The 2016 Newport Bermuda Race will include new opportunities for high-performance yachts to compete in celebration of the 50th Thrash to the Onion Patch.
We are making a slight change to the St. David’s Lighthouse Division description to accommodate a surge in interest from boats with amateur helmsmen and mostly-amateur crews. These boats would have been assigned to the Gibbs Hill Division in 2014 due only to their Performance Screen value.
In anticipation of these and other entries, the 2016 race will also include a special competition for the highest performance boats in the fleet across the St. David’s, Gibbs Hill, and Open Divisions.
Meanwhile, sailors can expect the race’s historic traditions of safe, Corinthian, blue water sailing to continue.
While we draft the Notice of Race to include the improvements listed below, we welcome your feedback and interest.
We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you on the starting line on June 17, 2016.
A. J. Evans
Higher Performance Yachts to be Included in St. David’s Lighthouse Division
The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee is removing the Performance Screen from the St. David’s Lighthouse Division. This change will permit some higher performance yachts that would have been assigned to Gibbs Hill in 2014 to now enter St. David’s.
This is being done in response to interest expressed by a number of owners and charterers of high performance boats with amateur helmsmen and mostly-amateur crews. One example is the U.S. Naval Academy’s TP52, Constellation (pictured), which sails primarily with a crew of midshipmen.
For background, the Performance Screen was described for the 2014 race here.
Hauling the Mail:
High Performance Competition for the Royal Mail Cup
This surge in interest from high-performance boats merits a higher profile competition.
For the first time, and in celebration of the 50th Thrash to the Onion Patch, yachts in the Gibbs Hill or St. David’s Lighthouse Division with a Performance Screen of 0.50 or higher will have the option to enter the Open Division in addition to a Lighthouse division.
As in 2014, the Performance Screen will be calculated by dividing the boat’s Sail Area/Displacement Ratio by her Displacement/Length Ratio using data from the ORR certificate, including both upwind and downwind sail areas.
This unprecedented opportunity will make it possible for a yacht to win both the coveted St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy and the Open Division’s Royal Mail Cup (pictured).
Meanwhile, Open Division boats that are not eligible for either Lighthouse division will have the chance to compete with a broader section of the fleet for historic bragging rights on a world stage.
Lighthouse division boats that take this option must still comply with their lighthouse division’s rules, including those concerning movable ballast and stored power.
New Race Record Opportunity
In recent history, yachts in the St. David’s Lighthouse and Gibbs Hill Lighthouse divisions have competed for the fastest elapsed time record — the only record mentioned in the Notice of Race. The rules prohibit these boats from using movable ballast and stored power.
To mark the 50th Thrash to the Onion Patch, a blank record book will be created for the fastest elapsed time without excluding boats with movable ballast and stored power. Additional details to follow.
For more information about all of these developments and their official terms, look for the Notice of Race to be published this fall.
Brewer’s Race Preparation Seminar in Annapolis
August 29, 2015
Eastport Yacht Club
There’s still time and space to register for the second Race Preparation Seminar presented by Brewer Yacht Yards, the Official Boat Preparation Resource of the Newport Bermuda Race.
Details and Registration at www.byy.com/NBR.