New Starting Location and Family Friendly Party for the Start of the 2024 Newport Bermuda Race

May 4, 2024

By Race Communications

[Newport, Rhode Island]—For the first time in its 118-year history, the Newport Bermuda Race proudly unveils a new starting location just off the shoreline of Fort Adams State Park. This exciting shift in venue provides an opportunity to celebrate and cheer on the 170 boats starting the 636-mile journey, renowned for its challenge and tradition. Free and open to the public, the Starting Line Party will occur Friday, June 21st from 12 to 4 p.m.

Visitors will enjoy an immersive experience with live coverage, aerial views on an outdoor screen, and commentary from North Sails President and current Bermuda Race Record-holder Ken Read and professional local sailor and coach Jesse Fielding. The Live Show will begin with the first start of the Race at 2 p.m. and will also be streamed on

Admittance and parking for the race village are free, and alternative transportation via Providence Ferry, Jamestown Ferry, and Water Taxis are also available. The park will feature local Food Trucks and a Regatta Bar showcasing New England fare, Goslings Rum from Bermuda, and Whalers Beer from Rhode Island. This family-friendly start to summer fun on Friday afternoon will also feature:

  • The Ravers, a local Newport reggae band, performing from 12 to 1:30 pm
  • Newport Artillery demonstration concluding in a cannon to signal the start of the Race at 2 pm
  • A PGA Trophy photo op and putting green experience
  • Sustainability and other local non-profit education booths
  • Race gear shopping
  • Oliver Hazard Perry tall ship tours
  • Tours of the 200-year-old Fort Adams

Andrew Kallfelz, the Race Chair from Jamestown, Rhode Island, expressed enthusiasm about the transformative approach, stating, "The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee, with support from the State of Rhode Island and other partners, has been able to invest in transforming this hallmark biennial event into a celebration for the sailors, their families, and fans alike."

Race Organizers ask visitors to view the full schedule and RSVP for free on Eventbrite for updates and planning assistance. For those unable to attend in person, the Newport Bermuda Race extends its accessibility globally as the Starting Line Live Show, will be broadcast on, providing sailing enthusiasts worldwide with a front-row seat to the action.  

About the Newport Bermuda Race

Organized by the Bermuda Race Foundation, the Newport Bermuda Race is the oldest regularly scheduled ocean race, spanning 636-miles and attracting sailors from across North America and the globe. The Race, founded in 1906, is a testament to true seamanship and the love for offshore sailing as the crossing of the Gulf Stream, renowned for tricky currents and unpredictable weather, makes this race one of the most tactical in the world. This Race is a true “bucket list” for any sailor.

In its 53rd running, scheduled to commence June 21st, 2024, the Newport Bermuda Race continues to captivate sailors and enthusiasts worldwide with its unique challenges and rich heritage. From its humble beginnings to its status as one of the world's premier ocean races, the Newport Bermuda Race remains a testament to the enduring spirit of sailing.

From Allegra to ZigZag - Get to know some of the Newport Bermuda Race's 2024 participants

The 170 yachts are subdivided into divisions and classes. Grouped by certain rules and ratings to put the sailors on an even playing field to vie for over 100 trophies awarded upon conclusion of the race in Bermuda. 

The largest and fastest is the 84-foot multihull from Switzerland, Allegra, a luxury performance cruising catamaran skippered by Rob Grimm and designed by Nigel Irens. This team has won the Rolex Fastnet Race in England back-to-back in recent years. While unlikely to break the record set by the Mod 70 Argo in 2022, Allegra's recent completion of the Caribbean 600 in 56 hours positions her as a strong contender to be the first boat to reach Bermuda.

Among the faster monohull entries, Pyewacket 70 stands out as a favorite. Skippered by Roy P. Disney,  this turbocharged Volvo 70, formerly known as Telefonica and Black Jack, boasts a record of achievements including winning the 2021 Transpac's Barn Door Trophy. The Disney family has always liked the Bermuda Race. Disney’s father (Roy E.) set a course record of just under 54 hours with a previous Pyewacket. The new 70 is much faster, but Pyewacket program manager Robbie Haines says it would take perfect conditions to beat the current monohull mark of less than 35 hours, held by the 100-foot Comanche

Pyewacket competes in the Gibbs Hill Division, which puts no limits on the number of professional crew members.  The St. David’s Lighthouse Division, with over 100 boats competing, anticipates fierce competition for the iconic St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy, with both traditional and modern designs vying for the top position. This division has a limit on the number of professional sailors and the roles they can fill. 

Two veteran campaigners returning in 2024 to watch are Carina and Hound, both designed in the late '60s and early '70s. Carina, an aluminum-built McCurdy & Rhodes 48, holds the title of the most successful Bermuda racer in the past 50 years since her launch, and Hound just recently won the RORC Caribbean 600. Meanwhile, Andrew Clark’s J/122 Zig Zag from Greenwich, Connecticut, aims to build on their success of 2nd overall in 2022, emphasizing teamwork and preparation as key strengths.

The Finisterre Division limits the number of sails and professional crew offers an alternative for those not seeking to compete against the elite. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking these 30 boats are still competitive. Boats in this division focus on sailing fast and finishing well as, echoing the ethos of Carleton Mitchell's Finisterre, which won three consecutive Bermuda Races in the late '50s.

A select group of a dozen skippers joins the Double-Handed Division, sailing a mix of cruiser/racers and purpose-designed boats. Matt Breuer, aboard his Sabre 42 CB Dauntless, highlights the practicality and self-sufficiency of shorthanded racing, emphasizing the rewarding aspects of sailing with a small crew. Some boats will also choose to return from Bermuda in a shorthanded race, which is a safe and fun way to return boats to the States.

Among the 170 teams, there are countless stories of sailing traditions and overcoming adversity. We have started to highlight as many as we can through our social media, race news, and official race program.

More stories of interest:

Social Media Links

Other links of Interest:

If you are interested in joining us in person on June 21 or in Bermuda, please fill out our Media Registration form.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Kate Somers

Media Director

401 864 8424

[email protected]

For more information about the Newport Bermuda Race, visit

Photos Available here. Captions are in File Name.

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