For the upcoming 49th Newport Bermuda Race, with 120 applications for entry received, the race’s organizers are noting a larger than usual proportion of first-time entries as the April 1 entry deadline approaches. More than one-fourth of the applications are from boats that have not sailed the race.
'It’s satisfying to see so many experienced sailors entering a boat in the race for the first time,' said Bermuda Race Organizing Committee Chairman Fred Deichmann.
Registration for the Bermuda Race is online at website. Race applications submitted after the April 1 deadline will be subject to a penalty applied to the boat’s corrected time.
Deichmann added that the race’s safety at sea seminar on March 15 at Newport is experiencing heavier than usual signup.
Deichmann announced that the Newport Bermuda Racewillagain participate in the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regatta Program. 'We are asking sailors to help the race achieve Gold Level status for the 2014 race by taking steps to protect the environment,' he said. 'Sailors are deeply concerned about the health of the waters we sail in.' The race starts in the mouth of Narragansett Bay, crosses the Gulf Stream, and finishes in the fragile waters off Bermuda’s reefs.Crews follow environmentally friendly routines according to 'leave no trace' and other guidelines. For example, because a big concern is keeping plastic out of the ocean, sailors use non-disposable drinking mugs.
The 2012 Newport Bermuda Race was awarded Silver Level status by Sailors for the Sea, a non-profit organization committed to ocean stewardship.
Concerning the March 15 safety at sea seminar, Deichmann urged captains to plan ahead and determine if the crew satisfies race rules on seminar attendance, and also to send one crew member each to Sunday’s medical and race preparation seminars. The safety seminar can be used to help fill out a crew. Red name tags will be issued to sailors seeking a berth, and blue name tags will be worn by captains needing crew for the race or the return voyage.
The roster of entries so far in the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race includes Rives Potts’ Carina, St. David’s Lighthouse Division overall winner in 2010 and 2012. George Sakellaris’ Shock wave will attempt to defend her Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division corrected time victory in 2012, when she and Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente (also returning) dueled bow to bow before Bella Mente finished merely two minutes ahead after 41 hours of sailing.In the Double-Handed Division, defending winner Hewitt Gaynor will return in his Mireille to match up against his longtime friendly competitor Richard du Moulin in Lora Ann.
Also competing again are the 1938 restored classic wooden yawl Black Watch, a class winner in 2012 now under the command of John Melvin, who had high finishes in previous races in his Concordia yawl Westray. Llwyd Ecclestone, the 1998 race winner, will return with his loyal crew in Kodiak. In 2012 they were first to finish in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division and won the Overall Performance Prize for the class winner with the largest victory margin.
More information about the race is at here and on Facebook and Twitter. Important dates on the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race calendar include the following:
• Application for entry deadline, April 1 • Boat inspection begins, March 10 • Cruising Club of America-Newport Bermuda Race Safety Weekend, Newport RI, March 15-16 • Forms submitted and fees paid, May 16 • Boat measurement data submitted, May 22 • Crew information submitted, June 1 • Boat inspection deadline, June 6 • Onion Patch Series NYYC Annual Regatta day races, Newport RI, June 14-15 • Check-in at race HQ (New York Yacht Club Sailing Center, Harbour Court), June 15-18 • Gosling's Rum Newport Shipyard Crew Party, Newport RI, June 18 at Newport Shipyard • Captains Meeting, June 19 • Newport Bermuda Race start, June 20 • Onion Patch Series RBYC Anniversary Regatta and Welcome Party, Bermuda, June 27 • Newport Bermuda Prize Ceremony, June 28.