The Onion Patch Series and the Onion Patch Navigators Series are unique events for individual yachts and teams ready to race in two countries and across the 635-mile gap in between. By John Burnham
The recently released Onion Patch notice of series provides the details for the next running of the long-standing competition that starts on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound, crosses the Gulf Stream and finishes up on Bermuda’s Great Sound.
If you’re a boat owner or crewman who has put loads of work into your boat to have it ready for the Newport Bermuda Race—why not arrive in Newport early enough to tune up your crew at the New York Yacht Club 164th Annual Regatta? Then cap it off with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta on the Great Sound, the day before the Newport Bermuda Race Awards ceremony?
If you do, you’ve not only amortized your expense and effort over several more races, you’ll have taken part in the long-standing Onion Patch Series traditions. If you compete in the regular Onion Patch Series, you’ll be eligible to win the prestigious DuPont Trophy. If you sail in the more relaxed Navigators Division, you’ll have a chance to put your name on the new Richard W. Kempe Memorial Trophy.
To add spice to the events, join with two other boats to represent a country, a yacht club, or your local sailing organization and race for team silverware, which in the case of the regular or “traditional” series is the Onion Patch Trophy itself. Some clubs will have multiple team entries.
The NYYC 164th Annual Regatta, June 9-10 — The two-day Annual Regatta typically features windward-leeward drop mark courses for the IRC race fleet and a more relaxed group sailing in the ORR Navigators Division around government marks. IRC scores will be converted to ORR for the Onion Patch Series scoring.
The Newport Bermuda Race, June 15 — The race starts off Castle Hill and concludes 635 Atlantic Ocean miles later off St. David’s Lighthouse.
The RBYC Anniversary Regatta, June 22 — In recent years, this one day, two-race event has begun with a windward-leeward race on the Great Sound. The second race tours Granaway Deep and Port Royal Bay, and finishes near the Fairmont Hamilton Princess in Hamilton Harbour.
Yachts range from small to large, racing windward/ leewards or around government marks. Crews include family Corinthians competing against top professionals, but there’s no foregone conclusion that the newest boats will win. Team Buzzards Bay won in 2016 with Crazy Horse, Kinship, and Simpatico, a JV 50, Baltic 52, and Pearson 39, respectively.