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Newport Bermuda Race-Prep Series Begins with Bucket List Webinar in February

Winter and spring Zoom webinars will offer Q&A with experienced racers serving as panellists

The Bermuda Race fleet leaves Newport with colorful spinnakers set in a northerly breeze in 2014. Daniel Forster/PPL photo

Why is the race known informally as the “Thrash to the Onion Patch” a must-sail race for so many offshore sailors? The course covers 635 miles of open ocean—departing the chilly spring waters off Newport, crossing the turbulent, rapidly flowing Gulf Stream, and finally approaching the reef-encircled islands of Bermuda. Not a challenge to take lightly, the race gives captains the chance to take their own measure—stepping up and taking responsibility for preparing their boats and crews, crossing the starting line, and navigating safely to the finish and then home again. 

The 2021 Race Prep webinar series begins February 9, 7pm EST, with an interactive introduction to the race: “The Newport Bermuda Race is on Your Bucket List.”

Aspiring competitors will be invited to ask questions and sign up to work with special “race ambassadors” for assistance as they tackle race preparation and training over the next year until the race starts on June 17, 2022. 

Register on the Race-Prep Webinar page for one or all six webinars and submit your questions in advance.

  • Hank Halsted - A veteran of 17 races, Halsted often sails in the Doublehanded Division. He is chairman of the race’s Qualifications Committee, advising captains on how to build out an experienced crew.
  • Dick Holliday - A five-time competitor in the race, Holliday serves as head of the race’s ambassador program, pairing less experienced entrants with those who can answer questions on all race topics. 
  • David Wilson - A Catalina 36 owner, Wilson has a fresh perspective on sailing the race for the first time, as he did in 2016, and in particular preparing a series-built boat to meet the safety standards for the race. 

There is no charge for the one-hour event, and prospective crew are welcome to attend as well as captains. Registration is required at where you can also review and sign up for future webinars, including “Bermuda Race Tent Party—Sea Stories from Young and Old” and “To Finish First, You First Must Finish – Safety & Yacht Preparation for the Bermuda Race.” (Note: webinar topics and schedule subject to change.)


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