BLUE HILL – Roger Shepley’s Omega 42 sailboat Seriana has been a familiar sight at its summer mooring off Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club in Blue Hill harbor and it is becoming a familiar sight at the top of the biennial Bermuda One-Two ocean race fleet.
The race encompasses a singlehanded sail from Newport, R.I. to St. George’s, Bermuda and a return race with one additional crew onboard.
This year’s singlehanded race got under way outside Newport Harbor shortly after noon on Saturday June 8. For Shepley, the race ended around dinner time on Wednesday June 12, finishing first in his four-boat class and first overall among the 20 boats that finished the 635-mile rhumb line race.
Shepley covered the course in just over 102 hours 6 minutes. His corrected time of 102 hours 24 minutes gave him a one-minute margin over the second-place boat.
In all, 29 boats started the race and nine dropped out along the way.
The double-handed leg of the race is slated to get under way at noon (local time) on Thursday June 20. A reception and awards ceremony is scheduled for Saturday June 29.
Shepley isn’t the first KYC sailor to do well in the Bermuda One-Two. 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.
The 2019 Bermuda One-Two was organized by the Newport Yacht Club. St. George’s Dinghy & Sports Club is the host club in Bermuda.
The Bermuda One-Two got its start in June 1977 when 20 solo sailors in boats ranging from 22 to 41 feet in length crossed the starting line at Newport to challenge the ocean and each other in a single-handed race to St. George’s, Bermuda. They were the pioneer participants in the first running of what has now become a biennial tradition – the Bermuda One-Two.
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. In 1979, the race came under the aegis of the Goat Island Yacht Club until 1992 when a joint agreement with the Newport Yacht Club made the two clubs co-organizers of the race. The St. George’s Dinghy & Sports Club has been the host club in Bermuda for the event’s entire history.