Thomas Fleming Day
Thomas Fleming Day

The race has Thomas Fleming Day and The Rudder magazine to thank for its founding in 1906.

At that time, its start was out of Brooklyn, New York, and later it had starts out of Marblehead, Massachusetts; New London, Connecticut; and Montauk, New York.

It wasn’t until 1936 that the race started out of its current location –– Newport, Rhode Island, known as one of the major sailing centres on the US east coast.

In the first race in 1906 out of Brooklyn, there were three starters between 28- and 40-feet in length. Fleming Day skippered the boat, Tamerlane, a 38-foot yawl owned by Franklin Maier, taking the honour of winning the first race.

One of the boats from the first race included the first female to sail the race –– Thora Lund Robinson, who was sailing aboard her husband of only six weeks’ boat, Gauntlet.

Not only did she steer the boat over the finish, but she also inspired many women to continue to take part in this prestigious race over the years.

The 2012 race saw the record broken for fastest race with the boat Rambler crossing the finish line in St David’s in 39 hours, 39 minutes and 18 seconds, averaging 16 knots and beating the record time by almost 14 hours.

This year will mark the 49th “thrash to the Onion Patch” and will see around 170 boats at the start line in Rhode Island in six divisions and 17 classes.