‘Spirit Of Bermuda’ Joins Newport Bermuda Fleet

April 9, 2012

[Written by Fred Deichmann]

The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee is pleased to announce that the Bermuda Sailing Foundation’s sail-training schooner “Spirit of Bermuda” will join the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race fleet, sailing in the new ‘Spirit of Tradition’ Division.

The biennial classic gets underway in Rhode Island on June 15.

Her participation is expected to provide a demonstration of her sailing prowess in the spirit of the seafaring traditions of Bermuda.

Because of “Spirit of Bermuda’s” three-mast schooner rig, she is unable to be fairly and officially rated for competition against the modern design boats that make up the rest of the fleet, and so will sail in a class by herself.

Her “Spirit of Tradition”‘ Division will highlight both her traditional design and the prevalence of the schooner rig in yachts racing in the early years of the Newport Bermuda Race.

“Spirit of Bermuda” is a purpose-built sail-training vessel owned by the Bermuda Sailing Foundation and based on civilian Bermudian-type schooners built in Bermuda by blacks and whites between 1810 and 1840.

“Spirit of Bermuda” sailing in the Great Sound

The original hull shape was adapted from the Bermuda-built Royal Navy “Shamrock” class: fast dispatch/patrol vessels that ran from the Royal Naval Dockyard northwest to Halifax and southwest to Jamaica to contain the rebel colonies.

In nearly six years of operation since September 2006, “Spirit” has provided a character development program based on experiential learning to over 2,600 young people and has sailed over 38,000 miles in overseas voyages to 17 ports in 10 countries.

Alan Burland, Chairman of the Bermuda Sailing Foundation, said, “‘The opportunity to participate in the Newport to Bermuda Race will help us to achieve our goal of providing experiences that instill Bermuda pride in our youth. We are honoured to be launching the new ‘Spirit of Tradition’ Division.”

“Spirit of Bermuda” was designed by noted naval architect Bill Langan of Langan Design Associates of Newport, Rhode Island, built by Rockport Marine in Rockport, Maine and launched in 2006. Built to American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) standards and operating to United Kingdom regulations under the Bermuda flag, she is 86 feet on deck and 118 feet overall including her bowsprit, and displaces 230,000 lbs.

The ‘Spirit of Tradition’ Division in the 2012 race is an invitational demonstration division developed to experiment with the re-introduction of traditional schooner rigged vessels to the Newport Bermuda Race.

Whether this Division will be present in future races will depend on the experience of “Spirit of Bermuda” in 2012 and the likelihood of developing enough interest to provide competition and to warrant development of a suitable rating system for such vessels.

“Malabar VII”, sailed by her designer John G. Alden, won the 1926 Bermuda Race sailed in that year from New London Connecticut. She took the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Bermuda Race Trophy as her prize.

This was the first year the Cruising Club of America teamed up with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club as co-organizers. In 1936 the starting line was moved to Newport, Rhode Island and the race became the Newport Bermuda Race as it is known today.

Traditional schooner rigged vessel ”Malabar VII” won the 1926 Bermuda Race 


Read More About

Category: All, News, Sports

Comments (8)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Doug says:


  2. Drugrunningspirit says:

    Awesome, think of all the guns and drugs it can bring in this time.. Another landing in Bermuda without customs search.

    • Spirit makes a difference says:

      You are showing an incredibly high level of ignorance and disrespect to the hard working, admirable professional crew who dedicate their time and effort in transforming better youths for our country. While this organization is changing lives and making a difference in our ill fated future you are doing nothing but tarnishing their reputation on false accusations. Shame on you for not even knowing these individuals and calling them drug running low lifes. Having just sailed in and having gone through an incredibly time consuming customs search it is obvious Customs is stepping up and will no doubt be on their game for the races this year.

      • Drugrunningspirit says:

        Royal Gazette January 31,2012. You call me ignorant, maybe you should read the paper. While it is stated that it is alleged, it has never been dis-proved. I am glad to hear that customs stepped up to the plate when you cleared but, the “professional” captain you speak so highly of should still of know what his crew was bringing on board..

    • You are a real a$$ to think so negative about Bermudas national pride. Grow up an worry about what your doing d!ck head freak

  3. strugglin' onion says:

    That will be super . . . Hopefully, the crew will consist of young & old experienced sailors too!

  4. star man says:

    She’s a very fast boat. A work of art really. She might win. Now THAT would be cool!

  5. Triangle Drifter says:

    Get the Pride of Baltimore involved & we will have a race.