Bermuda Race Roll of Honour
Published on October 12th, 2020
The very first Bermuda Race in 1906 was an act of rebellion, but the 635 nm course from Newport, RI has since attracted the greats of the sport through its 51 editions. The Bermuda Race Roll of Honour was established in 2006 to recognize and celebrate extraordinary achievement, with the addition of John Alden, Kirk Cooper, and Bjorn Johnson to join the previous ten honorees:
John Gale Alden (1884-1962)
An ocean racing pioneer both as a sailor and as a naval architect specializing in pioneering offshore sailing yachts for Corinthian crews, John Alden raced to Bermuda 10 times in command of his Malabars. He took home trophies in six races and won three races overall (1923, 1926, 1932), setting a record matched only by Carleton Mitchell.
Edmund Kirkland “Kirk” Cooper (1932-2019)
A teenager when he sailed the first of his 17 thrashes to his native Onion Patch, Kirk was Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Commodore during the worst storm in the race’s history, in 1972. As the 178-boat fleet made the challenging landfall, he provided superb leadership and calmed worried families and anxious government officials.
Bjorn R. Johnson (1955-2018)
The 15 “thrashes” he sailed were a fraction of Bjorn’s contributions to the Newport Bermuda Race. Race Chairman in 2010, he was an ever creative, knowledgeable, and essential volunteer who cheerfully took on the most challenging assignments. He personified the dedicated volunteer spirit that has sustained the race since it was founded in 1906.
The Bermuda Race Roll of Honour Selection Committee currently includes Chairman John P. Rousmaniere (Cruising Club of America), Stephen Kempe (CCA/Royal Bermuda Yacht Club), John Osmond (CCA), Lawrence Glenn (CCA) and John Winder (CCA/RBYC).
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