The Newport-Bermuda Race and the Great Lakes - Sail Magazine

The Newport-Bermuda Race and the Great Lakes

Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
6
 The trophy won by the Lloyd W. Berry

The trophy won by the Lloyd W. Berry

This year marks the 50th running of the iconic 635-mile biennial Newport-Bermuda Race, and if the past is any indication, expect to see any number of freshwater sailors taking part in the “thrash to the onion patch.”

In fact, Great Lakes sailors have been racing to Bermuda for almost as long as there’s been a race, with a crew from Lake Erie’s Rochester Yacht Club chartering a Gloucester schooner to take part in the second running of the event in 1907. Soon thereafter, in 1910, Demarest Lloyd, a sailor with Chicago newspaper roots, raced the schooner Shlyessa with Mrs. Lloyd in the afterguard, making her only the second woman to take part in the event.

In 1924 a crew from Detroit’s Bayview Yacht Club also sailed the Lloyd W. Berry to victory in the schooners and ketches division, bringing a trophy back to the Midwest that then served as a prize in the Bayview-Mackinac Race, which they created soon afterward.

More recently, a regional prize for the best performance by a Great Lakes boat was introduced in 2014, with the inaugural honors going to Chris Van Tol of the Bayview Yacht Club aboard his C&C 35 Eliminator. And with no fewer than 16 Lakes boats having taken part in the race between 2010 and 2014, it’s a safe bet they aren’t the last.

“Our Newport-Bermuda Race featured, for the most part, beautiful weather and good sailing conditions,” said watch captain Paul Van Tol. “The winds approached 20-plus knots for only one 12-hour period, with large swells of up to 12ft, but we otherwise enjoyed clear skies and decent winds. Pilot whales that swam under the boat, breaching whales and dolphins that left gray phosphorescent trails along our bow, were an added bonus to our journey.”

For more on this summer’s Newport-Bermuda Race, which is organized by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and starts on June 17.

Based on an article originally published on the Newport Bermuda Race website,bermudarace.com.

February 2016

Related

01-Lead-photo

Boat Review: Gunfleet 43

Many couples dream of selling up and casting off, but the prospect of downsizing can be daunting. How do you pack your life into some 40ft of LOA after living in a 2,000ft house? Maybe the British-built Gunfleet 43 has the answer. No, you can’t bring your hot tub, but with the ...read more

2017-05-22-154228

Cruising: the Aleutian Islands

The rain blew sideways as we beat to windward.Rock!A welter of whitewater appeared fine to starboard. Were our charts for the Aleutian Islands off? In the past few years, we’ve become accustomed to the fine charting in Alaska—could there be an uncharted reef off the Kilokak ...read more

04-Cup-Congressional-Cup--14-Credit-Bronny-Daniels700x

36th America's Cup: American Magic

While much of the yacht racing world has had its eyes glued to the Volvo Ocean Race these eight past months, the behemoth that is the America’s Cup has also been slowly but surely lurching into motion, following the publication of the official AC75 class rule in late March.Here ...read more

180521-Lead2048x

Volvo Fleet Heads to Europe

After days of rain, calms and fog, the Volvo Ocean Race Race fleet enjoyed perfect sailing conditions for the start of Leg 9 in Newport, Rhode Island, on Sunday. It then promptly plunged back into yet more fog as it headed offshore toward the finish in Cardiff, Wales, a little ...read more