Newport Bermuda News (Feb. 2019)

February 27, 2019

Light airs test helmsman and crew of the J/121 Apollo in the 2018 Newport Bermuda Race.

Updates from Jay Gowell, race chairman, include Bermuda Race Nights, a new Competitor Guide, and the latest on Safety at Sea courses:

Coming soon to your yacht club or one nearby is “Bermuda Race Night.”  The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee is working with several yachts clubs, ranging from Nova Scotia throughout New England, to the Chesapeake and the Great Lakes, to present a John Rousmaniere-authored piece about the race. If your club would like us to make a presentation to your members, please contact Race Vice Chairman Kenyon Kellogg to make arrangements.

Cruising Club of America safety at sea seminar liferaft boarding
Wearing full gear and with PFDs inflated, crews learn first-hand the challenges of boarding a liferaft.

This month, we’re highlighting a video interview with Mark Lenci, organizer and leader of the series of Safety at Sea Courses sponsored by The Cruising Club of America. Mark is a firm believer in building a safety ethos that helps a crew avoid trouble in the first place. As a participant at the January course, I can assure you these courses are extremely worthwhile to all crew, particularly those in leadership positions.

As a reminder for the 2020 Bermuda Race: ALL Captains, and 30 percent of the rest of the crew, must have a current certificate of completion of an International Offshore Safety at Sea Course with Hands on Training. Certificates are issued by World Sailing and US Sailing, and are valid for five years from the date the course is taken. For the Newport Bermuda Race, they are valid for the next three races following the date of the course. So, there is no reason to wait: get your certificate now and avoid the last-minute crowds.

This extension of the validity of the certificate for our race is one of what I hope is many examples of our effort to make it easier for competitors to qualify and participate. Another, which I’ve mentioned before, is that we have a new yacht inspection policy for those whose boats have been previously inspected.

We recently released a Competitor Guide (see below), making loads of good information available for those planning to sail the next race. And this week, we posted a great perspective on the entire race experience, by Finisterre Division competitor, Peter Holmes.

As always, let me know how we can help.

Jay Gowell, Chairman

2020 Newport Bermuda Race


Competitors’ Guide to the 2020 Newport Bermuda Race

The new Competitor Guide provides an overview of the steps required to compete in the Newport Bermuda Race and provides links to detailed articles on each step. You will likely work on some areas at the same time, such as crew selection and boat preparation, but if you’re not sure where to start, take them in order here, and take advantage of the assistance available as questions arise.

Read more

Calusa Sabre 386 Peter Holmes starts Newport Bermuda Race
Peter Holmes Calusa, USA 60386, starts the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race. Barry Pickthall/PPL photo

Calusa Races to the Onion Patch

Skipper Peter Holmes explains how the race is so much more than the four or five days spent at sea between Newport and Bermuda. In his third Newport Bermuda Race in 2018, Holmes sailed his Sabre 38 Calusa in the Finisterre Division.

Read more

More CCA Safety at Sea courses scheduled

As co-sponsor of the Newport Bermuda Race, the CCA is working to deliver more training opportunities than ever for those seeking hands-on safety training, whether to meet crew qualification requirements for the race or for other offshore voyaging. One course was already held in January; remaining 2019 courses will be held March 16, July 20, and October 13, and more are scheduled in 2020. Additionally, groups of 25 or more can schedule a course on a custom date. For requirements, dates, and a sign-up link including a link to finding courses by other organizations, see “Safety at Sea Courses.”

Light airs test helmsman and crew of the J/121 Apollo in the 2018 Newport Bermuda Race.
Denise C. Bienvue photo

#Instagram Challenge

“Bermuda High” by Denise C. Bienvue is an outstanding example of making the most of a painful spell of light airs in the 2018 race aboard the J/121 Apollo. Post your favorite shot from a previous race and tag @bermudarace (or email it to and we’ll post it). We never get tired of #offshoresailing!

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Is Newport Bermuda Race on your bucket list?

Check out our Race Prep Webinar Series starting Feb 2021