*File photo
*File photo

With 120 applications for entry received for the upcoming 49th Newport Bermuda Race, the race’s organizers are hailing a larger-than-usual proportion of first-time entries as the April 1 entry deadline approaches. 

More than a quarter of the applications are from boats that have not sailed the race. 

“It’s satisfying to see so many experienced sailors entering a boat in the race for the first time,” said Bermuda Race Organizing Committee Chairman Fred Deichmann in a press release. 

Registration for the Bermuda Race is online at  http://BermudaRace.com. Race applications submitted after the April 1 deadline will be subject to a penalty applied to the boat’s corrected time.

Deichmann added that the race’s safety at sea seminar on March 15 at Newport is experiencing heavier than usual sign-up.

He urged sailors to register soon at http://BermudaRace.com/entry/safety-at-sea-seminars. 

Deichmann announced that the Newport Bermuda Race will again participate in the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regatta Program. 

“We are asking sailors to help the race achieve Gold Level status for the 2014 race by taking steps to protect the environment,” he said. “Sailors are deeply concerned about the health of the waters we sail in.”

The race starts in the mouth of Narragansett Bay, crosses the Gulf Stream, and finishes in the fragile waters off Bermuda’s reefs.  Crews follow environmentally friendly routines to “leave no trace” and adhere to other guidelines.

For example, because a big concern is keeping plastic out of the ocean, sailors use non-disposable drinking mugs.

The 2012 Newport Bermuda Race was awarded Silver Level status by Sailors for the Sea, a non-profit organization committed to ocean stewardship. Details can be found at http://sailorsforthesea.org n