In his 40-foot J/122 sailboat Resolute Blue Hill resident D. Scott Miller recently won the Bermuda 1-2 race, coming in first in both elapsed time and corrected time overall.
The 635 mile race is named the Bermuda 1-2 because it begins in Newport, R.I., sailing to Bermuda with one person at the helm, then returns to Newport with a second person. In the first leg, Miller skippered the boat alone and on the return leg was accompanied by Rockport sailor George Haselton.
Miller left Newport on June 8 and landed in Bermuda after 97 hours of solo sailing. Sleeping in 20-minute intervals during the nighttime hours, Miller said he set an alarm to go off every 20 minutes “until I didn’t feel tired anymore,” while relying on the autopilot to keep him on course.
In the first single-handed leg, Miller came in first in his class and second overall. Finishing at 12:27 p.m. on June 12, he was beat out of an overall first place finish by 20 minutes. In the second double-handed leg, Miller and Haselton left Bermuda at 11 a.m. on June 20 and landed safely in Newport at 5:28 p.m. on June 24—completing the leg in 102 hours (elapsed time) and beating the next boat in by about 14 hours.
Preferring “short-handed races” Miller has spent the last eight years racing and the last four racing in Resolute. It was the second time he raced this particular race, which takes place biennially in odd numbered years, but has participated in many including England’s offshore Fastnet Race six years ago.
Miller called the trek to Bermuda “smooth sailing” once the remnants of a tropical storm moved from the course and said that despite experiencing periods of light wind, especially on the return leg, he was able to keep the boat moving forward. “In this area we have similar conditions; periods of time where you have to figure out how to keep moving in little wind.” said Miller, “I have learned how to do this over time and with lots of practice,” adding that the boat design itself also helps.
Miller is not the first Blue Hill sailor to participate in the Bermuda 1-2 race. Rusty Duym, who died in January 2011, competed in 2007 and 2009 in his modified Cal 2-30 Williwaw, tying for first place in the single handed leg in 2007 and finishing in second place in his class in 2009.