A good idea, ten years in the waiting

Published on January 23rd, 2024

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
Our sport grows through the imagination. When people look toward the sea, we can spark the idea for them to go sailing. It was in 2014 when I wrote:

“When it comes to attracting spectators, what I find particularly brilliant are the offshore races which start in view of land. The adventure element of these races easily captures the imagination of the non-sailor, and tends to gain mainstream media attention as a result. Starting them in view of this audience is simply smart business.”

The Newport Bermuda Race, which historically started under nearby Castle Hill, attracting spectators to fill the lawn of the Castle Hill Hotel, is taking this idea a step further for the 2024 race start on June 21.

The course is being lengthened one mile to 636 nm as the start line for the 53rd edition is being relocated farther into Narragansett Bay to provide spectators a new opportunity to witness 200 boats up close from Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island.

“The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee, with support from the State of Rhode Island and other partners, has been able to invest in transforming this hallmark biennial event into a celebration for the sailors, their families, and fans alike,” says Race Chair Andrew Kallfelz.

“Fort Adams is a great venue for the public to come together to witness up close the adrenaline-pumping start of this prestigious race.”

The park will host a beer garden and exhibits from partners while commentators on-shore and on the water share the story alongside a big screen broadcast for spectators, both at the park and online.

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