Newport to Bermuda Race-Prep Series Begins with Bucket List Webinar in February

The Newport Bermuda Race fleet Daniel Forster/PPL photo
The Bermuda Race fleet leaves Newport with colorful spinnakers set in a northerly breeze Daniel Forster/PPL photo

If sailing in the legendary Newport to Bermuda Race is on your bucket list, then a new series of free webinars by the Bermuda Race Organising Committee, sponsored by Bermuda Tourism Authority and Goslings Rum, will whet your appetite and give you the tools to prepare for the race in 2022.

First run in 1906, the Newport Bermuda Race is co-organised by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and is known informally as the “Thrash to the Onion Patch”

A must-sail race for so many offshore sailors, the course covers 635 miles of open ocean.  It leaves the chilly spring waters off Newport Rhode Island, crossing the turbulent, rapidly flowing Gulf Stream, and finally approaches the reef-encircled islands of Bermuda.

Not a challenge to take lightly, the race gives captains the chance to take their own measure, stepping up and taking responsibility for preparing their boats and crews, crossing the starting line, and navigating safely to the finish and then home again. 

The 2021 Race Prep webinar series begins February 9, 7pm EST, with an interactive introduction to the race: “The Newport Bermuda Race is on Your Bucket List.”

Aspiring competitors will be invited to ask questions and sign up to work with special “race ambassadors” for assistance as they tackle race preparation and training over the next year until the race starts on June 17, 2022. 

Register on the Race-Prep Webinar page and submit your questions in advance.

Panellists for “The Newport Bermuda Race Bucket List Webinar”

Hank Halsted – A veteran of 17 races, Halsted often sails in the Doublehanded Division. He is chairman of the race’s Qualifications Committee, advising captains on how to build out an experienced crew.

Dick Holliday – A five-time competitor in the race, Holliday serves as head of the race’s ambassador program, pairing less experienced entrants with those who can answer questions on all race topics. 

David Wilson – A Catalina 36 owner, Wilson has a fresh perspective on sailing the race for the first time, as he did in 2016, and in particular preparing a series-built boat to meet the safety standards for the race. 

There is no charge for the one-hour event, and prospective crew are welcome to attend as well as captains.