Begin Preparing for the Newport Bermuda Race

Published on June 17th, 2015

by A. J. Evans, Race Chairman
There’s something special about the Bermuda Race. I can’t help but smile when I try to explain it to someone unfamiliar with the race, or exchange stories with someone, perhaps like yourself, who has done the race before. For me, there’s an allure to not only the sweetness of the finish, but even more so to the experience of the voyage itself. Have you also wished, even just once, that it wasn’t only 635 nautical miles?

In one year, on June 17, 2016, we will start the 50th Bermuda Race since Thomas Fleming Day founded “the Thrash to the Onion Patch” in 1906 with the purpose of encouraging offshore sailing. The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee (“BROC”) will also celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s and The Cruising Club of America’s first collaboration as the race’s organizing authority, a friendship that continues today.

By tradition if not necessity, the race’s organizers have always been experienced blue water sailors, including race veterans and active competitors. This will be my tenth Newport Bermuda Race as a competitor too, thanks to John Osmond’s continued service as the race committee’s Principal Race Officer.

Using an online entry portal, we will begin accepting Applications for Entry on January 12, 2016, and then issue invitations to qualified Captains and yachts. The race’s new entry portal, SailGate, is currently being used by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and should be familiar to sailors who have participated in the Fastnet Race, among others. Entries will be limited to 200 yachts, so plan to act without delay.

The entry system will incorporate data from previous Newport Bermuda Races, the ISAF Sailor Classification System, the US Sailing Safety at Sea attendance lists, and the ORR database. The system will also provide automated reminders of upcoming deadlines and entry deficiencies to make it easier for Captains to follow the entry process.

If you’re feeling a bit daunted after reading the Safety Requirements for the first time, you’re not alone. Literally. The Race Ambassador Program matches experienced skippers with new participants (upon request) and provides a resource for first-timers from whom they can receive guidance on yacht and crew preparation for the race.

Race Ambassadors are race veterans and yacht owners who will help new entrants through the steps of the race entry and yacht inspection process so that you and your crew will start the race with confidence that you’re prepared to make the “Thrash to the Onion Patch.”

Additional information here.

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