Newport Bermuda entries closing soon

The J130 Christopher Dragon, seen here at the start of the centiennial, 2006 Newport Bermuda Race, will sail in 2012 as Dragonfly with first-time skipper Colin McGranaham of Larchmont NY. Jimmy Sykes skippered his first Newport in the same boat then named Bombardino and Andrew skippered his first Newport race in her as Christopher Dragon.
Talbot Wilson - Copyright
As of Sunday March 25th, 172 boats have been entered in the registration system for the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race. Of these, 161 have filed their AFE’s and 147 have been invited to race. According to information supplied on the applications, there are 48 boats that are new to the race. This does not mean that there will be 48 new skippers because some these are experienced owners with new boats.

Applications for entry in the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race are due on April 15th. Colin McGranahan of Larchmont NY has already entered his J130 Dragonfly. McGranahan is a new skipper in the race, but the boat is a veteran.

Jimmy Sykes sailed his first of eight Bermuda Races to date on that same J130 then named Bombardino. She has passed through another owner and is now Dragonfly. Andrew Weiss raced her to Bermuda as Christopher Dragon. Sykes is competing this year with his current Bombardino, a Santa Cruz 52.

McGranahan explained, 'In her life between Bombardino and Dragonfly, the boat was Christopher Dragon for 10 years. The owner at that time, Andrew Weiss, who will be racing his newer Christopher Dragon again this year, had his first Bermuda race as a skipper in 2006 aboard the boat.

'This will be the veteran J130’s third trip carrying a first-time skipper to Bermuda,' McGranahan added. 'All three of those skippers will be racing to Bermuda this year. The circle continues! Not sure how many boats in the race can make that claim.'

Entries continue to grow as deadlines approach. 'With three weeks to go until the Application For Entry (AFE) deadline,' said Brin Ford, Database Chairman for the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee, 'things are slowing down a bit. We are about 20 boats behind the 2010 pace.' The 2010 race had 183 boats, the third largest fleet in the 106-year-old event.

'We should see a flurry of entry activity as we get close to the April 15th cutoff for AFE submissions,' he added. 'We have 12 additional boats that have been registered online but have not completed the AFE process. Of these, five are previous participants.'

John Osmond, the 2012 Chairman noted, 'Sometimes owners who have raced before put off their entry because they have gone through the drill before. With three weeks to go it is time to put their hat in the ring if they are going to make the next deadline, that’s May 15th, to submit all of the required documentation.'

'We encourage all the sailors who still want to sail this classic ocean race to get their name in the pipeline. The Newport Bermuda race is an invitational event. It is a process that takes some time to accomplish. Skippers wanting to participate must apply and be invited by the organizing committee. Final approval of the entry depends on inspection of the boat, and experience of the skippers, watch captains and crew.' Osmond concluded.

Applications for Entry into this invitational adventure are being taken under on the race website. The classic 635-mile race offers racing in five divisions— The St. David’s Lighthouse (amateur) Division, The Cruiser (amateur) Division, the Double Handed Division, the Gibbs Hill (professional) Division and the Open (professional) division. There is great competition for all levels of commitment and experience.

About 40 of the two Lighthouse Division entries are expected to sail the Onion Patch series, a tough triathlon of offshore racing. Boats compete in the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta in Newport, then race to Bermuda, and finally sail in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta. Information is online here.

Newport Bermuda Race website