#15 Race Bulletin: Final Week, Merlin’s Path, Tweeting Trackers, Gulf Stream Analysis

Hello Bermuda Race sailors and fans:

With one week to the start, every competitor probably has a good list of tasks to complete. On the organizing committee, we have been doing our best to keep all focused on certain critical deficiencies related to submitting current Safety training certificates, World Sailing Sailor ID numbers, etc. (see “Notices to Competitors,” a recent NOR amendment, and the Sailing Instructions, among other postings now on the Official Notice Board).

We’ve also included in this bulletin a series of administrative reminders, ranging from hours of registration, documents to take when you meet with Bermuda border control, reserving Bermuda dockage, etc. And don’t skip over the possibility that you are leaving some of our special silverware unclaimed because you didn’t register your eligibility (see below).

Carina approaches the starting line off Castle Hill in a southerly breeze as crowds watch by land and sea. Fran Grenon/Spectrum Photo

If you are not sailing, here is our recent update “How to Watch the Start”, which includes links to a detailed Spectator Advisory. Sailors and shore crew alike can help with our Clean Regattas effort, highlighted in this story “Track Balloon Debris and Clean Up the Beach”.

During this busy final week, it is worth remembering why we sail this special race. I recall my first, in 1982 on a British yacht named Nick Nack 2 with a crew who are still my good friends. Part of the bonding experience as I remember it was making the most of every minute, fully absorbing what it was like to sail through the Gulf Stream, studying the sky for the green flash, and sighting dolphin and the first longtail. I remember being part of the convergence of the fleet, sighting Bermuda, smelling the oleanders, and tasting the first Dark ‘N Stormy. Our camaraderie has stood the test of time.

Whether it’s your first race or your 21st, I wish all of that for you and more. Sail safely, swiftly and successfully, with maximum fun and memories that will last you a lifetime.

Best wishes,

Jonathan Brewin
2018 Newport Bermuda Race Chairman

Onboard Reporters & YellowBrick Trackers That Tweet

Among the YellowBrick trackers distributed to the fleet before the race, 50 will be “tweet-enabled” so if your boat or a crewmember has an active Twitter account, our Media Team would like to put one aboard your boat. Please enter your details in this form asap, including Twitter account name, and then request a “Twitter Tracker” at Registration. First come, first served. We also invite onboard bloggers to email updates from the racecourse at any time to media@bermudarace.com.

Crew Safety Training

To satisfy the Race’s safety at sea crew training requirements, you can still sign up for the Cruising Club of America seminar on June 13 in Newport. This is also a good training opportunity for your return crewmembers.

Special Trophies — Don’t Miss Out on Silverware You Earn

Competitors please note that you must separately register to compete for certain special trophies. Examples are the prizes for top youth crews (the Stephens Brothers Youth Prize), top family crews (Glenn Family Prize), best foreign entry (City of Newport Prize), and Irving Pratt 3-boat Team prize. Read more and follow the registration link.

Gulf Stream Society is Expanding

We announced the Gulf Stream Society earlier this year to recognize long-time sailors, and there are certainly hundreds of eligible members who haven’t had time to submit their data. Currently we have 46 accepted members, 23 with 5 years or more, seven with 10 years or more, and 13 with 15 or more, and several sailors entered in next week’s race have 20-plus races to their credit. We’ll publish all of their names at the race’s conclusion. If you have sailed 5 races or more, fill out the application and receive a pin as a member of the elite. Note that the only obligation of Society membership is to wear the membership pin with a smile and to invite those sailors who are struggling with fewer than five races under their belt, to go ahead and sign up for the next race. Contact: GulfStreamSociety@BermudaRace.com

Smaller jibs Merlin St. Petersburg

Smaller, flatter headsails are key new sails in Merlin’s inventory for Newport Bermuda in 2018.

Merlin’s Path: Downwind Flyer Needs Upwind Boost

Our Newport Bermuda media team has an onboard reporter sailing on the iconic Merlin, the 70-foot Bill Lee design that held the Transpac record for more than 20 years. Read Chris Museler’s first report.

2018 Gulf Stream Analysis

Read last week’s analysis of the Gulf Stream’s structure and flow. Then get ready for the final analysis, which we’ll publish next Friday on the Gulf Stream Tutorials page.

Bermuda Shipping Containers Load at Newport Yachting Center

A commercial shipping company has been contracted to assist captains and crews wishing to send gear, sails, etc. to Bermuda. Loading of four 20′ containers will take place at Newport Yachting Center on June 13 from 0900-1700, and June 14 from 0800-1600. (Gear is expected to be available at RBYC on June 18.) Return shipping will also be available, loading on June 21 & 22 from 1000-1700 near RBYC in Bermuda with expected arrival in Portsmouth, RI (New England Boatworks) on June 26.

Space is available on a first come, first served basis as evidenced by the completion and submission of the required Bermuda Customs form. Captains must request space in containers before May 31st using the required Bermuda Customs form. The Bermuda Customs Form can be found here, and instructions to fill out the form here. The form should be printed, completed and emailed to European Ocean Freight as soon as possible, but in no event later than May 31st.

Race Registration & Bermuda Border Control 

Skippers:  To pre-clear your boat with Bermuda Border Control at Harbour Court in Newport you must present your official vessel documentation. (e.g., for US- flagged vessels, your US Documentation Certificate or if not documented, your state registration certificate; for foreign-flagged vessels, similar vessel documentation is required). Captains will need crew names, dates of birth, nationality and passport numbers to complete the required Bermuda Customs Clearance form. See Bermuda Border Control page.

Day, Date            Registration  Border Control

Sun, June 10      1200-1600    Not available

Mon, June 11      0900-1700    Not available

Tue, June 12       0900-1700    0830-1630

Wed, June 13      0900-1600    0830-1630

Thur, June 14     Not available  0800-1800*

* Note: Thurs. hours are new this year; Bermuda Border Control will close at 1800 hours SHARP!

Dock reservations in Bermuda

Space is limited! Please contact Royal Bermuda Yacht Club: Marina Manager Reggie Horseman marina@rbyc.bm or Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club: secretary@rhadc.bm (441) 236-2250 or dockmaster@rhadc.bm(441) 538-0050

Photo courtesy Bermuda Tourism Authority

10 Great Ways to Explore Bermuda

No. 6—Dive In:  Watersports opportunities range from jet ski tours to paddling kayaks and SUPs. You can even take SUP yoga classes. Under the water, snorkel and SCUBA can lead you to the beauty of the reefs or exploration of one of many Bermuda wrecks.
Go To Bermuda!

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