Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Shockwave, owned and skippered by George Sakellaris, won the 2013 Pineapple Cup - Montego Bay Race, after the American sailor brought his boat safely across the finish line on Monday, February 11, in an elapsed time of two days, 11 hours, 23 minutes and 10 seconds.
Sakellaris led the fleet of 10 boats from the start of the race and reported speeds in double digits in 'reaching' weather conditions, bringing Shockwave within reach of breaking the elapsed time record and making a clean sweep of the race as they were the first to finish, first in the IRC (boat handicap) division and first in the overall placing, missing the record by a mere 59 minutes.
Shockwave was 3 1/2 hours ahead of Donnybrook, who arrived second, but placed last in her class on handicap. Second place on corrected time was Icefire, skippered by Ralf Steitz (2:20:39:35 seconds), while Decision, piloted by Stephen Murray, ended third, clocking 3:03:02:02.
Shockwave looked at one point to be in with a chance of beating the current record, established in 2005 by Tom Hill's Titan 12 of 2:10:24:42, but it was not to be. Light wind speed at the start of the race killed that dream.
"George is a very competitive racer and he was actually hoping to break the Windward Passage record, but in the end he was a little short of it," said race coordinator Evelyn Harrington.
"It was a very successful staging, a challenging course and the weather was good when compared to last race, which means they had some great sailing coming down," added Harrington.
The Pineapple Cup Montego Bay Race, which is presented by Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum, is an 811-mile ocean race for ocean racing monohull and multihull boats.
The race, which began on Friday February 8, lasted four days, with the first boat (Shockwave) docking at the Montego Bay Yatch Club on February 11 and the last boat, Rebecca, arriving shortly after 9 p.m. on Tuesday to a warm Jamaican welcome.
The Jamaica Yachting Association and the Montego Bay Yacht Club, with the help of the Lauderdale Yacht Club, are the organising authority for the 2013 Pineapple Cup - Montego Bay Race. The race is managed by the Southern Ocean Racing Conference, Inc.