I was notified recently that the Bermuda 1-2 race committee awarded the Seamanship Trophy to me following the rudder failure on Eagles Dare and subsequent 200 mile limp home to Newport.
From the Bermuda 1-2 Newport Awards Party Agenda:
THE SEAMANSHIP AWARD
At least two came to mind. We thought about Mike Schum and Mike Stevens on the
return leg with problems tacking and a sea cock leaking water both of which forced them to
retire however while returning to Newport the back stay let go and the mast fell down. No
one hurt but they had to cut the mast and rigging away. They were running low on fuel so
they pulled into Menempsha, Martha’s Vineyard.
However we settled on this one. He started out on the first leg on the start with the
spinnaker flying which was over powering the boat at times with at least one big round up
that we saw from the race committee boat. The result is that he ended up behind in his class.
Worked up to the lead about 200 nm out when the rudder post sheared off at the hull. Their
emergency rudder was a backup rudder hung off the stern on pintles. This emergency rudder
developed a crack near one of the gudgeons so he had to nurse the rudder and didn’t want to
push it. He started to think of other options if needed. For the longest time he could only
head for NJ but as he got closer to land the wind veered and he slowly worked his way right
into Narragansett Bay. He had to hand steer all the way back since there was no autopilot on
the emergency rudder. Anyone who has lost their autopilot will recognize the difficulty of
getting to the end by hand steering. Eagles Dare – Jonathan Green