The year 2006 marked the 100th anniversary of the Bermuda Race. In honor of this important yachting milestone the race organizers – the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club – have founded the Bermuda Race Roll of Honour. According to a statement from the organizers, “The Bermuda Race Roll of Honour recognizes and honors extraordinary achievement in or concerning the Newport-Bermuda Race and its predecessor races.” The Roll of Honour not only recognizes winners, but any person who has made significant contributions to the race.
Since its sponsors are 635 miles apart, identical plaques listing the honorees will be displayed in both the U.S. and Bermuda. A five-person international selection committee has been established, which includes Bermudians Kirk Cooper and deForest “Shorty” Trimingham, both former commodores of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. Representing the Cruising Club of America are former CCA commodore Kaighn Smith and Owen Smith, a multi-time Bermuda Race skipper. Sailor and author John Rousmaniere is the fifth member of the selection committee and has been chosen as its chairman.
The Bermuda Race bears the distinction of being not only the oldest regularly scheduled ocean race but also the oldest race with a start in one country and a finish in another.
The committee for the first class of the Bermuda Race Roll of Honour selected six yachtsmen. They include: Thomas Fleming Day, Sir Eldon Trimingham, Bobby Somerset, Clarence Kozlay, Carleton Mitchell and George Coumantaros. The next class will be selected at the time of the 46th race in 2008.