LDP’s Sam Howell was the navigator on Masquerade, a Baltic 46, for the 2022 Newport to Bermuda Race.

Masquerade on her way to Bermuda – Photo by Brad Read

Four days after winning the start in big waves and breeze (and not having to tack to clear the first mark, unlike most of their competition), they decisively won Class 8 and finished second in the Finisterre division.

“This year, the primary weather models did not agree with each other regarding optimum routes,” Sam explains. “We choose early on to stay west of the rhumbline, and entered the Gulf Stream at the desired waypoint to hit the stream “meander.” Then we surfed downwind, wing on wing, for about 90 miles, with a positive current pulling us directly towards Bermuda. Once we left the stream we kept the boat pointing at Bermuda, until about 85 miles out when we went west of the rhumbline again for the predicted NE shift. That allowed us to reach into the finish and save our time on the other boats in our class. This was truly a team effort and we are already planning on the 2024 race!”

“We had a game plan, and it worked,” said owner/skipper Andy Burton. It was also a great team, he adds. “Sam was the navigator, but it was hard to keep him off the bow! Sailing with those guys was so much fun, the grin hasn’t gone off my face.”