By Lori Ellis @

Downtown Newport is buzzing as sailors prepare for today’s Newport to Bermuda race. I walked down to the docks at lunchtime yesterday to check-out the scene. Lots of boats scrambling to get ready for today’s 12:50pm start. As of 5:00am this morning the weather report is calling for light winds out of the northwest. It will be a beautiful day to catch the scene from Castle Hill or boat.

The Newport Bermuda Race is a 635-mile ocean race, much of it out of sight of land, usually lasting three to six days. It crosses a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean known for challenging weather, especially in the Gulf Stream, where there are strong currents.

Every two years in mid-June, more than 150 boats start from the historic seaport of Newport, Rhode Island. The fleet has five divisions to allow seaworthy boats of many sizes and types to be raced fairly and aggressively for an array of trophies awarded in Bermuda at an elegant ceremony at Government House, the residence of the governor of this tropical island.

In keeping with the 100-year traditions of amateur sailors and strong family spirit, most of the boats tend to have amateur crews comprised of friends and family members. The race maintains its international prestige through competitive fairness, an exemplary safety record, and a responsive race organization handled by the volunteer members of the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. Sailors everywhere dream of adding the Newport Bermuda Race to their life list of adventures.