Bulletin #3

November 21, 2017

By H.L. DeVore

In this Bulletin:

  • Welcome from the Chairman
  • Personal AIS overboard beacon discounts
  • Safety at Sea seminar dates
  • U.S Customs & Border Control information
  • Bermuda Border Control hours in Newport

Welcome from the Chairman

Hello sailors, friends and fans of the Bermuda Race!

My name is Jonathan Brewin and it is an honour to serve as the Chairman of the 51st running of the Newport Bermuda Race.  It is also my pleasure to be the first Bermudian to serve in this role.  I look forward to welcoming you to our island paradise after your safe passage, whether by sea or by air.

Speaking of safety, there is little as important to us all as a safe passage.  The race has a pristine safety record and the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee (BROC) is constantly evaluating what to suggest or require.  Technology’s march forward isn’t always good but when it saves lives and is appropriately affordable it will likely be suggested or even required.

In this 51st edition the many fathers, mothers, sons and daughters sailing the race will be safer than ever.  Family members can be assured that from sundown to sunrise (and more) their loved ones are required to wear a life vest and harness and be tethered to the boat.  And now every crew member’s life vest must be equipped with a Personal AIS radio transponder that will greatly improve the ability for the boat or another boat to get back to them should they be separated from the boat.

In addition to the Personal AIS two other new requirements will contribute to the safety of the boat and crew.  The boat’s AIS radio transponder will be required to be on at all times which will improve safety between boats competing and shipping as well as assisting rescue in the event of emergency.

And last but not least, friends and family watching the race over the Yellowbrick GPS tracker system will now enjoy LIVE updates.  There will not be a 4-hour delay as in past years.  You will be able to look at the Yellowbrick tracker anytime day or night and see precisely where the boats whether that be battling across the Gulf Stream or tacking along the reefs of Bermuda to the finish.

I look forward to welcoming you to the island paradise of Bermuda,

Jonathan Brewin
2018 Newport Bermuda Race Chairman
[email protected]

Personal AIS overboard beacon discounts

Personal AIS devices are required for all crew members for the 2018 race.  We are very pleased to announce that Mark Lenci of the CCA Safety at Sea committee has arranged with three different suppliers an opportunity to receive discounts on these life-saving devices.  Please visit the Bermuda Race website at this address to learn more

Safety at Sea Seminar in Newport, March 10-11, 2018

The Cruising Club of America's pre-race Safety at Sea seminar will be held again this year in Newport, RI on Saturday and Sunday, March 10th & 11th.  Registration is now open.
This training is required for 30% of all racing crew members.  See the website for more specific details of the requirements.  The training is also excellent for cruisers and recommended for delivery crews returning boats from Bermuda!
Alternative seminars are offered throughout the country, and include the Storm Trysail’s seminar on 19 May 2018, and the US Naval Academy seminar 24-25 March 2018. A full listing is available at the US Sailing website:

***Please note the recent amendment to Bermuda Race safety rules that state that any certificate obtained as a result of exclusively internet-based training does not satisfy the race requirements. The only acceptable use of online training for the race is the US Sailing “First Day International Offshore Safety at Sea Online Course” when used in conjunction with a second day hands on session.

A general description of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) procedures may be found on the race web site.  It is important to become familiar with these procedures, especially for foreign flagged vessels entering the US to join the race and for all vessels (foreign and US-flagged) returning to the US from Bermuda after the race.
Also included at this location on the race web site is a description of the CBP’s Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS).   Application and qualification for SVRS prior to the race will greatly facilitate re-entry to the United States for US-flagged vessels upon return from Bermuda.  The application and qualification process does take some time, however, so we recommend that skippers start that process now.

     Most skippers and crew participants take advantage of the opportunity to pre-clear into Bermuda at the NYYC Sailing Center during the three days before the start.  This practice avoids long lines upon arrival in Bermuda and dramatically shortens the time to the first Dark ‘n Stormy ashore.  We recommend it.  Please note that the times when officers of Bermuda Border Control officers are available for this service for the 2018 race are different than in previous races – and specifically that their hours on Thursday, June 15thwill begin at 0800 and end at 1800 hours sharp.
Bermuda Border Control’s hours and procedures are described on the race web site at:


Thank you to our Sponsors

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