Ida Lewis Distance Race and J/Fest New England are in cahoots! Officials from the separately run events want J owners to know that with the events appearing back-to-back on the 2017 summer sailing schedule (Aug. 11-13 for J/Fest and Aug. 18 for the Ida Race), it’s a perfect opportunity for sailors to enjoy two extraordinary on-the-water experiences during the same time frame.

The 13th running of the popular Ida Lewis Distance Race, hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club, starts on the Friday after J/Fest finishes. J/Fest, hosted by Sail Newport at Fort Adams State Park, already has a slew of teams registered, and some of them are already registered for the Ida Race.

Ida Lewis Distance Race has been called the “perfect overnighter.”  Not too long, not too short, with courses ranging from 100 to 170 miles. The course is chosen on the day of the start and driven by the forecast conditions, with an eye toward getting the competitors back to the club in time for some refreshing libations, the prize giving and the spectacular view from the Ida Lewis Yacht Club decks at sunset.

For the family-oriented boats there is a Youth Challenge class, too. Principle requirements are that 40% of the crew be between age 14 and 20 on the day of the race. On the Thursday before the start, participating juniors are required to attend aJunior Safety at Sea Seminar presented by Storm Trysail Foundation and supported by Sail Newport and Ida Lewis Yacht Club. This also presents another great opportunity for teenagers and high school sailing team members to get a firmer grounding in big-boat sailing and then put those skills to use within 24 hours.

Ida Lewis Distance Race always has welcomed J boat teams, many of which have been quite successful over the years, and organizers will accommodate one-design classes if there is enough interest and numbers. 

Registration for both events is on, so it couldn’t be easier. (Registration for J/Fest is here and for Ida Lewis Distance Race is here.) Sailors can make it a two-weekend adventure in Newport by combining three days of fun at J/Fest New England with a fantastic overnight race and social events at Ida Lewis Yacht Club, a superb venue for swapping new sea stories!