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Newport Bermuda Race - Spirit of Bermuda on course

by Colin Thompson, The Royal Gazette on 13 Jun 2012
The Bermuda Sloop Foundation’s sail-training schooner Spirit of Bermuda will join the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race fleet, sailing as the sole entry in the new “Spirit of Tradition” Division. John Wadson
Spirit of Bermuda was expected to make landfall in Newport, Rhode Island late Tuesday. Her young crew and their mentors will begin preparations Wednesday for their sail home to Bermuda in the 635-mile Newport Bermuda race starting on Friday afternoon, June 15th.

The 118ft triple masted sloop left Norfolk, Virginia, Monday to make the short sprint up the US East Coast to begin final preparations for the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race.

Spirit is competing alone in the experimental ‘Spirit of Tradition’ Division for the War Baby Trophy donated by local sailing legend Warren Brown.

Mr Brown, 82, is among Spirit’s crew of 32 that also includes Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club (RHADC) Commodore Allan Williams.

Spirit recently took part in a tall ships and naval rally and port festival (OpSail 2012) in Yorktown and Norfolk, Virginia celebrating the War of 1812 by declaration of the US Congress.

Both Norfolk and Yorktown have strong historical ties to Bermuda dating from the 18th century and the American Revolution.

Spirit is a purpose-built sail training vessel based on civilian Bermudian-type schooners built in Bermuda by blacks and whites between 1810 and 1840.

In nearly six years of operation since September, 2006, Spirit has provided a character development programme for more than 2,600 young people and has sailed more than 38,000 miles in overseas voyages to 17 ports in ten countries.

The 230,000lb sloop was designed by noted naval architect Bill Langan of Langan Design Associates of Newport, Rhode Island, built by Rockport Marine in Rockport, Maine and launched in 2006.

There are four more Bermuda boats (Nasty Medicine, Tiburón, Icarus, and Patriot) competing in this year’s Newport Bermuda Race that commences June 15 and concludes several days later in St David’s, Bermuda.

Spectators at home can follow Spirit and their favorite yachts Newport Bermuda Race with Yellowbrick Tracking by clicking on the Race Tracker button on the left side of the event website home The Royal Gazette website
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