February 2013 Newsletter

Greetings Sailors

This is the second 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
2014 BROC

Another Offshore Race Opportunity

In addition to the odd-year offshore race opportunities for 2013, included in the links below, blue water sailors may wish to consider the Transatlantic Race to be held in 2015. Sponsored by the Royal Yacht Squadron and New York Yacht Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Storm Trysail Club, this race is open to suitably equipped and crewed yachts of 40′ or more. For further information, see www.transatlanticrace.org.

Once again, the 2013 offshore races originating in the Northeast that we suggest you consider are:
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.

Have a look at these races and see which of them might best serve to assure that your boat and crew are in fine form for our Newport Bermuda Race start on June 20, 2014.

Final Voyage: “Tuna” Wullschleger

Arthur “Tuna” Wullschleger, long-time member and Chairman of the Race’s International Jury, passed away peacefully on November 25, 2012 in Plantation, Florida. Tuna was a well-known International Judge of sailing events, a race administrator and an international competitor. He was a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy during WWII, operations manager of three America’s Cup syndicates (including the America II syndicate for the New York Yacht Club in 1987), Past Commodore of the Larchmont Yacht Club and the Storm Trysail Club and one of the founders in 1965 of the Block Island Race Week. He was also jury chairman of Key West Race Week, the SORC in Miami, and Block Island Race Week. He was a frequent competitor in the Newport Bermuda Race and Transatlantic Races aboard his yawl Elske.

Notes on a Proper Finish

Section 12 of the 2012 Sailing Instructions provide that the finish is at a line bearing 111 degrees magnetic from St. David’s Lighthouse, at the intersection of the red and green sectors of the light. The finish will be described the same way for 2014. Sailors are cautioned to be sure that they do cross the finish line completely, sailing from North to South and passing between the finish line buoys, and traveling well beyond it (a few boat lengths, at least), and then turning to seaward after finishing. While neither buoy will necessarily be on station, the buoys’ function is to keep boats off the reef offshore from the Lighthouse, but still close enough to be observed by the Finish Line Committee. The purpose of the turn to seaward subsequent to finishing is also designed to keep boats off the reef. Failure to observe these instructions is a violation of the Sailing Instructions. Going up on the reef, or a failure to reach the finish after after a 635 mile slog, is guaranteed to ruin your day.

Evacuation at Sea

John Rousmaniere, well-known author of sailing books and a participant in the race-sponsored review of the Seabiscuit incident in the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race® in which a sailor was evacuated by a cruise ship, has prepared a summary of that effort. His report is excellent reading for offshore sailors and can be found on the race web site (www.BermudaRace.com) home page under Race News.


US Sailing’s prescriptions, which BROC has adopted, require PFDs “..with or without crotch strap, …”, and provide that safety harnesses may be integrated with inflatable PFDs. The utility of these features has been amply demonstrated in person overboard situations and are highly recommended by BROC. US Coast Guard approval of inflatable PFDs is not negated as long as crotch or thigh straps are not sewn or otherwise attached directly to the PFD, but are instead attached to an integral safety harness. Existing PFDs with integral harnesses may be fitted with add-on leg strap kits available in the marketplace

Economic Impact Study

Skippers will be receiving an email soon asking that they complete an economic impact survey. The Race is supported heavily by the Bermuda Department of Tourism and to a lesser extent by the Rhode Island State Yachting Commission and by commercial enterprises; including Goslings Rum, Bank of N. T. Butterfield, Newport Shipyard and Hinckley Yachts. Your taking time to answer the survey will help us retain these sponsors and encourage others; covering much of the cost to stage the race and thereby reducing its cost to participants.

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