A pair of Pac52 class boats, Christopher Sheehan’s Warrior Won and Jim Murray’s Callisto, renewed a lively rivalry in a race to the finish of 52nd Newport Bermuda Race last night.
That the two were racing in different divisions—Warrior Won’s Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division is more oriented to professionals and Callisto’s St. David’s Lighthouse, for amateurs—didn’t matter. It was the third head-to-head showdown between the crews over the past year, and they were within sight of each other on the water, which allowed each crew to gauge their performance against a well-known competitor. Trial and error are how racing programs advance.
Sheehan (Larchmont, New York), however, placed another notch on his belt when Warrior Won came out on top, finishing at 02:10:34 ADT for an elapsed time of 56 hours, 43 minutes and 34 seconds and line honors in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division.
Murray’s (Lake Bluff, Illinois) Callisto wasn’t far behind, finishing at 02:55:01 for an elapsed time of 57:48:01 and line honors in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division.
The two teams were the third and fourth finishers overall in this year’s Bermuda Race, and now they’re the provisional leaders in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse and St. David’s Lighthouse divisions, respectively. There are many more finishers to come, but this year could be a year that the bigger, faster boats do best.
“The Callisto program and Jim are wonderful people,” said the 56-year-old Sheehan. “They pushed us hard in every race we’ve been in. We’re pushed to be as good as we are because they’re as good as they are.”
Sheehan’s Warrior Won captured overall and class honors in the Transpac Race last year and in the Caribbean 600 last February. In both races, Murray’s Callisto placed third in class and fifth overall.
“Chris and his team are setting fire in offshore racing,” said the 49-year-old-Murray. “We’ve had the opportunity to line up against them three times in the past year, and it’s great to race those guys. They set the standard.”