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Bermuda’s Warren Brown named to Bermuda Race “Roll of Honour”

by Talbot Wilson on 12 Dec 2015
Warren Brown and 'War Baby' roamed the globe. Here Brown (in red) and Melissa Moore on bow, Earling Kagge to Brown's right, and Nick Ryley explore Spitsbergen, Norway. Warren Brown Family
The late Warren A. H. Brown, one of Bermuda’s world class sailors, has been named to the prestigious Bermuda Race Roll of Honour, in memoriam. The Bermuda Race Roll of Honour recognizes and honours extraordinary achievement in or concerning the Newport Bermuda Race and its predecessor races (the 12 previous ocean races to Bermuda from New York and New England ports). Warren joins Sir Eldon Trimingham as the second Bermudian named to the Roll of Honour.

The prestigious sailors who have won previous Bermuda Race Roll of Honour Awards are Thomas Fleming Day, race founder in 1906, Clarence Kozlay and Robert Somerset who saved the lives of ten men from a burning schooner in the 1932 race, Sir Eldon Trimingham who revived the race and represented the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club for many years, Carleton Mitchell, three-time race winner, 1956-60, George Coumantaros, skipper, with the most elapsed time victories, and sailor in 26 Bermuda Races, and Olin J. Stephens II, designer of many Bermuda Race winners and a longtime advisor to the race.

A Bermuda icon and gentleman sailor, Warren had an extensive and distinguished sailing career lasting over six decades. He passed away on Christmas Day, 2014, at the age of 85.

John Rousmaniere,Chairman of the Bermuda Race Roll of Honour Selection Committee, said, “Warren Brown has been chosen for the Bermuda Race Roll of Honour because of his dedication to, and his 20-race participation in, the Newport Bermuda Race, for his lifelong commitment to close relations between all sailors (and especially Bermudian and American sailors), and in recognition of his sterling example as the consummate yachtsman and skilled seaman as he sailed the oceans of the world.”

Warren Brown Jr., who accepted the award on behalf of the Brown family, acknowledged his father's achievements, “I think Dad will be remembered for his long-term contribution to the race as both a sailor who contributed not only to the development of the race particularly in the area of safety and good seamanship, but also to the many young crew (men and women) whom he took offshore under his wing....”

The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Commodore Somers Kempe commented, “Warren Brown was one of the Bermuda yachtsman, an RBYC member, who helped put Bermuda front and center among sailing nations. He was one of the sailors whom all Bermudians in the following generations learned from and emulated.”

Warren sailed over 300,000 ocean miles, including 20 Newport Bermuda Races on 11 different yachts, three of which were named ‘War Baby’. In addition he won the King Edward VII Gold Cup three times, twice as helmsman and once as tactician. He won line honours and records in The Middle Sea Race in the Twelve Meter ex ‘American Eagle’ and in the Marion Bermuda Race with the ex ‘Tenacious’, both renamed 'War Baby'. He won trophies in Cowes Week, the SORC and many other major events.

One of Warren’s greatest achievements was sailing his S&S 61 ‘War Baby’ (ex ‘Tenacious’ / ‘Dora IV’) to the Arctic, then down the Atlantic and through the Panama Canal to the Chilean fjords, South Georgia, Antarctica and eventually around the world. Subsequently, the Cruising Club of America awarded Warren, a CCA member, the coveted Blue Water Medal for a most meritorious example of seamanship.

Warren’s participation in the Fastnet Race and the Admiral’s Cup Series led him to co-found the Onion Patch Series, now in its 52nd year. Together with Shorty and Jerry Trimingham, he hatched the idea of bringing the Admiral’s Cup model to North America. The initial concept was to race in Newport, complete the Newport Bermuda Race and end with a race in Bermuda.

In 2012, Warren donated the prestigious Grimaldi Coupe Prada Cup that he won at the helm of ‘War Baby’ in the Mediterranean Sea to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. The cup was renamed the War Baby Trophy and is now awarded to the winners of the ‘Spirit of Tradition’ Division in the 635-mile Newport Bermuda Race, nicknamed the ‘Thrash to the Onion Patch’.

Warren Brown was a highly competitive sailor and yachtsman, an explorer and adventurer who truly has earned his place on the Bermuda Race Roll of Honour.

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