July 2013 Newsletter

Greetings Sailors,

This is the sixth of a series of newsletters from the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee (BROC) which we hope have kept you abreast of developments as we prepare for the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race®. We expect to introduce a new website in a few weeks (see below) and all information related to the 2014 Race will be posted there. 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

More Improvements in Store for 2014 Race

A year before the June 20, 2014 Newport Bermuda Race, the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee has announced new initiatives to make the race easier to enter and more appealing to prospective entrants.

 New Division Assignments.  To maintain the St. David’s Lighthouse Division’s traditional status as the home for racer-cruisers,  especially hot boats will be assigned to the Gibbs Hill Division using a formula that takes into account displacement/length and sail area/displacement ratios.

Inspections. The race’s Inspection Committee, headed by John Winder and James Phyfe, has undertaken to simplify the vessel inspection process. The committee has spent the past few months identifying ways to make the process and its documentation requirements less onerous.  Details will be announced soon.

New Regional Prizes.  For the first time, awards will be awarded for the top boats on corrected time hailing from five regions of North America:  Canada, the Great Lakes, the Pacific Coast, the Deep South, and the Chesapeake.  The race has long had a good turnout from these areas.

Annapolis-Newport Race Partnership.  A trophy will be awarded in 2014 for best combined finishes in the Annapolis-Newport and Newport Bermuda Races.  The Newport-Bermuda Race now has joint trophies with all three odd-year East Coast races, Marion-Bermuda, Marblehead-Halifax, and Annapolis-Newport.

Time Penalties.  Monetary penalties for failure to meet race deadlines have proven ineffective, to the disadvantage of those who make the effort to comply, and will be replaced with time penalties.  See details below.


Time Penalties

For many years, the BROC has imposed monetary penalties for failure to satisfy eligibility, entry, measurement and registration requirements.  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 disturbing trend, 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 arenot 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/ 

Offshore Race Opportunities

Blue water sailors may wish to consider the Transatlantic Race coming up in the summer of 2015. This race is open to suitably equipped and crewed yachts of 40′ or more.  For further information, seewww.transatlanticrace.org.  

Race Preparation Seminar on Sept 7, 2013

The Brewer Yacht Yard Group, one of our valued sponsors, is the Official Boat Preparation Resource of the Newport Bermuda Race® and will sponsor a series of race-oriented seminars. The first one will be held Saturday, September 7, at the Brewer Pilots Point Marina at Westbrook, CT. Speakers will include Rives Potts, owner-skipper of the 2010 and 2012 St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy winner Carina, and meteorologist and ocean racer Bill Biewenga.

The day-long seminar is geared both to sailors who want to improve their performance, and to those considering entering their first Newport Bermuda Race® or making their first offshore passage. The cost is $100 per boat and entitles allcrew members to attend. The proceeds will be donated to the Bonnell Cove Foundation to further safety at sea research and education. For more information on the seminar and to register, please visit  www.byy.com/NBR  or contact Lynn Oliver at loliver@byy.com.  

Measurement for ORR and IRC ratings

Measurement of your yacht for a new or renewal of your ratings can be difficult to schedule and complete in the spring rush that precedes a Newport Bermuda Race®. As long as you are not planning modifications to your yacht over the 2013/14 winter that will impact your rating, you can schedule your measurement this fall before hauling and beat the spring rush. Keep in mind, though, that once rated you’ll be constrained from modifications or required to start over. New sails, constructed over the winter can be measured when complete, by your sailmaker if he/she is so qualified.

Measurements will be required to be in the hands of the Offshore Office of US Sailing not later than 1700, May 22, 2014. Substantial penalties will apply for failure to meet this deadline, and invitations to race will be withdrawn altogether if those measurements have not been received by five days prior to the start.

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