How to watch the start of the Newport Bermuda race

How to watch the start of the Newport Bermuda race

The 51st Newport Bermuda Race will begin on Friday, June 15.

NEWPORT – If you are not one of the more than 1,500 sailors wrapping up preparations for the start of the 51st Newport Bermuda Race on Friday, June 15, then you have less than a week to plan how to watch one of the greatest sailing spectacles held on Narragansett Bay.

Organized by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the biennial Newport Bermuda Race is one of the world’s premier ocean races, testing the abilities of sailors as they cross the cold waters of the continental shelf, the rough and squally Gulf Stream, and, finally, the warmer waters on the approaches to Bermuda.

The warning gun will be fired at 1 p.m. for the first of seven divisions of racing boats which range from 32.5-112 feet in length.

A visit to the Goat Island Marina, Newport Shipyard or the docks along the Newport waterfront will allow sailing fans to see the boats prior to Friday, June 15. On race day, with the start close to land, there are numerous public shoreside areas from which to picnic and watch. The northern end of Fort Adams State Park is ideal for observing the 171 boats depart Newport Harbor; once they start jockeying for position in the East Passage of Narragansett Bay, the west side of Fort Adams and Brenton Point State Park, along with Jamestown’s Fort Wetherill and Beavertail State Parks will provide excellent vantage points.

The starting line itself will be located between a yellow buoy near Castle Hill Light and a staff displaying a flag aboard Whitehawk which will be anchored near mid-channel. Nearest to the starting line is the famous Castle Hill Inn with its sloping waterfront lawn. The inn charges for parking and asks that you not bring food or drink.

Online spectators will have front row seats for the action via Facebook Live where Nic Douglass, host of “Adventures of a Sailor Girl,” will share interviews with crews and the race committee in the hour before the start, as well as commentary on each class as it gets underway between 1 and 3:30 p.m. A wrap-up show will air at 6 p.m. To watch the live feed — or view it later – visit Newport Bermuda Race or Adventures of a Sailor Girl on Facebook.