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Ida Lewis Distance Race returns with In Bay and Offshore Races

by Barby MacGowan 2 Feb 08:09 PST August 19-21, 2021
Action on the water at the 2020 Ida Lewis Distance Race. © Stephen R. Cloutier

The 17th edition of the Ida Lewis Distance Race starts Thursday, August 19, 2021 and will keep its expanded format from last year to give competitors more options while the country continues to deal with changes brought about by the COVID 19 Pandemic.

The schedule consists of:

  • Registration and skipper meeting conducted by host Ida Lewis Yacht Club on Thursday, August 19.
  • Traditional Offshore Distance Races (between 112 and 169 NM) for ORC, PHRF (Aloha and Coronet divisions), ORC Double-handed and PHRF Cruising Spinnaker classes starting on Friday, August 20.
  • In Bay Distance Race (33 NM) for PHRF (Aloha and Coronet divisions), PHRF DoubleHanded and PHRF Cruising Spinnaker classes starting on Saturday, August 21.

The start for the Offshore Races will be in the East Passage of Narragansett Bay on Friday, August 20th with the first Warning Signal scheduled for 1100. The start for the IN BAY Race will be in the East Passage of Narragansett Bay on Saturday, August 21st with the first Warning Signal scheduled for 1000.

Race headquarters will be located at the Ida Lewis Yacht Club, Wellington Avenue, Newport, R.I., and manned throughout the time of the races.

The offshore portion of the Ida Lewis Distance Race has become a popular late-summer racing tradition, enjoyed by veteran offshore sailors as well as those trying the "overnight sprint" for the first time. It begins off Fort Adams and ends just inside Newport Harbor where Ida Lewis volunteers can site the finish line from their clubhouse on Lime Rock before greeting each team on the water with a congratulatory bottle of Prosecco.

Unique to the Ida Lewis Distance Race, the Race Committee considers weather forecasts to decide from among four courses that range from 112 to 169 nautical miles. The goal is to get all teams back to the dock within 18-24 hours. The courses - incorporating some of the most iconic cruising grounds in New England - are named "The Montauk", "The Block Island", "The Point Judith", and "The Buzzards Bay Tower".

Classes are for boats 28 feet or longer and include IRC, PHRF, One Design, Multihull, Double-Handed, and, new for this year, Mixed Double-Handed (to debut at the 2024 Olympics). The race also Includes Youth and Collegiate Challenge categories.

The Notice of Race has been published here. For questions, contact Race Chairman Pat Kennedy,

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