Boasting a fleet of 215 yachts, the Newport Bermuda Race returns for the 52nd “Thrash to the Onion Patch” on June 17 at 1pm.
The fleet size for the 635-nautical mile race, co-hosted by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, is the second largest in the race’s history, trailing only the 265 yachts that entered the centennial anniversary race in 2006.
This year’s race features eight divisions: Double-Handed (22 entries), Finisterre for cruisers (38), Gibbs Hill Lighthouse (27), Multihull (3), Open (1), Spirit of Tradition (2), St. David’s Lighthouse (121) and Super Yacht (1).
The fleet includes eight of 17 class winners from the 2018 race as well as two overall division winners. Jason Carroll (New Rochelle, New York) looks to go back-to-back in the Multihull Division while the Morris Justine 36 Yankee Girl goes after a three-peat in the Double-Handed Division but under new owner Thomas Vander Salm (Salem, Massachusetts), who purchased the Chuck Paine design from Zachary Lee in 2018.
Watching from the shore
Because the race start is so close to land, many spectators gather at shoreside public areas, especially Brenton Point and Fort Adams in Newport, and Beavertail and Fort Wetherhill in Jamestown.
Nearest to the start is the famous Castle Hill Inn with its sloping waterfront lawn. (Note, the Inn charges for parking and asks that you not bring food or drink.)
If you are equipped with a VHF radio, you can listen in on VHF 72 Race communications (receive only).
Watching from the water
The Newport Bermuda race welcome boats to join their fleet on the water but they ask spectators to be respectful of the competitors and race officials.
There are charter boats available in Newport or you may take your own boat but you must stay in designated areas.
Starts are scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m and continue every ten minutes thereafter until approximately 4:10 p.m. The starting line is between a yellow buoy near Castle Hill and the staff displaying an orange flag on the committee vessel near mid-channel.
Please keep clear of the area outlined by orange inflatable buoys, and the Press Alley outlined by green inflatable buoys.
Be kind – No wake
Please display the bright pink streamer from an antenna or rigging to indicate that you have received this information sheet and are willing to cooperate. Please follow the instructions of the boats flying yellow race committee flags. Listen on VHF Ch. 72 for race information. Please do not transmit on VHF Channels 72 or 06.
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