Newport Bermuda News (Sept. 2019)

September 17, 2019

Merlin 68-foot ultralight by Bill Lee

63 Boats Listed To Date; Three Days to Enter and Save

Counting down to the June 2020 start, there are nine months and three days to go, and a strong fleet is already gathering. Are you planning to compete? If so, submit your entry and deposit by Friday, September 20 to take advantage of lower early-entry fees. If you’re still on the fence, read the Notice of Race and the Competitor’s Guide.

Merlin 68-foot ultralight by Bill Lee
Merlin, the famous 68-foot West Coast sled by Bill Lee shown after the start in 2018, has already entered for 2020. Daniel Forster photo

Who has entered so far? Owners who lean toward mythology, for one thing, like the pair that bracket the entire fleet size-wise. At the shorter end of the burgeoning scratch sheet is Phillip Haydon’s Cepheus, a Quest 33 named for the mythical king of Aethiopia, who was husband of Cassiopeia and father of Princess Andromeda. At the larger, faster end is Jason Carroll’s Argo, the MOD 70 catamaran that just broke the Transpac record; its name comes from the builder of Greek mythology’s first sailing vessel, crewed by Jason and the Argonauts.

Most of the other entries in the 2020 Newport Bermuda Race don’t feature their home port as Mount Olympus, although custom Bill Lee 68-footer Merlin hails from Arthurian legend. As usual, it’s a diverse fleet that is growing fast and includes predominantly 35- to 55-footers. The roster to date includes 2018 class winners Yankee Girl (Double-Handed Division overall), YYZ (St. David’s Lighthouse Division, Class 8), and Liberty Call (Finisterre Division, Class 12). Jason Carroll was also a winner in 2018, sailing Elvis, his Gunboat 62, in the inaugural Multihull Division.

Lighthouse Trophies Newport Bermuda Race
St. David’s Lighthouse (back row) and Gibbs Hill Lighthouse trophies are the most famous of the Newport Bermuda Race lighthouse trophies.

Pick Your Lighthouse — Sail Your Own Bermuda Race

(This article first appeared in Seahorse, the international offshore-racing magazine, available at a special rate to Bermuda Race fans.)

Sail your own style of boat, with your own style of crew and at the level of intensity you prefer. The Newport-Bermuda classic is not your typical ocean race. It’s several races in one, and several have a Lighthouse Trophy for the winner.

Read more

Sunflower crew learns about firefighting
Hands-On Safety courses presented by the CCA and other organizations are critical training opportunities for offshore racers and cruisers.

2020 Briefs

The Cruising Club of America’s Safety-at-Sea program has expanded to keep up with demand.
 The next courses are scheduled in Bristol, RI, on October 12, January 11 and March 14 & 15; please sign up early. In addition to at least 30 percent of your crew, every skipper must have taken a safety at sea course with hands on training (read specific requirements). We’ve made it valid for the three Newport Bermuda Races that occur after the date that the certificate was issued. So, if you have not been in a pool with full foul weather gear and tried climbing into a life raft lately, you need to take the course!

Sign up for Newport Bermuda Newsletters and Competitor Bulletins – If you are considering sailing in the 2020 race or might want to sail next time around, sign up for Competitor Bulletins and Race Newsletters at the bottom of this page. If you’re a fan of the race but not planning to sail, sign up for Race Newsletters, which are sent less often.

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