Newport Bermuda Race Welcomes Multihulls

For the first time ever, the Newport Bermuda race will allow multihulls 58 feet and larger to compete in the iconic offshore race.

multihull
Phil Lotz's Gunboat Arethusa will be one of the first multihulls to take to the line for the Newport Bermuda Race.Sara Proctor

The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee (BROC) is pleased to announce that multihulls will be welcomed into the 2018 edition of the Newport Bermuda Race. Commodore Jim Binch of the Cruising Club of America, Commodore Leatrice Oatley of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and Race Chairman Jonathan Brewin issued a joint statement:

“We are very pleased after careful study and consideration of the unique and challenging characteristics of our race to welcome multihulls of 58 feet and longer.”

Some of the “unique and challenging” characteristics that the Commodores and Chairman refer to are that the race crosses the Gulf Stream; the race is sailed principally offshore beyond coastal rescue resources; the race is generally a tight reach (i.e. not a downwind race). Addressing further these issues Commodore Binch stated:

“We take safety very seriously. The Cruising Club of America committees have studied the issues exhaustively. Our Technical and Safety committees have been communicating with experienced owners and leading multihull designers. I am pleased with their recommendations for this historic first inclusion.”

It is anticipated that there will be 10-15 multihulls on the starting line in June of 2018 if not more. Owners have expressed interested in the past and some having heard of this announcement are already stating they will come. Greg Gigliotti owner of “Tribe”, a Gunboat 62, said enthusiastically “Absolutely, We’re in!”. Also committed is New York Yacht Club Commodore Phil Lotz with his Gunboat 60 “Arethusa”. Commodore Lotz reached at the St. Thomas Spring Regatta spoke of his enthusiasm for the Gunboats, and the HH’s and other ocean-going multihulls from Morelli & Melvin, Nigel Irens and other leading designers to compete for the first-ever Bermuda Race multihull line honors.

Appropriate classes will be made within the multihull division, separating high performance, performance-cruising and cruising multihulls, using a new VPP-based rating system from the ORA called ORR-MH. Therefore, it will not just be a battle for line honors. There are 445 days to the start of the 51st running of the race. A lot can happen between now and then. Stay tuned for more news and updates.

Interested multihull owners should contact info@bermudarace.com to discuss crew requirements. Crew requirements for multihulls will be separate from normal Bermuda Race requirements and will require all crew to have completed a significant race or passage and 100% of crew attending “hands-on safety-at-sea” seminars.