On Saturday, Aug. 15, Newport’s Ida Lewis Distance Race (which is being sponsored this year by Jeanneau America) will kick off with a record number of entrants on the starting line. With many other events cancelled this summer, the annual event has attracted more participants than ever despite necessary alterations to the regularly scheduled activities. “It definitely will not be your normal Ida Lewis Distance Race,” said Event Chair Pat Kennedy. “We have been taking it week-by-week, but we started early on with tailoring the event to family and friends (those who can sail together safely) and keeping our plans flexible.”
For one, a brand-new inshore course has been selected for the PHRF Aloha, Coronet and Cruising Spinnaker classes. This shorter course eliminates the overnight portion in order to help crews that are forced to sail shorthanded due to social distancing practices. Additional adjustments include a VHF broadcast replacing the traditional in-person skipper’s meeting.
The Ida Lewis Distance Race, named for the heroic lighthouse keeper of Lime Rock Light, is in its 16 edition and is a certified “Clean Regatta” by Sailors for the Sea. It will begin at 1100 off of Fort Adams and ends just inside Newport Harbor where members of the Ida Lewis Yacht Club will site the finish line from their clubhouse on Lime Rock.