December 7, 2018

Ideal conditions for Wirth M. Munroe Ocean Race

Elapsed time records fell in the Sailfish Club of Florida’s 62nd annual Wirth M. Munroe Ocean Race to Palm Beach, the second event of the 2018-19 SORC Islands in the Stream Series. Twenty-eight teams raced in near-perfect conditions on a new two-course format with starts on December 7 in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

ARGO, Jason Carroll’s MOD 70 trimaran from the Larchmont (N.Y.) Yacht Club, took line honors, finishing the 60-mile course from Miami to Palm Beach in just over 3 hours, averaging nearly 20 knots and smashing the overall elapsed time record set last year by Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s Interlodge Volvo 70.

BELLA MENTE, the new Botin Maxi 72 owned by Hap Fauth, the syndicate co-head of the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic America’s Cup challenge, broke the monohull record set by Interloge, finishing the Miami course in less than 4-and-a-half hours.

Division winners included: FOX, Victor Wild’s TP 52, won IRC; KENAI, Chris Lewis’ J-44, won ORC; THIN ICE, an Aerodyne 38 owned by Stuart Hebb and John Vincent won PHRF; and OSITA, Becky Lyons’ Tartan 40 won ECRCA. ARGO won the multihull division.

“We are delighted that this year’s race was a success at every level and encouraged that the excitement around our event reflects the growing momentum in the South Florida racing scene,” said Wirth Munroe Event Chair Tom Bowler of the Sailfish Club.

“We had records broken, spectacular weather, a diverse fleet across a broad spectrum that included veterans and newcomers alike, and the wonderful post-race camaraderie that has made the Wirth Munroe Race such a special event.”

ARGO WMR 2018 web
Argo, Jason Carroll’s MOD 70 trimaran, set a course record of 0:03:03:02

The fleet enjoyed mainly sunny skies, mild temperatures and easterly winds from 12-15 knots. The entries represented crews from California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Texas.

This year’s Wirth Munroe race saw the introduction of a two-course format – a 40-mile Sprint course that started off Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, and a 60-mile Classic course that started off Government Cut in Miami. Both courses finished off the Palm Beach Inlet.

The Wirth Munroe Classic Course will be scored as part of the SORC’s “Islands in the Stream” series, which includes the Miami-Nassau Race, the Lauderdale-Key West Race, the Miami-Havana Race and the Pineapple Cup from Miami to Montego Bay. The Sprint Course will not be scored as part of the series.

For decades the Wirth M. Munroe Ocean Race started in Miami, but it was shortened to a single Fort Lauderdale-Palm Beach course several years ago to encourage participation. Two years ago, as a tribute to the race’s 60th anniversary, organizers returned to the longer course starting in Miami. Interest in both courses prompted organizers to offer the two-course format for 2018.

The Organizing Authority for the race consists of The Sailfish Club of Florida in partnership with the Storm Trysail Club and with the support of the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club. The SORC, the Storm Trysail Club and the Sailfish Club of Florida oversaw race management.