4. OCEAN RACE: Annapolis-Bermuda Race // 750 Miles & 11 Days // $4,500 // 6 Available
Note: Dates are official, June 5 RACE START. The official RACE START is on a Friday, with PRIZEGIVING in Bermuda the following Saturday. Trip dates for crew are set June 3 through June 14.
Race down the Chesapeake and across the Gulf Stream to Bermuda onboard our S&S Swan 48 Isbjorn, one of the all-time classic ocean racing machines! We try to get in one big ocean race per year, and this will be our first point-to-point race after having completed the RORC 600 a few times. Racing offshore takes ocean sailing to another level, and the teamwork element of it makes it a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
There will certainly be a Naval Academy entrant or two, and as you may know, Isbjorn spent 20 years as a training ship for the Midshipman, then called Insurgente, and indeed raced to Bermuda in the 1972 Marion-Bermuda Race, winning her class under a crew of Middies! So we'll have fun competing against the US Naval Academy!
The race itself is about 750 miles - 150 miles down the Bay, then 600 miles offshore to Bermuda, with a Gulf Stream crossing thrown in to challenge our weather forecasting & navigation skills. Crew will join Isbjorn in Annapolis a couple days before the race start to get familiar with the boat and have two days of training together as a team. We'll sail out of Annapolis Harbor and into the Bay, practicing all points of sail, spinnaker work, etc.
Note that crew will be required to stay ashore before the race in Annapolis and after the race in Bermuda. We race with 10 (8 crew plus Andy & Mia), so there is simply not enough bunks onboard! Offshore, we'll 'hot bunk' - and anyway, 5 people will be on deck at all times anyway! All crew will have full access to all official race activities at the Eastport Yacht Club in Annapolis, and at our hosts in Bermuda.
Once the race starts, it'll be full-speed ahead as we sail the 'freight train' that is Isbjorn to the Onion Patch out in the Atlantic. We'll run a 4-on, 4-off watch schedule with 4-5 people on deck at all times, with rotating roles for the crew. Each watch will be split into 1-hour smaller shifts - helming, navigating & trimming sails. All crew will get a chance to participate in all aspects of the race.
In Bermuda, we'll unwind with the classic 'Dark N' Stormy' rum drink and relive the excitement offshore with the other crews we've raced against! The trip will officially 'end' after the prizegiving event in Bermuda, but we encourage you to stay and explore this beautiful island on your own!
Photos from 2016 RORC Carib 600 Race
Other Important Info
Paul Exner, aka the ‘boat whisperer,’ is an old friend and easily the most knowledgeable sailor we’ve ever sailed with. He’s got a great story too - Paul built his own Cape George Cutter from a bare hull, then sailed her solo down to the BVI, where he’s run offshore expeditions on her for years. After Hurricane Irma, Paul fixed up his damaged boat and sailed her all the way to Hawaii, where he relocated his family in the wake of the devastation in the Caribbean.
Simon grew up spending his summers on his parent's “summer cottage," a classic Vindö 50, and got his first boat when he was only 7. He has been working on boats of all sizes for the past 12 years, including passenger ferries in Stockholm, RIBs, offshore construction vessels in the North Sea and most recently as Project Manager at HOC Yachts in Stockholm & Visby. He's currently a manufacturing engineer at Candela Speed Boats.
Ben sailed with us across the North Sea in May 2018, specifically to get some time aboard for working with us in the future! He’s got his own sailing business out of Bainbridge Island (outside Seattle), running day-trip and multi-day cruises in the Pacific Northwest on his beautiful 44-foot Pearson Countess Ketch TRUE. When he’s not sailing, Ben is a professional musician with his band St. Paul de Vence.
Tom & Darlene and longtime friends of ours who have sailed thousands of miles with us on ISBJORN and other boats we’ve delivered over the years. Tom was there from Day 1, driving to Connecticut with us the first time we set eyes on ISBJORN, and indeed sailing her south to Annapolis on her first-ever passage with us. They cruise extensively on their Ericson 38 KOMPASS.
Tom & Darlene will be Simon’s mates on the San Juan to Key West passage in April 2019.
August is the Norwegian sailor and friend of ours who loaned us the rifle for the Svalbard expedition. We first met through Andy’s podcast, and later finally met in person in Longyearbyen. August went to school to learn sound design and production, and both his dad and grandfather were documentary filmmakers. He grew up on the west coast of Norway and has sailed his entire life, and over the past few years has decided to follow that passion and has started doing it professionally, mainly in the challenging and harsh Norwegian Arctic.
August will initially be sailing with Andy on ICE BEAR for the passage south from Lunenburg to Annapolis in summer 2019.
Dennis has sailed many thousands of bluewater miles and stands in for Andy when he can't (like when he got appendicitis offshore!). Dennis is also super-supportive of the whole charade, and Andy & Mia use his basement as temporary storage when they're home. Sadly, Gail died of brain cancer in 2012.
Click here to read more about how to register and join us offshore!
Click here to read in general about the best way to get to & from the boat. Specifics on each trip will be emailed to you in a series of newsletters once you register. It's ocean sailing - be flexible in your planning!
Click here to read about what you get - and what's not included - when you sign-up for this passage.