Newport to Bermuda Fleet ‘Extraordinary’ This Year

Newport Bermuda Race chairman John Osmond is “excited” about the diverse crews competing in this year’s 635 mile ‘Thrash to the Onion Patch’ — and for good reason.

The veteran American sailor, who has served on the Bermuda Race organizing committee for more than a decade, has described this year’s fleet as “extraordinary” and is absolutely thrilled to see Bermuda Sloop Foundation’s Spirit of Bermuda make its maiden voyage in the century old race.

“The participants attending are an extraordinary group from boats that were built in the 1930s to boats that just came out of the mould six months ago,” Mr Osmond said. “We are very excited about the spectrum of boats that are going and especially the fact that Spirit of Bermuda is among the entries in its brand new class (Spirit of Tradition).”

There are 166 entries competing in the race, including four Bermuda boats.

American entry, Ragana, withdrew from the race at the weekend after experiencing mechanical breakdown en route to Newport.

Mr. Osmond, a veteran of 15 Newport Bermuda Races, said preparations for this year’s race have so far gone as planned.

“Everything is going along quite smoothly fortunately for the committee which consists of 46 people who have been working for two years on this event,” he said. “All the pieces have come together and everybody has been working very hard.”

Bermuda Race vice-chairman and past RBYC Commodore Les Crane added: “I think registration is going very smoothly and John Osmond who is the race chairman has done a fabulous job putting all this together.

“We’re registering the boats ensuring all the paperwork is complete and that everyone is in compliance with the rules that allow them to race.

“The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club work closely with the Cruising Club of America who are partners in this race and we’re up here to ensure everyone understand what to expect when they get to Bermuda.”

There are a number of social events that will take place in the final lead up to the start of the race, not the least of which is the ever popular Gosling’s Rum Newport Shipyard Crew Party.

“We will have a great Bermudian party sponsored by Gosling’s at Newport Shipyard on Wednesday night,” Mr Crane said. “There will be Dark & Stormies and music and it will be a lot of fun.”

The 2012 Newport Bermuda Race commences June 15 and concludes several days later in St David’s. The RBYC Anniversary Regatta presented by Butterfield Group will be sailed in the Great Sound on Friday, June 22nd.

See below for more on the Spirit of Bermuda

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