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Old 15-10-2017, 16:05   #1
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Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

Looking to sail my Bristol 35.5 from Newport, RI to Bermuda (NTB) and back as a cruiser. Missed the "cruiser's race", Marion Massachusetts to Bermuda this yr due to more outfitting to be done so am considering 2018's, June NTB. Fees are $1250 + $70/crew member. Question is why enter other than bragging rights? I can use the site's on line resources to safety check my boat, re-review the Gulf Stream info, subscribe to online weather briefings, take safety @ sea course, and provide family with real time location with available electronics, so am I missing something if I just sail on my own, w/ 3 crew?
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Old 15-10-2017, 19:55   #2
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

Crew? Just do it singlehanded. It's a very enjoyable offshore sail. I've done it twice alone, and reccommend it highly.
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Old 16-10-2017, 05:35   #3
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

I've done the Annapolis Bermuda race twice. There is value in the safety inspections and daily check-ins. There is some comfort knowing that there are boats nearby even if they are over the horizon. Don't forget the cost of a raft, sat phone, storm sails and for Newport to Bermuda having the boat weighed and measured.
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Old 16-10-2017, 06:59   #4
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

Also, the Coast Guard pays fairly close attention to these races, which is worth something.

And the parties and other social events at both ends are always lots of fun.

The committees also handle a lot of logistics for entrants, helping with repairs, provisioning, transportation, etc in Bermuda.

But if you're not even slightly competitive and don't care about racing, it probably does not make sense financially. As mentioned, the costs to prep the boat to meet safety requirements usually far exceeds the entry fees.
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Old 16-10-2017, 07:22   #5
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

I think it makes complete sense to meet the safety requirements, even if you are not racing. In my case, it gave the Admiral great peace of mind to know the boat had been thoroughly checked out, even when cruising.

BTW, the entrance fee for Annapolis Bermuda is lower and there is no charge for crew.
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Old 16-10-2017, 12:36   #6
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

It's a race not a cruise. In a race you push and push and push. On a cruise you reef early and read a book. There is a place for each, but they are very, very different. You pick.
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Old 16-10-2017, 14:50   #7
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

Was going to crew with older brother and my 2 sons, but singlehanding has its merits.
Yep, haven't forgotten about the cost of raft (plan on renting), sat phone (ugh!), and storm sail.
Good point about the USCG being tuned into the area and the close proximity to other boats.
Admittedly NTB is a race, so we would push some, but who's to say you cant read a book when not on watch. In lieu of tacking with every wind shift, we might just slacken the sheets. My Bristol displaces about 16,000 pounds, LWL of 27.5 ft, and about 600 square feet of sail, so we probably wont be setting any 24 hour distance records to Bermuda..
Brought a boat back from the Annapolis to Bermuda...except I live in CT.
Event parties...is cost of alcohol included?? With the right Scotch, $1250 may be doable.
thanks
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Old 16-10-2017, 21:17   #8
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

Some booze included, but all of it rum.

The cost to get the boat rated will likely be the tipping point for you. Other factors are through reading the requirements list. Solas flares, sat phone (must be permanently installed with externally mounted antenna, and always turned on), in cabin manual bilge pump, at helm MOB trigger, EPIRB, cockpit drainage requirements, companion way boards, storm trysail (in orange), emergency steering systems, etc., etc.

Finally resumes of the crew, if you and at least some of your crew (especially navigator) don’t have pretty significant offshore racing experience, you will have a tough time getting accepted.
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Old 16-10-2017, 21:19   #9
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

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Originally Posted by Orion Jim View Post
Crew? Just do it singlehanded. It's a very enjoyable offshore sail. I've done it twice alone, and reccommend it highly.


Double handed is minimum number for N2B. Huge experience resume required for qualification.
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Old 17-10-2017, 02:36   #10
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

I find it a sad thing when the personal injury and other lawyers drive the offshore racing rules. I'm glad that I did mine when participation was not so mired in artificial requirements.

Next thing every nation will be following the Kiwi's and having the same sort of rules for cruising. I do not look forward to that.

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Old 17-10-2017, 08:07   #11
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

Jim,

I don't think the lawyers are driving it. You sign a release when you enter. The ISAF rules are the result of prior failures of rigs and hulls. Yes, they are a PIA, but they help minimize damage and loss of life.
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Old 17-10-2017, 08:29   #12
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

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Jim,

I don't think the lawyers are driving it. You sign a release when you enter. The ISAF rules are the result of prior failures of rigs and hulls. Yes, they are a PIA, but they help minimize damage and loss of life.
Totally agree. I'm prepping for a Pacific race next year and have seen what happens with equipment changes following a couple really tragic events. There's a lot of grumbling when it results in boat owners no longer wanting or able to go because of costs or too onerous requirements. As someone who appreciates safety while pursuing high risk activities (I plan to go solo), I've been OK with them and understand the reasoning behind the equipment rules, but they are extremely expensive and time-consuming to meet.

On the other hand, some might think there's more safety in a rally or race event because of the additional scrutiny and other boats nearby. There might be to some extent, but there are also tradeoffs to consider (weather window might be poor, but race goes on; nearby boats trigger more alarms, etc).
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Old 17-10-2017, 08:47   #13
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

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I find it a sad thing when the personal injury and other lawyers drive the offshore racing rules. I'm glad that I did mine when participation was not so mired in artificial requirements.

Jim
That's a bit unfair Jim. Review the OSR for pretty much any ocean race and you'd be hard pressed to find any rules that are even borderline unreasonable. They generally are "common sense turned into requirements". In addition, most races grant waivers on a case by case basis (although not for the core safety requirements). Don't have a viable means of securing the mast base to the mast step? It may be let slide.

There are two foci of the OSR; ensure that past experience and best practice informs the outfitting of boats to reduce preventable tragedies, and raising the bar high enough that inexperienced knuckleheads pay adequate attention to safety and are educated in the process. That's one reason why there are training (Safety at Sea, First Aid) requirements for a percentages of each crew.

Hoodsail, I will say that racing with a crew is more fun. It's more social, more relaxing and less tiring, and ultimately more rewarding when you consider the whole experience end to end. If your ultimate goal is just to get to Bermuda, the A2B race might be more attractive. It costs less, is less competitive, and crossing the Gulf Stream off of the Chesapeake is more straightforward than it is farther north (narrower, less eddies). However it's a longer race in miles, and there is the complexity of racing down the Bay which makes it basically two races in one.
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Old 17-10-2017, 09:59   #14
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

Appreciate all of the insight and perspective. When all said and done, I am leaning toward using the NTB safety recommendations as guidance (e.g., probably forgoing the permanently mounted sat phone w/ antenna - may rent one and store next to mounted VHF) but not entering the NTB.
thanks again.
dave
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Old 17-10-2017, 17:33   #15
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

OK, my lawyer statement was unfair... sorry 'bout that! I still feel that the requirements for racing have escalated too far, but I understand the general feeling that risks must be minimized in all activities, especially in "risky" activities like yacht racing.

My years of racing were long ago, and I kinda think we were less gung ho and driven to extremes back then. Low budgets lead to conservative behavior (at least in my case) and serious accidents were very rare, even without rigorous safety rules. And nearly all the racers that I knew had worked their way up from dinghies and over some years time. I think that may have provided a better skill resource base than the "lets buy a big boat and go racing" environment seen at times these days.

At any rate, my real fear was expressed at the end of that post: that similar rules and regs will be placed on cruising boats and cruising sailors, all in the name of universal safety. And beyond doubt, I think that is a bad thing. YMMV.

Jim
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