BLUE HILL — Last month, Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club sailor Roger Shepley grabbed the top prize in the single-handed phase of the biennial Bermuda One-Two ocean race, piloting his Omega 42 Seriana to a first in class and first overall finish in the 635-mile rhumb line race between Newport, R.I., and St. Georges.
Not satisfied with those solo laurels, Shepley and fellow KYC sailor John Manderson turned around and won their class on both elapsed and handicap-corrected time in the two-handed race Yacht back to New England. Seriana also finished sixth in the 13-boat fleet on elapsed time and third on corrected time.
The return leg of this year’s race got underway from Bermuda shortly before noon (local time) on June 20. Shepley and Manderson reached the finish off Newport just after 9 p.m. on June 24, covering the course in just under 106 hours.
Shepley and Manderson aren’t the first KYC sailors to do well in the Bermuda One-Two.
In 2013, sailing his J/122 sloop Resolute, Blue Hill sailor D. Scott Miller won the race outright, finishing first in class on the solo leg and, with his crew, George Haselton of Rockport, finishing first in class on both elapsed and corrected time.
Before Miller, in 2007, John Russell Duym, known universally as “Rusty,” won the single-handed leg of the event in his Cal 2-30 Williwaw and placed 17th in fleet. In 2009, Duym finished third in class and fifth in fleet. Duym passed away in 2011.
Less intrepid KYC sailors will have a chance to race their cruising boats this Saturday in the yacht club’s annual Danforth and Gitana Cup regattas with a course confined, primarily, to the waters of Blue Hill Bay.
The Danforth Cup is a handicap day race for larger cruising auxiliaries held to honor the memory of Richard S. Danforth, developer of the ubiquitous Danforth anchor.
The Gitana Cup is sailed at the same time as the Danforth Cup race but allows smaller cruising boats to race over a shorter course. The event is named for Richard Danforth’s John Alden-designed yawl Gitana, for many years a top competitor in the Maine Retired Skippers Race with her owner, Ernest Burt, at the helm.
The Bermuda One-Two began in June 1977 when 20 solo sailors in boats ranging from 22 to 41 feet in length crossed the starting line at Newport, the pioneer participants in the first running of a race that is now a biennial tradition. The race was conceived and founded by the Society of Lone Offshore Sailors (SOLOS) under the direction of Original Single-handed Transatlantic Race (OSTAR) competitor Jerry Cartwright.