Newport Bermuda Race 2014 How to Watch the Bermuda Race Start from Land or Sea


 Class 6 within the St David's Lighthouse division setting out for Bermuda during the last race. Photo Daniel Forster/PPL

Class 6 within the St David’s Lighthouse division setting out for Bermuda during the last race. Photo Daniel Forster/PPL

By Talbot Wilson

 How to Watch the Bermuda Race Start from Land or Sea.

With more than 160 racing boats in the mouth of Narragansett Bay on June 20th, the start of the Newport Bermuda Race will be a spectacular sight, whether you’re watching from the nearby shore or from a boat on the water. The first gun is scheduled for 12:50 with the first start scheduled for 1:00. The last start is approximately 2:30.

Because the race start is close to land, many spectators prefer to gather at shoreside viewing points on high ground, such as the Castle Hill Inn. Parking fees may be charged and there may be limitations on bringing food.

Spectator boats are permitted to watch the Bermuda Race start if they observe limit buoys, keep a careful lookout, and obey the instructions of Race Committee and U.S. Coast Guard personnel in official patrol boats. Because the water will be crowded and rough, small boats such as kayaks and canoes are strongly discouraged.

Charter boats offering day trips are numerous at Newport. Many are listed at

All spectators should be aware the use of drones (Unmanned Aircraft Systems, UAS) near outdoors public events has been banned in Rhode Island.

Please monitor CH 72 VHF for all race information and CH 69 for Patrol Boat communication.

Do not transmit on CH 72. It is reserved for the RC and competitors.

The scheduled time of the first warning signal is 12:50 p.m.

The first class is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. and subsequent classes start at 10-minute intervals.

The starting line is between the Sailing vessel AXIA(120’ Ketch) and a large yellow buoy near Castle Hill.

The regular spectator area is well outside and to the southwest of the orange inflatable marks surrounding the starting line and defining the Competitors Only Restricted Areas.

There is another pre-start restricted area South of the starting line on the course side. It lies between the port and starboard tack lay lines from either end of the starting line, and extends for 200 yards down the course from the starting line. The eastern side of the area will end at an Orange 8’ Tetrahedron approximately 200 meters south of the last dumpy.

The 49th Newport Bermuda Race is right around the corner. Home-based spectators can track their favorite yachts, skippers or crewmembers in the 635-mile ocean classic starting June 20 from Newport Rhode Island. All boats in the 2014 fleet will be provided with Yellowbrick tracking modules before the start. Bringing the competition to you as live as it can be, Pantaenius Race Tracking — — is your link to all the virtual action in the race. Pantaenius Yacht Insurance is the Tracker Sponsor for this year’s Newport Bermuda Race

Test the site ahead of time and also download the Yellowbrick app for mobile coverage wherever you are. Some browser updates may be needed. The Yellowbrick race viewer will run well on any web browsers released since 2012, namely:

  • Internet Explorer 10 & 11
  • Google Chrome 23 and upwards
  • Firefox 20 and upwards
  • Safari 6 and upwards

Updating your browser is normally a very easy process, and is good practice since it will also patch any security issues that may have been found since it was released.

In the Newport Bermuda Race this year, there will be a time delay in the early stages of the race to prevent competitors from using the positions of other yachts for tactical advantage.

Tracking will be delayed by 4 hours for the first 48 hours of the race and then go to near-real-time reports every 30 minutes from each yacht. Expect to see a jump forward after 48 hours to the yacht’s actual position. As yachts get within 15 miles of Bermuda the timing of reports will be more frequent.

For competitors using satellite links, a low bandwidth link for sat phones on boats will be available.

Newport Bermuda action starts Friday, June 20th, with the first warning signal scheduled for 12:50PM EDT in the East Passage of Narragansett Bay off Castle Hill Lighthouse in Newport Rhode Island. This year, 165 boats have entered in five divisions. These will be divided in classes of about 15 boats each plus a class for the ‘Spirit of Bermuda’ starting by herself in the Spirit of Tradition Division.

Twenty-nine of the two Newport Bermuda Lighthouse Divisions’ entries are also sailing the 25th Onion Patch Series, a tough triathlon of offshore racing. These Onion Patch racers have just sailed the New York Yacht Club 160th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex in Newport and form the core of the June 27nd Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta which now has 32 entries. The RBYC Anniversary Regatta is open to all IRC or ORR rated yachts over 25 feet in Bermuda. Anniversary Regatta entries close at noon on June 25th. Information is online at

The website —— carries Newport Bermuda Race rules, news, videos, photos, history, and expert advice. Race news is also posted on the Newport Bermuda Race 2014 Facebook page and on Twitter at @BdaRace.

2012 Newport Bermuda Yacht Race -start in Narragansett Bay Class 10 Gibbs Hill lighthouse division Rambler - USA 25555 - Custom 90 maxi  yacht skippered by  George David Belle Mente - USA 45 - 72ft mini maxi  yacht skippered by  Hap Fauth Team Tiburon Wizard -USA 4511 - Reichel Pugh 74 skippered by Mark E Watson III - USMMA Shockwave - USA 60272 - mini- maxi  yacht skippered by  George Skellaris Rima II - USA 55155 - Reichel Pugh 55  yacht skippered by  John G Brin Stark Raving Mad - USA 61011 - Swan 601 production  yacht skippered by  James C Madden Meanie - CAN 84248 - Reichel Pugh 52   yacht skippered by  Thomas Akin

The big yachts in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse trophy division at the start of the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race. Photo: Daniel Forster/PPL


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