Skip to main content

The Spirit of Bermuda Charity Rally Announced with Socially Distant Scoring


It’s been a season full of disappointments for sailors as race after race have been cancelled, but some sailing centers are using their clean slates as a chance to reimagine what’s possible. The Spirit of Bermuda Charity Rally is one such event, announced as a collaboration between the Bermuda Sloop Foundation (BSF), East End Mini Yacht Club (EEMYC) and the Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF).

Though slugged as a rally, this event is actually more of a rally-race hybrid with prizes for performance as well as amount raised for the Spirit of Bermuda Charity to support youth sailing programs on the vessel of the same name. But like a rally, participants have a range of start options, including flexibility as to when they leave as well as two different offshore course starts. The first is just south of Newport and the second east of the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.


This begs the obvious question, how is scoring going to work? With a lot number crunching, apparently. The SYRF Offshore Scoring system has been developed to eliminate the different conditions, courses and types of boats from basing their scoring. Simply put, the RC will calculate the potential speed of each boat and then create a ratio of real-time spent racing to potential time spent racing. The ratio will be the boat’s score, taking bias factors into account and presumably selecting the crew who sailed with the most efficiency, regardless of their boat or conditions. "We hope this innovation will open the way to other new formats for offshore racing where yachts may sail different course, times and weather and be scored together. Starting and finishing in offshore locations will also help with the accuracy of this method because it minimizes any land-based weather effects encountered closer inshore." Said Larry Rosenfeld, the Technical Director on the Board of SYRF and a principal organizer of the Spirit of Bermuda Charity Rally.


The racers have the option of completing the triangle course and heading home or hanging around in Bermuda for a bit and becoming some of Bermuda’s first visitors since re-opening for tourism. "Like many aspects of life in COVID times, it is innovative thinking like this that can help fulfill the excitement and passion that offshore sailors have for going to sea," said Stan Honey, Chairman of SYRF and world-renowned offshore navigator. "We're really pleased to have this support from Bermuda to put this bold idea to the test in these challenging times."



Just Launched Mid-sized Cruisers

With so many manufacturers dreaming up bigger production boats, more and more mid-sized cruisers fall on the smaller end of their lines. However, “smaller” does not mean less, and the tricks for optimizing larger models have helped with squeezing more enjoyment into less LOA. As more


Charter: Lake Tahoe

A sail on Lake Tahoe has been on my bucket list since the day I first laid eyes on it, and come hell or high water, I decided I was going to someday charter a boat there. North America’s largest and deepest alpine lake, Tahoe sits at 6,225ft above sea level and straddles the more


Escape from New York Part 1

I was never supposed to take my boat through New York City. After getting sucked backward through the Cape Cod Canal on my way south from Maine, when the speed of the current exceeded the maximum speed of my little electric auxiliary, I wanted nothing to do with Hell Gate and more


A Watermaker Upgrade

As a classic-boat sailor, I’ve long held that simpler is the better. I still think this is true: a simpler boat is cheaper, she has less gadgets to break down and there’s a certain satisfaction in knowing you’re able to handle a bit of discomfort. Thus, for a long time, I sailed more


Sailing Speed Records

Although the 1903 defender of the America’s Cup, Reliance, was deemed a “racing freak”—the boat pushed design rules to their limit and couldn’t be beaten, at least in very specific conditions—designer Nat Herreshoff was nonetheless onto something. A century later, purpose-built more


Chartering with Non-sailors

Three tips on managing the madness First-time charterers and first-time sailors aren’t at all the same thing. One group may struggle with beginner chartering issues, like sailing a multihull, catching a mooring or dealing with base personnel. For the other group, though, more


A Gulf Stream Crossing at Night

Even the dome of light glowing above the city behind us had disappeared as if swallowed in a gulp by Noah’s whale. The moon was absent. Not a star twinkled overhead. The night was so dark we could have been floating in a pot of black ink. The only artificial lights to be seen more


Summer Sailing Programs

Every year, countless parents find themselves navigating the do’s and don’ts of enrolling their children in a summer learn-to-sail program for the first time. While the prospect of getting your kid on the water is exciting, as a sailing camp program director, there are a lot of more