January 31st Newsletter: STIR / Newport-Bermuda Racing and Bareboat Class – Sign up Now!

Varuna on her way to another win in 2017.

Bareboat Class + STIR Racing in the Caribbean

Two students are signed up for the Bareboat Class that starts on Sunday, March 22nd, with one space left (the class was full, but one couple had to drop out last week).  Interested in doing a bareboat charter and experiencing a variety of the Caribbean Islands?  Ready for the Caribbean warmth?!!  If so, our Bareboat Class will give you all the needed skills to sail or Charter in a beautiful and interesting environment.  It’s also possible to take the class with a 2nd person joining you as an observer.  

The class is an intensive 4 day program covering everything from clearing in and out of the foreign country (the British Virgin Islands) to Med Mooring, with lots of navigation practice, reefing, anchoring with one and two anchors and docking.  We even cover little tricks like bringing a dingy through the surf.  Plus there’s time for relaxing and enjoying the great food and drinks the Virgins are famous for.

On Thursday March 26th we set up Varuna for racing, and may do a practice race, with the St Thomas International’s Regatta running on Friday to Sunday, the 27th to 29th.  The students continue to run the boat before and after the race, so the learning continues. 

Many members fly down for the race, and enjoy some of the best sailing and parties one could imagine!  The Member rate is $756, or $840 for non-members.  Accommodations range in cost from $60 to $160 a night.  If you wish to join us for either the Bareboat Class or just the racing, please contact us now!

Here are some comments from our students;

“The lessons and week of sailing could not have been better. Martin is a top notch sailor who not only knows his Sailing but is a true teacher. He explained how to do things, when to do them and why. We spent the week sailing, practicing MOB drills, reeling, and studying for the cruising exams.  But never was there a dull moment or a time when we weren’t learning.  We also found time to explore, snorkel and enjoy the sunsets.  Our partners who did not complete the course were less “on duty” but also were part the crew, helped sail, learned a lot, and enjoyed themselves.

I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to do any serious sailboat cruising.  My understanding of sailing a larger mono hull, sailboat navigation, diesel engines and docking has grown by leaps and bounds.  And it all happens in the warmth of the Caribbean on what I considered a vacation.  Take the plunge and I promise, you won’t regret it and you will become a much better sailor for life. Thank you Martin!” -Tom March 2017

2020 Newport to Bermuda Race!

The Newport Bermuda Race starts on Friday, June 19th (Father’s Day Weekend). This is the one of the three major ocean races in the world (the others being the Sydney/Hobart and Fastnet race). Generally a 4-day race, the Newport Bermuda is almost three different races.  The start of the race, with generally around 200 boats on the line, is a thing to behold.  Smaller boats start first, so you are treated to the spectacle of some amazing yachts heading out to sea.

Just after the Bermuda Race Start!

First, there are coastal conditions as we race out to the Gulf Stream. Naturally, the waves often build as we head offshore, and the first night out is often cool. Our target is generally an advantageous eddy or meander in the Gulf Stream, which we ride as long as possible (and sometimes is not at all where it was forecast). After we exit the Gulf Stream, it’s a drag race to the beautiful island of Bermuda.  Very often light winds are the rule, so keeping the boat moving in the light stuff becomes all important.  Several times we have gone into wind seeker mode, where we are using the ocean swells to roll the boat and generate a surprising amount of forward movement.  After 5 days and almost 700 NM, boats often correct to finishing minutes apart, so every few hundred feet we gain over competitors counts.

Monhegan at the finish line in 2006.

For 2020, we will return to the race with ‘Monhegan’, our J44, a classic racer/cruiser that was specifically designed and built with the Newport Bermuda race in mind and still rated one of the best sailing yachts of all time.  The cost is $3,294 for Members, $3,660 for non Members. Returning Bermuda Race participants get another 5% off.  The cost includes SSC training and at least one practice race.  Members have priority, but have to let us know within a week.  On Friday, Feb 7th we will have a 6pm meeting to review the STIR Regatta and Newport Bermuda Race.

For a registration form, please call or email us today.  For more information about the race, please go to;
Bermuda Race

2020 Calendar 

Bareboat March 22nd -26th  
March 27th-29th
STIR Racing  
Newport to Bermuda Race Jun 19th-Jun 26th