This is the fourth in a series of newsletters from the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee (BROC) which we hope will keep you abreast of developments as we prepare for the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race®. Please keep in mind that this is an informal document and that to the extent any information herein differs in any respect from that in formal race documents such as the Notice of Race, the formal race documents will supersede this newsletter. Your comments, suggestions and questions about these issues may be directed to any of us listed at the end of the newsletter. We look forward to hearing from you, and to seeing you all on the starting line for our 49th “Thrash to the Onion Patch” on Friday, June 20, 2014.
Fred Deichmann, Chairman
AIS in 2014 Race
As had been expected, BROC has confirmed that effective for the 2014 race, AIS transponders will be required to be aboard all yachts and in full transmit and receive operation from well before the start, throughout the race and finish, until moored in Bermuda. AIS transponders have proven their value in offshore racing and in crowded coastal waters, especially in guiding boats to rendezvous at sea to render aid and in the safety they provide within fleets and in crossing shipping channels.
Offshore Race Opportunities
To assure that your boat and crew are in fine form for our Newport Bermuda Race® start on June 20, 2014, we suggest you consider competing in these 2013 offshore races:
Annapolis to Newport Race (start Friday, June 7, 2013) http://www.race.annapolisyc.org.
Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race (start Friday, June 14, 2013) http://www.marionbermuda.com.
Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race (start Sunday, July 7, 2013) http://www.marbleheadtohalifax.com.
And, for the summer of 2015, blue water sailors may wish to consider the Transatlantic Race. This race is open to suitably equipped and crewed yachts of 40′ or more. For further information, see www.transatlanticrace.org.
Lifelines in 2014 Race
BROC will accept lifellines constructed of Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (“HMPE”) (examples include Dyneema® and Spectra®) for the 2014 Race, allowing skippers the choice of this increasingly popular material. Offering great strength, HMPE lifelines must be carefully constructed. Skippers are cautioned to become familiar with proper sizing, splicing and installation of HMPE lifelines. A recent article may be found at: http://offshore.ussailing.org/SAS.htm
2014 Race Ambassadors are Open for Business!
The Ambassador Program, which matches experienced skippers with new participants (upon request), provides a resource for first-timers from whom they can receive guidance on boat and crew preparation for the race. Feedback on the program from prior races has been very positive. First- timers have been grateful for a mentor to guide them through the entry and planning process.
Approximately two dozen Ambassadors have agreed to serve for the 2014 Race. These Ambassadors all possess a deep understanding of the preparation necessary for the race and a desire to help new participants to the starting line.
These race veterans and boat owners will help new entrants through the steps of the race entry and boat inspection process so that you and your crew will start the race with confidence that you’re prepared to make the “Thrash to the Onion Patch”.
A few Ambassadors have already been assigned, a sure sign that the planning season has begun for the next race. If you have any questions regarding the program, or know someone considering competing send Mike McBee a note at firstname.lastname@example.org .
St. David’s and Gibbs Hill Division Guidelines
BROC has introduced a new performance screen into the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race to help identify boats that will be assigned to sail in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division and the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division. This screen will be applied in addition to the traditional limits on numbers of, and steering by, professional (ISAF Category 3) sailors aboard in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division.
The performance screen is calculated by taking the ratio of two performance parameters: the Sail Area Displacement Ratio divided by the Displacement Length Ratio. The screen is calculated first using the upwind sail area; then the downwind area. The average of those two screens is taken as the Newport Bermuda Race performance screen. The values for sail area, displacement and length are taken from the ORR certificate. The performance screen will be printed on ORR certificates. Preliminary values can be obtained from US Sailing’s Offshore Office.
Boats with screen values above .72 will be required to race in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse division and will need to meet all other requirements of that division. Boats with screen values below .48 will be required to sail in the St. David’s Lighthouse division and will need to meet all other requirements of that division. Boats whose value is between .48 and .72 may choose the division in which they will race, again meeting all other requirements of the chosen division.