Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

Newport Bermuda Race - 49th edition begins June 20th

by JBoats on 20 Jun 2014
Newport Bermuda Race © Talbot Wilson / PPL
The June 20th start of the Newport Bermuda Race takes place this Friday, the 49th edition of this 635nm sprint across the Gulf Stream to the fable island of Bermuda- famous for its 'Bermuda shorts' and the extensive celebrations with 'dark and stormies' at the Royal Bermuda YC. The start takes place at the opening of Narragansett Bay off Castle Hill Lighthouse and finishes off the eastern end of Bermuda at St David’s Head (the entry into the treacherous reefs that ring the northern part of this ancient volcanic island).

Organized by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the race is sailed almost entirely out of sight of land and across the Gulf Stream. Amongst the fleet of 165 boats, twenty-one states from Maine to California are represented in the fleet, with especially strong turnouts from New England (67 boats) and the Chesapeake Bay area (20). The 16 entries from outside the United States include one boat each from Austria, Germany, Russia, and Spain; three from Bermuda; four boats from the UK; and five boats from Canada. Again, by far the largest brand participating in the event are the 33 J/Boats (20% of the fleet), followed by 24 Nautor-Swan’s and seven Hinckley’s.

The fleet is assigned by type and crew to five divisions. The largest is the St. David’s Lighthouse Division (100 boats), for multi-purpose cruising/racing boats. This is one of the race’s three divisions that have seen an increase in entries this year, with four more boats than in 2012. Twenty-three of them (nearly 25% of the division) are J/Boats owners.

Leading the charge as the largest single one-design fleet in the history of the race are the eight (Eight!) J/44s, including Dr Phil Gutin’s Beagle, Dr Norm Schulman’s Charlie V, the US Coast Guard Academy’s Glory, Jim Bishop’s Gold Digger, Harry DeVore’s Honahlee, Chris Lewis’s Kenai, Len Sitar’s Vamp and Bermuda 'newbies' Joerg Esdorn and Duncan Hennes on Kincsem.

The next biggest class going happens to be the J/120’s, now almost seen as a 'cult Bermuda classic boat' for its amazing reaching abilities— having won more than it’s fair share of silver in this race. Amongst those seeking that SDL Trophy are Rick Oricchio’s Rocket Science, Robert Kits van Heyningen’s Secondhand Lions, Jim Praley’s Shinnecock, Richard Born’s Windborn. Ken Comerford’s (and sons) Moneypenny and Dmitry Kondratyev’s Sunset Child.

Next up is the trio of J/122’s racing, all having excellent pedigree and, most recently, one having won last year’s Marion-Bermuda Race by a country furlong and another having succeeded admirably in the Annapolis-Newport Race. Those teams include Jamey Shachoy’s black-hulled beauty August West sailing with several very experienced Bermuda veterans aboard and Paul Milo’s Orion. Joining them for their first Bermuda adventure on a J/122 is John Pearson on Red Sky.

In the cruiser-racer J category that has seen amazing success offshore are a range of J/37 to J/42s. John Gorski and Andy Schell will be sailing their J/37 Sleijride, Fred Allardyce is skippering his J/40 Misty and two J/42s are entered- Newton Merrill’s Finesse and Bob Fox’s Schematic.

Finally, two of the larger offshore racer-cruisers are participating, including Dale and Michael McIvor’s J/133 Matador and Jonathan Bamberger’s J/145 Spitfire from Canada.

The Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division (only eight boats), for all-out racing boats, is smaller than usual, but is sure to be watched carefully for the expected duel between two 72-foot 'mini-maxis'. In a classic 'David and Goliath' scenario, watch for Brian Hillier’s J/125 Crossfire to upset that storied match-up given a broad range of conditions— it could easily be a 'little boat' race and the Mini-maxi’s wouldn’t stand a chance against the J/125 on a handicap basis.

The Cruiser Division (36 boats) is 20-percent larger than it was in 2012, when 30 boats that competed for the Carleton Mitchell Finisterre Trophy. Five of that race’s top eight boats are back including Howie Hodgson’s J/160 True and Brad Willauer’s J/46 Breezing Up.

Finally, the fleet that always seems to produce rather remarkable performances is the Doublehanded Division. This time back again bigger and better than ever with 20 boats, it will be more than intriguing to see how the 'domino’s fall' in this year’s light to medium air race. Coming back are the 2012 race’s top four boats: that includes Hewitt Gaynor’s J/120 Mirielle, Gardner Grant’s J/120 Alibi, and Jason Richter’s J/35 Paladin. Two spoilers to that party, based on ORR performances seen on the Chicago-Mackinac Race (also a mostly reaching race) may be Mike Piper’s J/111 Eagles Dare and Scott Miller’s J/122 Resolute (last year’s Bermuda One-Two overall winner).

