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Earlier, easier entry for 2020 Newport Bermuda Race

by Newport Bermuda Race 20 May 2019 05:46 PDT 19 June 2020
Based on a velocity prediction program, the Offshore Rating Rule handicaps cruisers and all-out racers such as in this Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division fleet at the start of the 2018 Newport Bermuda Race. © Daniel Forster / PPL

Breaking with tradition, the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee (BROC) is opening registration for the biennial Newport Bermuda Race a year in advance of the June 19, 2020 race start. In issuing the Notice of Race for the 52nd running of the event, the initial entry date moves up several months compared to 2018.

The organizers' goal is to make it easier for competitors to plan and prepare for each aspect of the challenging, 635-mile race, which starts in one country and finishes in another. This is particularly targeted to help the more than 25 percent of captains who will be entering the 114-year-old classic "Thrash to the Onion Patch" for the first time on their own boat.

"As a skipper who has competed several times, I know how much effort it takes to prepare your boat, your crew, and yourself to do an offshore event like this," said Jay Gowell, BROC Chairman. "We want the entry process to support sailors, not be an obstacle. The race is still an invitation-only event, but our intent in starting early is to provide ample opportunity for every qualified crew and yacht to join us in this iconic race to Bermuda."

Once an entry is submitted, BROC representatives will work with captains to be sure their crew has sufficient experience and that their yachts can be made compliant with applicable safety requirements.

A Competitor's Entry Guide is a central feature of the new website, as well as the chance to apply to be assigned a Race Ambassador, an experienced competitor who volunteers to guide a new captain through the detail of boat preparation, measurement for an Offshore Racing Rule certificate, crew safety training, Bermuda logistics, etc.

"To make the actual entry process more intuitive, the BROC committee has eliminated the 'Application for Entry' step from previous races," said Andrew Kallfelz, BROC entry chair. "All skippers will directly initiate their entry for the race, and, after a brief review, qualified yachts will be issued an invitation to complete the entry process."

The fee structure has also been simplified for 2020. Instead of separate fees for application, yacht, and number of crew, there is one fee based on the LOA of the boat. For entrants in the Double-Handed division, a different, graduated fee applies. Entry fees increase as the race draws closer, further encouraging sailors to enter early.

BROC has again chosen the SailGate entry system. A number of modifications from 2018 were made, including an Entry Status view to summarize completed and outstanding items. Before entry opens, Captains can use the link on the Bermudarace.com site to access the entry system and create or update profile and boat details.

Find out more at bermudarace.com

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