Steve and Linda Dashew, whose articles and books about the benefits of high-speed sailing have been fixtures in the sailing community for the last two decades, broke the record for the fastest passage in the recent (2001) Caribbean 1500 cruising rally. The couple accomplished the 1,500 miles between Hampton, Va., and Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, in five days, three hours, 42 minutes aboard their 78-foot, light-displacement ketch Beowulf.
The start of the rally was delayed for four days out of respect for the powers of Hurricane Michelle, which stomped across the Caribbean during the first week of November and was responsible for serious flooding and numerous deaths in Honduras, Nicaragua and Cuba. Winds up to 125 miles per hour were recorded in Havana; these were the worst hurricane effects to hit Cuba in 50 years, according to press reports.
The 12th annual West Marine Caribbean 1500 hosted 52 boats, most of which (excepting Beowulf) arrived in the Virgin Islands within sight of one another.