When the Newport-Bermuda Race starts on June 17 (photo above shows 2018 start), it will have the second largest fleet of competitors in its history. More than 214 boats have signed up for what will be the 52nd running of the 635-mile race from the mouth of Narragansett Bay to the finish off St. David’s Lighthouse. Only the 2006 centennial race, which saw 265 boats signed on, had a larger fleet than this year’s edition. Co-hosted by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the contest features eight divisions: Double-Handed (22 entries), Finisterre for cruisers (38), Gibbs Hill Lighthouse (27), Multihull (3), Open (1), Spirit of Tradition (2), St. David’s Lighthouse (121) and Super Yacht (1).
“We’re extremely pleased with the turnout for the 52nd Newport Bermuda Race,” said Race Chairman Somers Kempe, a past commodore of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. “The Bermuda Race has been beset in the past by World Wars and now the pandemic, but it remains a proving ground for offshore sailors who wish to test their crew organization, navigational skills, and seamanship. Bermuda looks forward to welcoming all finishers in late June.”
The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the race. In addition to proof of vaccination, the race committee has recently announced a testing protocol required by Bermuda Health authorities to obtain a pre-race Bermuda Mariner’s Travel Authorization and complete race registration. The Committee plans to communicate regularly with participating sailors to provide information before the race and expedite the authorization process to the extent possible.