Gulf Oil Disaster Impacts Newport Bermuda Race

June 10, 2010

[Written by By Talbot Wilson] The starting line for the Newport Bermuda Race will take on a new look this year. When the first warning sounds at 1:50PM on Friday afternoon June 18th, it won’t come from the deck of the US Coast Guard vessel Juniper, but from the deck of the 126-foot S&S Pilothouse Ketch Axia. Juniper had become a tradition for the race since Brenton Light was removed and the race start moved to within one-half mile of Castle Hill Lighthouse in the East Passage of Narragansett Bay.

Juniper has been called away because of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Bill Barton, Bermuda Race Organizing Committee (BROC) member in charge of the starting line operations, said, “It is unclear if the Juniper was actually deployed to the Gulf, or if she was called to duty to replace another vessel that went to the Gulf. Either way, the Coast Guard has since confirmed that they had no assets they could offer for the starting line boat.”

Axia was designed by another BROC member Bill Langan. She is owned by New York Yacht Club members George and Cathy Sakellaris. The New York Yacht Club Race Committee will start the 635-mile ocean classic with Tinker Miles as the Principal Race Officer. With a fleet of over 180 boats there will probably be about 15 classes again this year. The one dozen race officials will have their hands full with a start every ten minutes from 2:00 PM until the last class is on their way.

Axia racing in the St. Barth's Bucket Regatta. Photo by Cory Silken

Axia racing in the St. Barth's Bucket Regatta. Photo by Cory Silken

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  1. Laurion says:

    Ah, this reminds me of playing the ‘Bermuda Race’ game on the Apple IIs at Saltus. That was seriously “back in the day”.