Bob Fox dramatically increased his chances of capturing line honors for the 2018 Annapolis to Bermuda Race when he took ownership of an XP 44 last month.
On paper, the performance-cruiser produced by X-Yachts was the fastest boat in the entire fleet. It proved a real challenge due to difficult conditions, but Fox skippered his new boat named SLY to the elapsed time victory in the 21st Annapolis to Bermuda Race.
SLY overcame extremely light winds during the early portion of the Atlantic Ocean crossing along with a couple nasty squalls between the Gulf Stream and Bermuda to beat a trio of Navy 44-footers into Hamilton.
SLY crossed the line at 1:18 a.m. on Thursday to earn the Charles N. Bozenhard Trophy as first to finish the biennial race, which began last Friday afternoon on the Chesapeake Bay. Greg Dupier served as navigator aboard the XP 44, which completed the 753-nautical mile course in 5 days, 10 hours, 43 minutes and 34 seconds.
“All things considered, I was really happy with the boat and the crew,” Fox said during a telephone interview from Bermuda on Thursday. “It certainly took a lot longer than anyone anticipated. We had hoped to get here on Tuesday night. We had some obstacles to overcome and ultimately I thought we sailed the boat about as well as we possibly could have.”
Tenacious, one of three Navy Mark II training vessels entered in the race, finished just shy of two hours behind SLY. Chris Cantillo, who graduated No. 1 in the Naval Academy Class of 2018, skippered Tenacious to an elapsed time of 5 days, 12 hours, 22 minutes and 30 seconds.