Nassau to New York

Wicked tempests make for a memorable 1,000-mile adventure.

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The Block Island race was set to be in New York, the crew only had just under two weeks to make it there.Yachting Magazine

It was spring when Richard E. Carter, John Bower and Johnny Stouffer set off on a 1,000-mile voyage from Nassau, Bahamas, to New York. Yachting covered the adventure of the 33-foot Medalist Rabbit in April 1966.

After debuting in what was known at the time as the Southern Ocean Circuit, Rabbit was set for a nonstop voyage with her arrival planned just in time for the Block Island Race. Three hours out of Nassau, a squall formed — the first of many during the run north. Rabbit endured the second half of the journey without power. The radiotelephone was out and the engine was dead, meaning Rabbit was a true sailing vessel.

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Rabbit was designed by Bill Tripp and built in Dolf Le Comte’s famous boatyard in Jutphaas, Holland.Yachting Magazine

After 12 days, Rabbit made it to New York Harbor, entering with a dramatic wind gust that brought her in at 8 knots. The crew watched as the sun set on the Manhattan skyline before enjoying their first full night's sleep since departing.

Enduring Adversity

One-man watches during the night — two hours on, four hours off — allowed the men to monitor the squalls. One night, Carter awoke to ominous news from his shipmates: The battery was dying. “We were to learn you accept what is given to you by Mother Nature; there is no point in fretting,” he said.

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Just three hours out of Nassau was when the first squall formed and the crew continued to endure more as the days went on.Yachting Magazine