Black Watch US71 (R), the 1938 restored classic wooden yawl, a class winner in 2012 now under the command of John Melvin, will return for 2014. Here she is as the 48th Newport Bermuda Race got underway with the first spinnaker start since 2004. There were 165 boats in 17 classes and 6 divisions. Credit Talbot Wilson
Breaking with tradition, the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee (BROC) is opening registration for the biennial Newport Bermuda Race a year in advance of the June 19, 2020 race start. In issuing the Notice of Race for the 52nd running of the event, the initial entry date moves up several months compared to 2018.

The organizers’ goal is to make it easier for competitors to plan and prepare for each aspect of the challenging, 635-mile race, which starts in one country and finishes in another. This is particularly targeted to help the more than 25 percent of captains who will be entering the 114-year-old classic “Thrash to the Onion Patch” for the first time on their own boat.

“As a skipper who has competed several times, I know how much effort it takes to prepare your boat, your crew, and yourself to do an offshore event like this,” said Jay Gowell, BROC chairman. “We want the entry process to support sailors, not be an obstacle. The race is still an invitation-only event, but our intent in starting early is to provide ample opportunity for every qualified crew and yacht to join us in this iconic race to Bermuda.”

Once an entry is submitted, BROC representatives will work with captains to be sure their crew has sufficient experience and that their yachts can be made compliant with applicable safety requirements.

Competitor’s Entry Guide is a central feature of the new website, as well as the chance to apply to be assigned a Race Ambassador, an experienced competitor who volunteers to guide a new captain through the detail of boat preparation, measurement for an Offshore Racing Rule certificate, crew safety training, Bermuda logistics, etc.
Bermuda Race Organizing Committee member Andrew Kallfelz explains the Newport Bermuda Race entry process, which opens June 21, 2019 at 1pm.
“To make the actual entry process more intuitive, the BROC committee has eliminated the ‘Application for Entry’ step from previous races,” said Andrew Kallfelz, BROC entry chair. “All skippers will directly initiate their entry for the race, and, after a brief review, qualified yachts will be issued an invitation to complete the entry process.”  

The fee structure has also been simplified for 2020. Instead of separate fees for application, yacht, and number of crew, there is one fee based on the LOA of the boat. For entrants in the Double-Handed division, a different, graduated fee applies. Entry fees increase as the race draws closer, further encouraging sailors to enter early.BROC has again chosen the SailGate entry system.  A number of modifications from 2018 were made, including an Entry Status view to summarize completed and outstanding items.

Before entry opens, Captains can use the link on the Bermudarace.com site to access the entry system and create or update profile and boat details.  

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.