew Mullan, White Rhino Captain, "We had a great time doing the inaugural Cuba Cup. Couldn't have asked for better conditions. If you have to bring the boat back to Florida or anywhere in the U.S., why not take this route and make a race out of it? We were hoping for a little more helpful current on the west side of Cuba. I heard the Cayman Islands are an amazing fishing ground and now we now it's true [see photo evidence below]. When White Rhino Racing does the Pineapple Cup again we will definitely be looking forward to participating in the Cuba Cup!"
Congratulations to all competitors of the
Western Caribbean Race Series!
Beautiful race photos are available for purchase through the event photographers. Race start photos from Miami are available from Billy Black and race finish and awards photos are available from Edward Downer.