A view of a recent Newport Bermuda Race send-off for Class 3 of the St. David’s Lighthouse Division. Photo: Daniel Forster/PPL

The 195 boats that submitted entries before the 2018 Newport Bermuda Race“application for entry” deadline are anchored by the usual excellent turnout of nearly 150 cruiser- and cruiser/racer-style boats sailing in the St. David’s Lighthouse and Finisterre (Cruiser) divisions. The race, which is co-organized by The Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, offers several other divisions for different types of boats and competitors, which truly makes this event seven races in one.

While some pre-start attrition is normal when a fleet faces 635 ocean miles across the Gulf Stream, a diverse fleet of 180 to 190 boats should cross the line on June 15th, crewed by a mix of both professional and amateur sailors. That would make it the biggest fleet since 2010, when 193 boats finished the race.

Among the entries in St. David’s and Finisterre divisions, the 2016 success of youth sailors guided by adult advisors aboard High Noon (link) has led to four entries by youth teams in 2018. There will also be new divisions of Multihulls and Superyachts, which have added seven boats to the fleet, the largest of which is the 112-foot Sparkman & Stephens design, Kawil.

Another key to the high entry total is the 20 boats entered in the Gibbs Hill Division, which is for high-performance racing boats that in many cases are steered and crewed professionally. Recognizing advances in offshore racing technology, the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee allowed entry this year by boats carrying water-ballasting systems and certain types of canting keels. In past years, Gibbs Hill typically has drawn 10 to 15 entries; in 2016, based on the high winds forecast in the days before the race, all of the Gibbs Hill entries elected not to compete.

Spirit of Bermuda Starts off the Race for 2014 (Photo By George Bekris)

“The BROC remains committed to the value of the race as an adventure and participation for its own sake,” says Jonathan Brewin, the event chairman and past commodore of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. “The race is different than many competitions; it’s a chance to compete for an array of permanent trophies and be part of a history going back to 1906,” says Brewin, “but above all it’s a chance to challenge oneself and one’s crew to prepare to compete safely offshore at the highest level.”

 

Newport Bermuda Race Start (Photo by George Bekris)

The introduction of a Multihull Division was three years in development, and based on the standards adopted for 2018, not every multihull will be eligible to compete. Collaborating with an experienced cadre of multihull designers and sailors, the Cruising Club of America’s safety committee developed new ocean-racing safety standards for participating multihulls and set more rigorous safety training requirements than for monohull crews. In addition, the BROC collaborated with the Offshore Racing Association to create a new VPP handicap system for multihulls (ORR-MH) that was successfully tested in the 2017 Transpac Race.

See BermudaRace.com for news updates on the race. See Official Notice Board for current list of entries.

Genuine Risk At Start Of Bermuda Race (Photo by George Bekris )

Newport Bermuda Start (Photo by George Bekris)

By John Rousmaniere

For many years, the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee (BROC) has imposed monetary penalties for failure to satisfy eligibility, entry, measurement and registration requirements by set deadline dates. These monetary penalties have proven ineffective in the case of some deep-pocketed racers, and have led to an increasingly burdensome entry process and to the potential for unfair advantage for racers who may wish to make last-minute sail and other gear decisions dependent on weather forecasts.
To counter this trend, the BROC has replaced monetary penalties with elapsed time penalties beginning in 2014. These apply to administrative matters rather than infractions that may be associated with sailing the race course, and are designed to provide a level playing field (eligibility and measurement) or an orderly race administration (entry and registration).

The penalty for failure to meet eligibility, entry, measurement and registration requirements in a timely manner shall be the addition of 10 minutes to the yacht’s elapsed time for each 24 hour period or any part thereof for which the yacht failed to meet the relevant deadline. Such requirements include any rule having a deadline, e.g., late supplemental information form, rating data, fees, crew information and waivers, satisfactory completion of inspection, and registration appearances.
Any yacht that suffers a catastrophic gear failure requiring submittal of new rating data after the rating submittal deadline may petition BROC for a waiver of penalty, provided that for other than the catastrophic failure, she would have in all respects been able to comply with the dates specified in the Notice of Race. In addition, any yacht requiring crew changes subsequent to the deadline for submitting crew information for reasons of illness, injury or family emergency may petition BROC for a waiver of penalty.

“Catastrophic Gear Failure” means damage to the hull which results in a loss of its watertight integrity, loss or damage to the keel or rudder which renders either ineffective or inoperable and/or loss of or damage to mast(s), boom(s) and/or standing rigging, any of which require repair or replacement to maintain a yacht’s seaworthiness. Damage to sails or running rigging are not considered catastrophic gear failures.
“Crew Information” includes each crew member’s official ISAF Sailor ID and status under the ISAF Sailor Classification Code (Category 1, Amateur, or Category 3, Professional). Time penalties will be imposed for every crew member who has not submitted an ID and Classification Code by the Crew Deadline of 1700, June 1, 2014. Each sailor must apply for her or his own ID and Classification Code on the ISAF web site at http://members.sailing.org/classification/

The 2014 Newport Bermuda Race will start on June 20, 2014, off Castle Hill, Newport, RI. For more information about the race, visit http://www.bermudarace.com/

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Newport Shipyard is the Official Shipyard of the Newport Bermuda Race. Come get ready for Bermuda, swap strategies, and walk the docks among veteran sailors. http://www.newportshipyard.com/

Brewer Yacht Yard Group is the Official Boat Preparation Resource of the Newport Bermuda Race. Experienced staff at Brewer yards from New York to Maine will help you and your crew plan and prepare for a successful race. http://www.byy.com/

For information about the Newport Bermuda Race® contact

John Rousmaniere: email Media@BermudaRace.com +1 646 573-2024

Talbot Wilson: email talbot@talbotwilson.com Tel: +1 850-432-8170 Mob: +1 850 217-7138

 

Newport Bermuda Race Start (Photo by George Bekris)

Yachts that do not meet set deadlines in the entry process will face time penalties instead of monetary penalties in the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race.

 

2012 Newport Bermuda Race (Photo Copyright 2012 Daniel Forster/PPL)

Shown here is the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Class 10 in a rare spinnaker start in the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race. ©2012 Daniel Forster/PPL