Please select your home edition
2024 fill-in (top)

Looking ahead at the 2024 Newport Bermuda race

by David Schmidt 18 Jun 08:00 PDT June 18, 2024
Newport Bermuda Race © Daniel Forster

When it comes to classic 600-mile bluewater races, the biennial Newport Bermuda Race is one of the world's great offshore contests. Unlike some of its peers, including the Fastnet Race or the Sydney Hobart Race, the 636 nautical mile Bermuda Race takes place out of sight of land, giving sailors a real taste of crossing a large body of brine.

While the 1906 inaugural Newport Bermuda Race was organized by the Cruising Club of America, the 2024 race is being organized by the Bermuda Race Foundation, and is set to begin on Friday, June 21 at 1400 hours, local time.

Also, unlike the original, the 2024 edition will be the first to start on the waters just off Newport's Fort Adams, giving spectators a fantastic opportunity to see different classes embark on one of the sailing world's great adventures.

As of this writing (Monday morning, June 17), 164 boats are registered to compete. These yachts range in size and complexity from Fearless, Phil Hayden's Sunfast 3300, which he will race doublehanded with Alex Kraebel, to OC86, Oakcliff Sailing's Maxz86, which will be raced in its fully crewed mode.

While the entry list details many fast rides and capable crews, a few standouts that could challenge Comanche's 2016 record for the fastest elapsed time (1 day, 10 hours, 42 minutes, and 53 seconds) for a monohull include Roy Disney's Pyewacket 70, which is a turbo'ed Volvo Open 70, and Johannes Schwarz's Ocean Breeze, which is a Volvo Open 70.

Other line honors contenders could include Proteus, George Sakellaris's Judel/Vrolijk 72, and Boudicca, Rich Moody's Reichel/Pugh 66.

On the multihull side, Allegra, Adrian Keller's Nigel Irens 82, which will be skippered by Paul Larsen, will attempt to take a bite out of the current multihull elapsed time record of 1 day, 9 hours, and 9 nine seconds, which was established by Jason Carroll's MOD70 Argo in 2022. (N.B. The Allegra crew will have their work cut out for them, even with one of the world's fastest sailors calling the shots, as MOD70s are just plain fast.)

While the go-fast boats tend to draw a lot of attention, especially with the expected packed crowds at Fort Adams, one of the coolest evolutions in the storied Newport Bermuda Race is the continued popularity of the doublehanded class. This year, fourteen doublehanded teams have entered. These steeds range in size from Fearless to Esplanade, Rick Pedone's Morris/Robinson Apogee 50.

Finally, in the Super Yacht Division, co-skippers Michael Fortenbaugh and Shannon Earle should enjoy a more comfortable ride than most aboard Arabella, their 154-foot Palmer Johnson schooner.

While it's way too early (again, as of this writing) to say anything of value about the expected weather, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts is calling for relatively moderate condition on the racetrack for the week, with building winds on Monday and Tuesday. NOAA's GFS forecast largely parallels this prediction but anticipates the stronger airs arriving on Sunday afternoon and evening.

One thing that could be different this year is the expected prevalence of Starlink panels (read: fast internet offshore), which could mean better weather routing for teams as they vie for class and overall honors.

For those of us who are stuck watching this bluewater classic unfurl from afar, the expected uptick in Starlink panels could also mean more interesting news and social media posts coming from the fleet as they charge from Newport's protected waters, across the Gulf Stream, and on to the beautiful island nation of Bermuda.

Sail-World wishes all teams safe and fun passages to Bermuda.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt North American Editor

Related Articles

Travis Gregory on the Ultimate 20 North Americans
A Q&A with Travis Gregory on the 2024 Ultimate 20 North Americans Sail-World checked in with Travis Gregory, who serves as president of the Ultimate 20 class, via email, to learn more about the class's 2024 North American Championships. Posted on 17 Jul
Never again! (Except for next time…)
What's it like to take a Cruiser/Racer racing? And not just any old race What's it like to take a Cruiser/Racer racing? Not just any racing, mind you, but two of the world's most famous courses. The Transpac and the Hobart. This was the premise presented to Charles Ettienne-Devanneaux ahead of our most recent chat. Posted on 17 Jul
It's called fishing. Not catching…
Time for a Q&A with Andrew Ettinghausen ahead of the Sydney International Boat Show Ahead of the impending SIBS we were fortunate enough to get time for a Q&A with ET (Andrew Ettingshausen). As one of the most recognised fishing experts in Australia, we were keen to understand how someone can make a start from a pier, and be waterborne. Posted on 16 Jul
SailGP Championships & looking ahead to Paris 2024
David Schmidt looks at the current North American racing news One of the most interesting storylines in SailGP's Season 4 has been the question of whether the Australia SailGP Team could clench a fourth-straight season championship. Instead, bragging rights went to the Spanish. Posted on 16 Jul
Ambre Hasson on her Classe Mini campaign
An update Q&A with Ambre Hasson ahead of the Sables - Les Açores - Sables 2024 Sail-World checked in with Ambre Hasson, the skipper of Mini 618, as she works towards the Mini Transat 2025. This is the third of four interviews with the American Classe Mini skipper as she progresses through four double- or singlehanded 2024 events. Posted on 16 Jul
Marnie McLagan and Diane Looney on the H Class
A Q&A with Marnie McLagan and Diane Looney about the 2024 H Class Championships Sail-World checked in with Marnie McLagan and Dianne Looney, who serve as the Edgartown Yacht Club's H12 Fleet co-captains, via email, to learn more about this exciting and historic regatta. Posted on 11 Jul
Whisper it quietly..
Don't say it too loudly, but the Youth Sailing Worlds are taking place next week Don't say it too loudly, but the Youth Sailing World Championships are taking place at Lake Garda in under a week's time. Posted on 9 Jul
Sailing accomplishments from Bermuda to Alaska
And looking forward to the Paris 2024 Games As the United States prepares to celebrate its 248th birthday, the sailing world is also rife with accomplishments to celebrate and world-class events to look forward to. Posted on 2 Jul
Gaby Cumbie on the StABYC's recovery efforts
A Q&A with Gaby Cumbie on the St. Andrew's Bay Yacht Club's recovery efforts Sail-World checked in with Gaby Cumbie, who is a member of the St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club, via email, to learn more about the club's post-fire recovery efforts. Posted on 2 Jul
It's upon us
Paris 2024 happens this month. Little wonder it seems like it has come back around quickly Paris 2024 happens this month. Little wonder it seems like it has come back around quickly, when this current quadrennial actually started in 2021. Still. Is what it is… 12 sailors comprise the Australian Olympic Sailing Team. Posted on 2 Jul
Selden 2020 - FOOTERHyde Sails 2022 One Design FOOTER37th AC Store 2024-one-728X90 BOTTOM