The Biennial Newport Bermuda Race is one of the oldest sailing yacht races in North America, with this year marking the 51st “Thrash to the Patch.”
Starting on June 15th, from Castle Hill Lighthouse, in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, yachts and crews will cross the Gulf Stream into unpredictable weather and strong currents. Due to its complexity, the 635 Nm (1175 km) race has in fact been described as “three races in one.”
This year’s fleet of up to 200 yachts is divided into different divisions and classes, allowing for different types of yachts to compete evenly - from superyachts and sleek racers, to cruising yachts run by amateur crews. Depending on the yacht, the race will last anywhere from two to six days.
The first Newport Bermuda Race began as a challenge accepted by Thomas Fleming Day, editor of “Rudder Magazine,” that an amateur could run the ocean course in a boat less than 80 feet long. In May of 1906, Fleming Day set off from Brooklyn on the 38 foot Tamerlane, accompanied by the inspiring 20 year old Thora Lund Robinson and her 28 foot sloop Gauntlet, as well as by a third boat and crew.
Though the race’s start has since moved from Brooklyn to Newport, its purpose, defined in 1923 by Cruising Club of America Commodore Herbert L. Stone has remained unchanged, encouraging the "designing, building, and sailing of small seaworthy yachts, to make popular cruising upon deep water, and to develop in the amateur sailor a love of true seamanship, and to give opportunity to become proficient in the art of navigation.”
We wish everyone in the Newport Bermuda Race safe travels - YB Tracking is with them every step of the way!