Newport to Bermuda: Team Bitter End

Published on June 2nd, 2022

The stage is set for the biennial Newport to Bermuda Race, beginning June 17th, 2022. This 635-mile ocean race nicknamed the “Thrash to the Patch,” is often considered the most challenging sailboat race in the North Atlantic. And for 2022, well over 200 yachts are entered. Among them will be “Team Bitter End,” the youngest all-female crew ever to compete in this storied distance sailing race.

The team, organized under the auspices of Oakcliff Sailing and featuring sailors from across New England, has been training every weekend in Oyster Bay, New York, and will continue a rigorous training schedule leading up to the race. Oakcliff is a nonprofit sail-training organization located in Oyster Bay, run by Dawn Riley, a member of the first all-female team to sail around the world. In addition to her offshore sailing accolades, Dawn is slated to be inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame this October. Oakcliff has provided the team a Farr 40 to train on & race aboard.

“We are very excited that one of my favorite regatta venues, Bitter End Yacht Club, has chosen to support this historic program,” said Riley. After nearly 50 years building (including four years post-Hurricane Irma rebuilding) the coolest sailing resort on Earth, they know the value of hard work and resilience,” she added.

The race crew itself is primarily between the ages of 16 and 19 years of age, plus two skilled offshore sailing coaches, including noted round the world racer Libby Greenhalgh. Greenhalgh was navigator onboard Team SCA in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. In addition to regular weekend training, in the lead up to the Bermuda Race the team competed in the 186-mile Block Island Race (May 2022). By race-time, they estimate they will have logged well over 2,000 nautical miles.

Bitter End Yacht Club is delighted to support this enthusiastic and determined crew of young female sailors. According to Bitter End founding family member, Lauren Hokin, “For over 50 years, Bitter End Yacht Club has enthusiastically introduced the sport of sailing to young girls and boys from all over the world, many of whom have developed life-long passions and professional careers within the sport. Bitter End is dedicated to continuing this tradition and we are thrilled to be a part of this historic moment for women in sailing.”

Hokin grew up in an offshore racing family and is very familiar with the training that goes into such a voyage. And, it is no surprise that Team Bitter End will be outfitted by Bitter End Provisions, Bitter End’s apparel and accessories brand designed by sailors, for sailors. We can’t wait to see Team Bitter End on the starting line off Castle Hill and look forward to welcoming them ashore in Bermuda.”

If you are interested in supporting Team Bitter End in their quest, you can support the effort by picking up your own Bitter End Crew Dritek shirt at Bitter End Provisions and the proceeds for all Bitter End Crew shirts will go to Team Bitter End.

About Bitter End Yacht Club
Bitter End Yacht Club is a family-owned island outpost known for its historical charm and is accessible only by sea, attracting travelers and yachting enthusiasts from around the globe for over 50 years. Located on the protected waters of North Sound on the perennially top ranked Caribbean Island of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, the quintessential destination is a sailing and watersports mecca, thanks to its near perfect year-round sailing conditions, eternal sunshine, and crystal-blue waters.

Known for its casual, communal atmosphere and robust activity programs, Bitter End is a favorite destination for couples, families, and groups, many of whom return year-after-year. Laid low in 2017’s Hurricane Irma, the iconic resort rebounded with a historic reopening in December, 2021.

About The Bitter End Foundation
The Bitter End Foundation launched in September 2017 as the Bitter End Irma Relief Fund, responding to the catastrophic impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. With an outpouring of generosity from the Bitter End community, the foundation has raised over $1 million dollars to support the unique needs and wellbeing of seaside communities. The foundation is fueled by the Provisions for Good Program, where $1 of every purchase from Bitter End Provisions goes to the foundation. The foundation’s mission is to be committed stewards of our planet’s oceans.

We support the continued success, unique needs, and wellbeing of seaside communities by providing in-kind, financial and educational support, protecting sea life, undersea and surrounding habitats, and encouraging conservation efforts. The goal for the Bitter End Foundation is that it become a meaningful and long-term force for positive change in communities like ours that are inextricably connected to the sea.

About Oakcliff Sailing
Oakcliff Sailing is an adult and youth training center for athletes who have progressed beyond traditional coaching methods and want to explore the next steps in their sailing and professional careers. Located in Oyster Bay, New York Oakcliff offers trainees a proving ground to develop their skill set in the three big areas of competitive sailing: the America’s Cup, the Olympics, and The Ocean Race. With an onsite fully accredited high school, an America’s Cup like campus, a strongly rooted responsibly to the waters we rely on and a commitment to improving our sport, Oakcliff is Building American Leaders Through Sailing.

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Source: Oakcliff Sailing

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