Bermuda draws visitors year-round for its sunny seascape, but Bermudian summers are for sailing. Between its renowned Newport Bermuda Race and the 35th America’s Cup in 2017, Bermuda has earned its place as a sailing destination.
Proudly ringing in the 50th anniversary of its Newport Bermuda Race, it is also known as the “Thrash to the Onion Patch” and draws sailors from across the globe to compete in the world’s longest-running ocean race. The 2016 race will begin on Friday, June 17, when spectators will gather at the historic docks of Newport, Rhode Island, to see the boats embark on their 635-mile journey through the challenging wind and currents of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Stream.
The race is co-organised by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, and features fleets of more than 160 boats, most hosting 10 or more crew members. The 2016 race has seven divisions geared towards different sized vessels: St. David’s Lighthouse Division for amateurs on cruiser or racer yachts; Cruiser for amateurs manning cruising yachts; Double-Handed for boats with two crew members; Gibbs Hill Lighthouse and Open for racing yachts with professional crews; Spirit of Tradition, which is by invitation only for amateurs on traditional yachts; and Super Yacht for Super-Maxi yachts on a unique course.
Boats typically finish the course within three to six days, and friends, families and spectators wait for competitors to begin arriving at the yacht club in Hamilton on Sunday, June 19. The last boats usually arrive by Tuesday or Wednesday. For more information, visit bermudarace.com.
Photo courtesy of Talbot Wilson.