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Obstacles en route to the Onion Patch

Held in even numbered years, the 53rd edition of the Newport Bermuda Race is getting its share of tweaks in 2024. The course is being lengthened one mile to 636 nm as the start line has been moved into Narragansett Bay, and it will use the weather forecast to adjust each boat’s rating.

And now the classic course toward Bermuda will have obstacles.

Since the 2022 Newport Bermuda Race, 12 wind turbines (South Fork Wind) have been installed between Nantucket and Montauk, just west of the rhumb line to Bermuda. Many additional turbines (Revolution Wind Project) are planned to be under construction during June 2024 in a nearby large area that includes the rhumb line to Bermuda.

Depending on weather conditions at the start of the race, some of the fleet may be transiting these areas during a period of low visibility.

Depending on the construction activities at the time of the race, an exclusion zone may be established to route the fleet away from the wind farm developer’s vessels. If an exclusion zone is instituted, it is expected that all competitors will have up-to-date charts, tools, systems, and skills to safely navigate through an area of constructed and charted wind turbines.

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