December 6, 2019

Light Conditions Challenge Fleet at 63rd Annual Wirth M. Munroe


The Annual Ocean Race to Palm Beach was very light with some fleets not able to finish.

Appeal of Two-Course Format Grows

PALM BEACH, FL – December 6, 2019 – Light and shifty winds challenged the 32-boat fleet in the Sailfish Club of Florida’s 63rd annual Wirth M. Munroe Ocean Race today, the second year for the event’s two-course format.

On the Classic course from Miami to Palm Beach, class winners include:
Interlodge VI, Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s Botin 44, in ORC A.
Smokeshow, Paul Sevigny’s GP 26, in ORC B.

Flat Stanley, the Melges 32 owned by Terry McSweeney and Trey Sheehan, in PHRF A. Mach Schnell, Kent Haeger’s Gunboat 62, in Multi-hulls.

Mach Schnell also won the multi-hull line honors, completing the course in just under six hours. Prospector, the Shelter Island Transatlantic Partners’ Mills 68, was the first mono-hull to finish.

No boats in PHRF B finished within the time limit.

The 60-mile Classic course was shortened to 50 miles because of the light conditions. On the 40-mile Sprint course from Fort Lauderdale to Palm Beach, class winners include: Gamecock, Peter McClennen’s Melges IC37, in IRC. Four of the new one-designs competed in the race, the class’ first offshore test.

Loose Cannon, John Kearns’ J 88, in PHRF.

“This year’s Wirth Munroe was a true test of patience and strategy,” said Race Committee Chair Tom Bowler of the Sailfish Club. “Boats that took full advantage of the Gulf Stream’s push north were rewarded.”

Mr. Bowler said the fleet of 32 boats marked the race’s highest participation level in a decade, and reflected the growing appeal of the two-course format, introduced by the Sailfish Club two years ago as a way to increase participation.

“We are delighted to see entries grow, and while we would have liked to see more wind for this year’s race, the two-course format continues to generate positive feedback from skippers and crews,” he said.

The 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 and the MiamiEleuthra Race. The Sprint Course will not be scored as part of the series.

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, Storm Trysail Club and the Sailfish Club of Florida oversee race management.

For more information, please contact Sarah Gay at (561) 844-0206 or e-mail
sarahgay@sailfishclub.com

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