The water views from along Newport Harbor are already magnificent, but they will be absolutely breathtaking when 26 ocean-going yachts set sail on a course stretching 2,975 nautical miles from Newport to the Lizard in England. For the diverse fleet, which runs the gamut from traditional designs to superyachts, there will be three staggered starts (June 26, June 29, and July 3) just off the lighthouse at Castle Hill. This history-making race is hosted by the New York Yacht Club, Royal Yacht Squadron, Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Storm Trysail Club and will mark the 12th time the New York Yacht Club has been involved in the running of a transatlantic race for crewed monohull yachts (starting with the very first race in 1866). This competition will also set a new standard for transatlantic racing with the creation of a new record – from Newport to the Lizard – to be ratified by the World Speed Sailing Council.
Among those first to start will be the classic yacht Nordwind which took home first place in the classic division of the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge in 2005 (a race that took the fleet from New York City to the Lizard). The second start, on June 29, will include the jaw-dropping ultra-modern 289’ clipper sailing yacht Maltese Falcon, with a mast so high (190’) that it cannot sail under the high-soaring Pell Bridge. In the final group to depart, on July 3, the PUMA Ocean Racing Team – the Newport-based second-place finisher in the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race and entrant in the next edition as well – takes the stage against Rambler 100 and a number of other incredible yachts and high-profile professional sailors. Challenging both mentally and physically, the voyage is expected to take between eight and 14 days and may take the competitors past icebergs, which are still a danger in the North Atlantic in June.
Stay tuned as one of the most memorable fleets in recent memory departs Newport for their place in the record books!