Hannah White is first woman

At 0740 hours (EDT), on a glorious sunny Saturday morning in Newport, Rob Cragie on Jbellino crossed the finish line.

Rob was second over the line but on handicap, Jbellino is currently lying first in IRC class 1. Jan Kees Lampe, this year’s OSTAR winner, and Karen, Rob’s long term partner, were on the committee boat to greet him and once over the finish line, they scrambled aboard to join Rob as he was towed into Newport harbour.

At 1044 (EDT) Saturday, Spinning Wheel (Roberto Westerman), was the third boat to cross the finish line. Roberto is the first Italian to cross the line despite the fact that his boat sustained damage during heavy weather in the early days of the race. Roberto was seriously considering putting in to the Azores for repairs to his rudder shaft but his shore team urged him to continue to Newport without ‘pushing’ the boat. Roberto says that he was therefore unable to sail Spinning Wheel to its full potential and that he kept going ‘in delivery mode’ for the remainder of the race.

Hannah White (Pure Solo) was the first woman to cross the finish line Sunday morning at 07.52 (EDT). Twenty six year old Hannah, from Lymington, was the fourth skipper over the finish line. She is currently lying third in IRC class 1 on corrected time.

Hannah narrowly missed breaking Mary Falk’s record for 35 foot and under boats. Hannah reports that about one and a half miles from the finish, she had to drop her spinnaker and change course to avoid colliding with a large cargo vessel. She says that this manoeuvre may well have cost her the record in the final stages of the race.

Since Hannah’s first attempt at the OSTAR in 2005, she has been working and sailing with some of the world’s finest single handed sailors and this has paid handsome dividends for her OSTAR 2009 attempt.