Newport is synonymous with sailing, so it's only fitting then that we kick start summer with the return of a renowned ocean race. The Newport Bermuda Race, the oldest regularly scheduled ocean race dating back to 1906, and one of just two of the world’s regularly scheduled races held almost entirely out of sight of land, returns to our Classic Coast on Friday, June 15, 2018.
ABOUT THE RACE
The Newport to Bermuda race is nicknamed “The Thrash to the Onion Patch” because most Bermuda races include high winds and large waves (a combination sailors call “a hard thrash”), and because Bermuda is an agricultural island.
A race not designed for novices, the course kicks off at Castle Hill and crosses the rough Gulf Stream, concluding 635 Atlantic Ocean miles later off Bermuda's St. David's Lighthouse. Since the course is mostly out of the reach from rescue helicopters and Bermuda is guarded by a dangerous reef, the race demands intense prowess and a well-built boat that meets stringent equipment requirements.
The start of the race offers spectacular views as boats maneuver their way through the East Passage of Narragansett Bay, beginning at Castle Hill at 1:00 PM. Since the start is close to land, you can grab a seat at a number of public spots along the shore.
ABOUT THE TEAMS
The average crew is comprised of ten sailors, all congregating from across the world. In 2016 sailors represented 23 different countries, and 55 of the boats had at least one sailor from outside of the United States.
This year’s event is expected to have nearly 200 boats competing, just 65 short of the largest fleet that sailed in the centennial race in 2006.
HOW LONG IS THE RACE?
Depending on the weather, the infamous strong currents of the Gulf Stream and the boat’s size and speed, the race takes anywhere from two to six days, with the first boat arriving at the finish line off St. David’s Lighthouse between Sunday and Monday, and the smaller boats arriving between Monday and Wednesday or Thursday.
Prefer to view the action from the water? Sit back and relax on your choice of charter cruise.
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