With a month to go until the registration deadline, organizers have logged about 200 entries for the 47th Newport Bermuda Race, set to start June 18. The biannual race logged a record 265 starters in 2006—the year of its centennial. But in 2008 that number dropped to 198 boats.
“Despite the economic turmoil since the last start, we have a wonderful turnout from around the world, with many new boats and skippers,” said Race Chairman Bjorn Johnson. “This is a heartening confirmation of the value and importance not only of this race, but of sailing in general.”
The 635-miles classic, which was founded in 1906 and is currently co-sponsored by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club has averaged about 160 boats per race since the late 1960s. As in year’s past, the 2010 Newport Bermuda Race will feature some of the world’s hottest raceboats, including Niklas Zennstrom’s 72-foot Rn, the Class 1 winner in the 2009 Sydney-Hobart.
Another competitor to watch is New Jersey sailor Peter Rebovich and his 45-year-old Cal 40 Sinn Fein, which he has owned since 1973. The winner of the St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy winner in 2006 and 2008, Sinn Fein is a victory away matching Carleton Mitchell’s Finisterre, which posted three-straight wins in 1956-60.
The three fastest boats from 2008 are also coming back. These include the 99-foter Speedboat, which was first to finish, the 90-foot Rambler and Puma racing’s Il Mostro, which took second overall in the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race.
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