Three local entries among 2022 Newport Bermuda Race fleet
A trio of local boats will be among a bumper fleet set to compete in the rescheduled 52nd Newport Bermuda Race.
Nasty Medicine, Crossfire and the Spirit of Bermuda will fly the island’s banner in the biennial 635 nautical-mile race from Newport, Rhode Island, to the finish line off St David's Lighthouse.
Stephen Sherwin's Corby 41.5, Nasty Medicine, and Brian Hillier’s J-125, Crossfire, are both registered in the St David’s Lighthouse Division.
The triple masted schooner Spirit of Bermuda, owned by the Bermuda Sloop Foundation, is competing in the Spirit of Tradition Division.
“We have three Bermuda entries, Crossfire, Nasty Medicine and Spirit of Bermuda, so that’s really cool,” Somers Kempe, the Bermuda Race Organising Committee chairman, told The Royal Gazette. “It’s three Bermuda boats so that’s really cool.
“It’s good to see those back and that’s among the 215-220 other boats that are presently registered so the fleet looks good.”
Nasty Medicine is the sole surviving local entry from the previous race held in 2018.
Sherwin’s 41-foot yacht completed the race in an elapsed time of 109hr 27min 25sec that was later changed to 88:33:53 on corrected time.
The Spirit of Bermuda is making its fourth appearance in the race having previously done so in 2012, 2014 and 2016.
“The Spirit of Bermuda crew trained last weekend,” Kempe added. “They brought down safety and sea persons who ran a course for them at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.”
The trio of local entries registered in this year’s race also competed together in the 2014 edition when Crossfire, the first St George's Dinghy & Sports Club yacht to take part in the event, made its last appearance.
“We had a limit of 220 entry spaces for this race,” Kempe said. “We met that limit quite well so we are going to have some natural attrition just with the additional logistics of Covid I think.
“We always see a little bit of attrition before the start due to a number of different reasons. Crew might be getting sick, a piece of equipment might break and I have already heard of one boat that broke its mast down in the Caribbean. I think it was in one of the regattas down there so they are probably not going to be sailing because they won’t have a rig.”
This year’s fleet has eclipsed the 170 boats that competed in the previous race.
“It’s definitely been a strong turnout,” Kempe noted.
“These days everything changes minute to minute, week to week. When we first put out a notice of race I had some concerns that people were going to be scared away. The world back then over a year ago is quite a lot different than it is now but a lot of people took the plunge.
“It was a little surprising how well people entered early and often. Which was good to see because that has allowed us to stay in touch with them over the past year and really kind of keep them up to speed with the changes, especially with what Covid is sort of throwing at the race. It’s been encouraging and we are looking good so far.”
The fleet will compete for honours in eight divisions, which also includes the Finisterre (Cruising) Division, Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division, Double-Handed Division, Multihull Division, Open Division and Superyacht Division.
The Newport Bermuda Race was cancelled for the first time in 80 years in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The rescheduled 52nd edition of the race will begin in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, on June 17.
Founded in 1906, the Newport Bermuda Race is the oldest regularly-scheduled ocean race and is jointly organised by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
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