Media Update: 2020 Race to Open Downtown Newport HQ

April 23, 2019


A new Race Headquarters and Village will be established at Bowen’s Wharf and Seamen’s Church Institute on Newport’s historic waterfront.

The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee announced today that the headquarters for the next running of the 635-mile Newport Bermuda Race will be centrally located on Newport’s storied harbor.

The Bowen’s Wharf Company and the Seamen’s Church Institute, adjacent to each other, will anchor the race headquarters, providing easier access to competitors and a public profile for the race. Participant registration, Bermuda Customs pre-clearance, yacht tracker distribution, media communications, and exhibits will be included.

A convenient walking distance from most marinas and amidst the dozens of shops and restaurants on and near Bowen’s Wharf, the downtown location for the Race will allow the 2,000 competing sailors as well as the public to fully enjoy the race activities and energy along the Newport waterfront.

“We feel sailors, fans and sponsors benefit from our move into the heart of Newport,” said Jay Gowell, Chairman, Bermuda Race Organizing Committee. “We not only centralize activities but also increase awareness of this extraordinary race—more than a century old and still one of the world’s most popular and challenging ocean races for amateurs. We are grateful to Seamen’s Church Institute and Bowen’s Wharf for sharing our vision, and we’re enthusiastic about exploring new opportunities with them.”

“We’re honored to host the Newport Bermuda Race HQ,” said Rebecca Northup, Executive Director of Seamen’s Church Institute, “and to share our beautiful building and hospitality services with the yacht crews. Hosting this historic race is true to our 100-year-old mission as well as our vision of Seamen’s as a community gathering place.”

“Ever since I sailed my first Bermuda Race in 1972 I’ve been lobbying to make the event more accessible to the general public,” said Bart Dunbar, President & CEO of Bowen’s Wharf. “Creating a Race Village at Bowen’s Wharf allows Newporters and visitors to be part of the action. I couldn’t be happier about this collaboration!”

Seamens Church Institute Newport RI

Seamen’s Church Institute will host registration activities for Newport Bermuda Race sailors in 2020.

The Race’s sponsoring clubs—the Cruising Club of America and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club—will continue their long-term partnership with the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, Newport, in 2020. The NYYC Race Committee will officiate the June 19 start of up to 200 boats, as in the past, and the club will provide the communications hub for the race management team monitoring fleet safety and progress throughout the event.

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