Racing in Rhode Island

New England attracts its fair share of megayachts during the summer season, but from July 18 to 20, upwards of 25 yachts measuring 90 feet and longer will descend on the historic sailing city of Newport, Rhode Island, for the annual Newport Bucket Regatta.

Run by the same folks who bring you the St. Barths Bucket each year, the Newport Bucket emphasizes a fun, congenial atmosphere (witness the crewmembers in the photo below). Owners are invited and even encouraged to participate alongside their captains and crew. And you don’t need to have a yacht built for racing to compete. There are two classes for entrants: Racing-oriented yachts compete as “Les Gazelles des Mers,” while cruising yachts are considered “Les Grandes Dames des Mers.” (Rough translation: gazelles of the sea and grand ladies of the sea, respectively.) And while protests may be part of traditional yacht-racing rules, they’re frowned upon during the Newport Bucket (unless, of course, accompanied by a case of high-quality, chilled champagne).

Even with this emphasis on having a good time, of course, safety and caution aren’t tossed to the wind. In fact, the race organizers say they are redoubling their collision-avoidance efforts. As a result, anyone operating in an aggressive manner will be (to use the polite term) excused from future races.

Since the race attracts some of the best yachts around, naturally some of the biggest names in the megayacht industry are sponsors. These include Alloy Yachts, Holland Jachtbouw, Royal Huisman, Perini Navi, Pendennis Shipyard, Northrop and Johnson, Camper and Nicholsons, and The Yacht Report.

Space is filling up, so if you’re interested in participating, fill in an entry form.

Photos: courtesy Newport Bucket Regatta

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