Not to be outdone by their thoroughbred sisterships will be the twin J/42’s, Steve Berlack’s Arrowhead and Joe Murli’s Sirena Bella- as mentioned above, with the weather favoring the lower-rated boats, these two could be in the hunt before anyone can do anything about it! For more Newport Bermuda Race sailing information, click here.
Barz Optics - Melanin LensesNaiad/Oracle SupplierT Clewring J-class

Related Articles

Day 3 of J/70 European Championship have a big effect on points table
No fewer than 38 disqualifications because of OCS were reported in the list of 91 teams, who started in the sixth race. In the first race for the Blue fleet over 30 boats were disqualified due to an early start. And several crews were subsequently judge OCS in other races. But staying clear of trouble Claudia Rossi (Italy) and her professional team continued their winning ways.
Posted today at 7:50 pm
Celebrating final moments of spectacular week at Newport Bermuda Race
Of the 185 boats registered, 133 boats set out expecting to be sorely tested by difficult conditions in the Gulf stream Of the 185 boats officially registered to race, 133 boats set out expecting to be sorely tested by difficult conditions in the 635-mile Gulf stream crossing. Forecasters were wrong. 122 finished with just ten dropouts coming from equipment failures or just drifting conditions.
Posted today at 7:36 pm
49er World Champions clinch Kieler Woche title with day to spare
Burling and Tuke stepped up a gear today in difficult gusty, puffy conditions and were visibly better around the courses Burling and Tuke stepped up a gear today in difficult gusty, puffy conditions and were visibly better around the courses, taking three race wins in a row to give themselves a margin of 26pts going into Sunday’s Medal race. They extend their tally of major regatta wins to 27.
Posted today at 7:24 pm
Heart rates soar as Oman Air raises the bar at Extreme Sailing Series
Morgan Larson’s crew enjoyed an impressive and unbeatable run of form late afternoon to boost their total points. Morgan Larson’s crew enjoyed an impressive and unbeatable run of form late afternoon to boost their total points for the day by 73, giving them a 17-point cushion over second placed SAP Extreme Sailing Team with one day of racing remaining.
Posted today at 7:08 pm
RORC IRC Nationals – Some great shots by Richard Langdon
Day 2 of the RORC IRC Nationals with Lloyd Thornburg’s Farr 280 - FOMO. Day 2 action with Lloyd Thornburg’s Farr 280 - FOMO. On board for the regatta: Lloyd Thornburg, Nick Rogers, Miles Seddon, Anders Thomsen, Stuart Bithell and Liam Gardner.
Posted today at 5:34 pm
Chicago Match Racing season kicks off with the Summer Invitational
Chicago Match Race and CYC have joined forces this season, and so far the partnership has produced enormous enthusiasm This event will feature a strong field of competitors, including ten teams from four different countries with a majority of skippers ranking in the top 50 world rankings.
Posted today at 5:03 pm
Could blistering progress slow as fleet prepares to head north
2015 -16 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - It has been another fantastic day’s progress in the North Atlantic. It has been another fantastic day’s progress in the North Atlantic. 30 knots of wind from the south-southwest, sun, and current has seen teams blast reaching and reporting record runs of approximately 300NM VMG in the past 24 hours, but that could end today as teams approach the edge of the Ice Box and prepare to head north into the light winds of the Azores High.
Posted today at 11:15 am
Two international teams added to Newport Bermuda Race
The Newport Bermuda Race’s international race course has long attracted sailors and boats from many countries. The Newport Bermuda Race’s international race course has long attracted sailors and boats from many countries. The 185-boat entry list in early June included sailors from 23 countries and 21 boats with non-US sail numbers. Fifty-five of the crews included sailors from outside the USA.
Posted today at 10:38 am
Clouds part for Day 1 of Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week
Like parting of Red Sea, overcast skies opened just long enough for Ullman Sails LBRW to pull off the first two races 2016 Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week - Like the parting of the Red Sea, the overcast skies opened just long enough for Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week (LBRW) to pull off the first two races of the annual three-day event. With the sun came the breeze: a modest six to 10 knots, but enough for lively and competitive racing.
Posted today at 10:13 am
RORC IRC Nationals - Round two FAST40+ Race Circuit - Day 1
Girls on Film showed guile and skill to come out on top for Second Round of FAST40+ Circuit, held at RORC IRC Nationals. 2016 RORC IRC National Championship - Girls on Film showed guile and skill to come out on top for the Second Round of the FAST40+ Circuit, held at the RORC IRC National Championship. Invictus showed impressive downwind speed to lead the class after three races but a problem in the last race cost Invictus the overnight lead. Seven of the eleven Fast40+ fleet made the podium on the first day.
Posted today at 6:36 am