Onion Patch Series: Old dog learns new tricks

Published on March 25th, 2014

The three-event 2014 Onion Patch Series includes…

– New York Yacht Club 160th Annual Regatta – June 14-15
– Newport Bermuda Race – starting on June 20
– Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s Anniversary Regatta – June 27

But As the Onion Patch Series turns 50 this summer, organizers have decided to add a new, more relaxed Navigators Race Series format for the 25th running of the traditional series.

The new Navigators Race Series will be for those teams that are not interested in the standard windward-leeward courses in the New York Yacht Club 160th Annual Regatta or the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club‘s Anniversary Regatta.

Both events will now offer a separate scenic and fun “round the buoys” races.

“We began planning for this new series last fall,” said series Chairman and past RBYC Commodore Brian Billings. “We had been talking about adding a fun-style race for boats in Royal Bermuda’s Anniversary Regatta. We wanted to do an event for our foreign friends that would get them out sailing locally and allow them to experience more of what Bermuda has to offer.”

“With the help of past Newport Bermuda Chairman John Winder,” Billings noted, “we approached the NYYC race committee with the idea. John had been discussing their use of ORR for two round the buoys races in their regatta. Steve Benjamin of NYYC supported the idea. So here we are 4 months later with a new addition to a historic series.”

“Our initial goal was to have 50 boats in the Onion Patch Series,” Billings added. “Maybe with this new Navigators Race series we should target for 75 boats. And remember, if you can’t make the whole series, you can still sail these fun Navigator Race courses in Newport or Bermuda.”

One Navigators Race will be scheduled each day for the June 14-15 NYYC Annual Regatta in Newport RI. The group will then sail to Bermuda in their regular Bermuda Race divisions and be scored against each other as an overlay event. On Friday June 27th, they will sail one race in the RBYC Anniversary Regatta around a scenic course.

The new series will be scored with ORR ratings. The traditional series, raced for the Onion Patch Trophy and Henry B. DuPont Trophy, will continue to be scored under IRC. The new series will have its own prizes for performance in the events and for the series. The top series prize will be dedicated to the late Richard “Dick” Kempe who was instrumental in establishing the Cruiser Division of the Newport Bermuda Race in 1990.

Additional details: www.onionpatchseries.com

Source: Talbot Wilson

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