At exactly 9:32 a.m. eastern daylight time on Wednesday, Chris Fertig turned right at the mouth of Liberty Harbor Marina into the Hudson River…and very likely into the record books as well. He is attempting, as a few brave boaters have in the past, to reach Bermuda faster than anyone has before. Standing at the dock on this cold gray morning, Fertig put his hands up to feel for rain and said, “I don’t mind getting wet as long as the waves stay down.” And, according to the forecasts, they should for most of the 760 mile run.
Currently the record is 22 hours 23 minutes, set by Neil Burnie in 2002 aboard a Renaissance Marine Prowler 302. Even if Fertig doesn’t come in under that time he will still make history as his Statement Marine 37 will be the first stern-drive powered boat to reach that island. While in the past it has only been catamarans to try for the record, this will be the first time for a monohull. Powered by twin 350-hp Cummins-MerCruiser turbocharged diesels his is the most well organized and planned attack with a Cummins mechanic and a representative from the boat’s builder along as crew, so we expect he’ll do well.
From the marina jetty the boat has disappeared into the mist just past the Statue of Liberty. It’s lost to our eyes, but you can follow the attempt in real time via a live satellite link from the boat at www.boatingmag.com/bermudachallenge.