On September 7, Brewer Yacht Yards hosted a Newport Bermuda Race Offshore Preparedness Seminar that focused on helping first-time competitors get a head-start on race preparation and boat optimization for the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race, which starts on June 20 off Castle Hill. The well-attended event featured an impressive cadre of speakers who emphasized organizational and preparedness strategies for becoming a competitive entry without breaking the bank. Topics covered included race paperwork, safety inspection, race tactics and weather, rating optimization, crew management and the return delivery. Rives Potts, skipper/owner of Bermuda Race winning yacht Carina, shared his strategies for succeeding on the race course and enjoying the destination. Sailmakers Butch Ulmer (UK Sailmakers) and Jack Orr (North Sails) discussed sail selection and its relation to rating optimization, and Butch treated the crowd to a few of his signature one-liners. Jim Teeters, Associate Offshore Director at US Sailing, gave attendees an insider’s perspective on the ORR rating system and strategies for optimizing a yacht’s configuration for the Bermuda Race. Weather expert and offshore sailor Bill Biewenga provided insight into weather phenomena particular to the Newport Bermuda Race. During lunch, participants headed to the docks to tour two Bermuda race-ready boats, 48’ McCurdy and Rhodes Carina and 50’ Nelson/Merrick Brigand, and had the opportunity to discuss race preparation one-on-one with speakers and other experienced ocean racers in attendance. The seminar concluded with a cocktail reception featuring Goslings Dark n’ Stormies to give everyone a taste of the finish. A second Preparedness Seminar will be held early in 2014. Brewer Yacht Yards is the Official Race Preparation Resource for the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race.