No. 12 Competitor Bulletin – Sail the Online Race to Bermuda, Starting June 19th

May 26, 2020 race to Bermuda

Dear Sailors:

Since I wrote to you about the cancellation of our race, a few of our volunteers shifted focus to develop an online solution that would help keep the spirit of the 2020 race alive, even as we all missed the chance to sail the race for real. Their goal was to match the multi-division aspect of our race in an engaging event and provide a navigational-style challenge to Thrash to the Onion Patch, virtually.
I am pleased to announce that we have partnered with, an international group with an excellent navigation-simulation platform of long standing. Their software bases boat speed on detailed VPP polars depending on the course selected. It also introduces weather updates from the current NOAA global forecast every six hours, and incrementally, the wind direction and strength shifts across the different sections of the course.
A bright spot during this otherwise stressful pandemic spring was the emergence of four performance boat brands enthusiastic about joining the Newport Bermuda Race family of sponsors to fully underwrite the cost of organizing and promoting this online event. The four models selected will be raced as one-design fleets, one in each Division. Choose the Division in which you’ll compete, and you’ll find yourself at the helm of one of the following:

  • Jeanneau Sun Fast 3300 (Double-Handed)
  • Dehler 46 (St. David’s Lighthouse)
  • X-Yachts Xp-55 (Gibbs Hill Lighthouse)
  • Italia 14.98 (Finisterre

Online racing may not be for everyone, but we invite crews, navigators, and captains to consider taking on the challenge, learning together, and having some fun in the process. Some competitors may sail their boats and leave the built-in autopilot to do its job for long stretches, but others will consider taking turns standing “watch,” monitoring the expected weather conditions and, if need be, “waking” the navigator or skipper to consult on important decisions.
We invite you to check out our online race page and sign up to receive race communications and for the chance to win prizes, and then proceed to to create a free account under your boat name and begin learning about digital racing. Pre-race on-line tutorials will be available in the next week, as will the chance to do some practice racing.

Fair winds!

Jay Gowell
2020 Newport Bermuda Race

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