CHDS faculty James Hammitt won the 2021 Bermuda One-Two sailboat race. The race consists of two 635-mile legs: alone from Newport, RI to St. George’s Bermuda, then back to Newport with a crewmember, long-time friend John Paulling.
Hammitt’s journey to Bermuda was filled with challenges and ongoing strategizing: navigating initial fog, ocean swells, storms, calms, and the Gulf Stream, to name a few. He managed to place first on the initial leg despite sleeping for short 20-minute stints while eating quick one-pot meals and snack bars. “Being at sea is a really pure form of living,” Hammitt said. “All you care about are the basics of sleeping, eating, taking care of yourself, taking care of the boat, making sure everything’s working, and being totally aware of the weather.”
Hammitt is a former captain of the Harvard College Sailing Team and All American. Sailing was a family passion during Hammitt’s upbringing. He was introduced to open ocean sailing aboard his family’s boats, regularly sailing between neighboring islands in California for up to 60-miles at a time, and later began overnight races with his father. Once reaching high school, he started racing as far as 2,000-miles+ between California and Hawaii.
This story was adapted from the Harvard Gazette article “Sailing Alone, Under the Stars, and Fast.”
Learn more: Read more about Hammitt’s race in the Harvard Magazine article “Sailing Solo.”
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Photo credit: Susie Klein