(June 18, 2010) "If the Newport Bermuda Race is any one thing, it's historic," writes yachting historian John Rousmaniere. "Founded in 1906 as the first ocean race for amateur sailors in normal boats, it has inspired other long-distance races, and has attracted almost 4,500 boats crewed by some 46,000 men and women who have raced nearly 3 million miles to Bermuda. It's a blue-water habit obsession."
The Newport Bermuda Race is a 635-mile ocean race, most of it out of sight of land, usually lasting three to six days. It crosses a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean known for challenging weather, especially in the Gulf Stream, where there are strong currents. Held every two years in mid-June, the 2010 edition starts this Friday, June 18th. If the fleet holds steady at 188 boats, this will be the third largest race in the 104-year, 46-race history of the Thrash to the Onion Patch, after the 265-boat turnout in 2006 and 198 in 2008.