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Ida Lewis Distance Race - Toast to a decade of offshore fun

by Kirsten Ferguson on 12 Jun 2014
Robbie Benjamin /Ida Lewis Distance Race
Ida Lewis Yacht Club’s signature overnight competition, the Ida Lewis Distance Race celebrates its 10th Anniversary in 2014. To toast a decade of offshore fun for everyone, here are the top ten reasons why you should be on the starting line when the race begins off Newport, R.I., on Friday, August 15th.


#10. 'The Old Man and the Sea' has nothing on the 'Bravest Woman in America': Yes, Ida Lewis was a real person, and she is as unique as her namesake club that is built atop Lime Rock in Newport Harbor. That rock, completely surrounded by water, was once her home, the original location of Lime Rock Light Station, which Ida tended from 1857 to 1911. A gutsy gal, she famously rescued, by rowboat and on separate occasions, 18 people in Newport Harbor, thus inspiring the 18 stars in Ida Lewis Yacht Club’s burgee.


#9. Location is everything: Newport is…well…beautiful, historic Newport, and it’s an easy drive from New York, Connecticut and Boston. Since the race starts and finishes there, no need for a separate pick-up arrangement on the other end.


#8. Not too long, not too short: With four coastal courses between 104 and 177 nautical miles, most competitors are able to complete the race in less than 24 hours but still indulge in the offshore experience: golden sunset, steering by the light of the moon, inspiring sunrise…you get the idea.


#7. No one feels left out: Newport is a premier summer destination, and friends and families don’t mind that you are racing while they are taking in the sites, shopping and restaurants. The Kattack tracking system allows any fans to follow the progress of the fleet online and on their phones.


#6. Abundance of on-water sightseeing: New England’s scenic charm isn’t limited to shoreside. It’s also captured on the racecourse, which traces some of the region’s most storied coastlines and includes iconic turning points such as Castle Hill, Brenton Reef, Block Island, Montauk Point, Martha’s Vineyard and Buzzards Bay.


#5. A race for all ages…really! : The Ida Lewis Yacht Club Youth and Collegiate Challenges invite the next generation of sailors to try distance racing on for size. To qualify for the Youth Challenge, more than 40% of the crew must have reached their 14th birthday but not turn 20 prior to August 15, 2014. For the Collegiate Challenge, more than 40% of the crew must not have reached the age of 26 by August 15, 2014.


#4. You name it, we have it: The race is open to IRC, PHRF, One Design, Double-Handed and Multihull classes and is a qualifier for the New England Lighthouse Series (PHRF); the Northern and Double-Handed Ocean Racing Trophies (IRC); and the US-IRC Gulf Stream Series.


#3. Always a challenge: The race is known for its unpredictable wind speed, breeze direction and currents. Over the years, competitors have experienced a broad spectrum of conditions that keep even the most seasoned race veterans on their toes.


#2. Big Boost from Big Names: While still growing, the line-up of Starting Line sponsors includes the City of Newport New England Boatworks, Marsh, Newport Shipyard and North Sails; Contributing Sponsors are DYT Yacht Transport, Goslings Rum, Rig Pro Southern Spars, Flint Audio Video, Mac Designs, Sea Gear Uniforms, and Toni Mills Graphic Design.

And, finally…

#1. Champagne and caviar finish: Okay, so maybe not caviar, but champagne is part of the finish line tradition – it’s brought to you no matter what the hour, and there’s a darn good 'Party on the Rock' to cap off the Awards Ceremony on Saturday.

For more information or to register, visit Ida Lewis Distance Race.

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