The Onion Patch Series
The Onion Patch Series, anchored by the Newport Bermuda Race, is a tough, diverse series of international races that challenge the complete range of a yacht’s capabilities and a racing crew’s skills. Yachts compete in the Onion Patch for both individual and three-boat team prizes.
The Onion Patch starts out with the high-level competition of the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, with a focus on fast-paced round-the-buoys sailing. The Series then moves on to the historic ocean racing of the Newport Bermuda Race, complete with the challenges of the Gulf Stream and the joys of “Happy Valley” in the approach to Bermuda. Finally, as a fitting reward, the Onion Patch concludes with delightful and exuberant racing in sub-tropical conditions on Great Sound off Hamilton, Bermuda, with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s Anniversary Regatta.
Why the Onion Patch?
To do well in the Onion Patch Series a yacht does not need to win trophies in the individual races or regattas. To become an Onion Patch winner, the yacht and her crew must demonstrate a broad range of capabilities and skills, and do consistently well through a variety of conditions and challenges. Ultimately, the Onion Patch rewards strong, capable all-round performance: a true demonstration of a yacht’s depth of performance, a crew’s seamanship, and of boat handling superiority.
When is the Onion Patch?
The Onion Patch Series takes place in even years along with the Newport Bermuda Race. All yachts sailing in the St. David’s Lighthouse or Gibbs Hill Lighthouse divisions of the Newport Bermuda Race, and that also sail in the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta, are eligible for the Onion Patch awards.
- The NYYC Annual Regatta – These two days of racing, the weekend before the Newport Bermuda Race, are typically windward-leeward courses off Newport, RI. In even years, the Annual Regatta is a great tune-up opportunity for the Newport Bermuda Race.
- The Newport Bermuda Race – This classic ocean race starts off Castle Hill on the Friday, June 15 after the NYYC Annual Regatta.
- The Anniversary Regatta of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club - Two races in Great Sound, off Hamilton, Bermuda on the Friday after the Newport Bermuda Race. In recent years the format has been altered to include a short first windward-leeward race and a beautiful around the buoys race among the islands of Great Sound, finishing of the docks of the RBYC in Hamilton.
Who Sails in the Onion Patch?
All yachts sailing in the St. David’s Lighthouse or Gibbs Hill Lighthouse divisions of the Newport Bermuda Race, and that also sail in the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta, are eligible for the Onion Patch awards. Entries range in size from the smallest to the largest yachts who are in the St David’s or Gibb’s Hill Division of the Bermuda Race. Crews include family Corinthian crews competing against the professionals. Interestingly, the more amateur crews in the smaller yachts have fared well in the past. This reflects the fact that the series is a combination of ocean racing, windward-leeward, and point-to-point around the buoys day racing, a structure that tends to level the playing field.
Teams and Individual Yachts
Every yacht entered in the Onion Patch Series competes as individual entries with the overall winner capturing the prestigious DuPont Trophy. Approximately half the fleet competes not only for individual honors but also as three boat teams representing a yacht club – with club teams from many countries having been winners in past years.
Prizes are awarded at Government House as part of the Bermuda Race Prize Ceremony.
Crew for Friday Racing in Bermuda – the RBYC Anniversary Regatta
Back in 2012 will be posting of crew that are available to fill in positions on board yachts in the Bermuda Race who wish to compete on Friday for the beautiful sailing in Great Sound but who have crew that have already left for the US. The list of available crew will include names of sailors from Bermuda (with local knowledge useful in the around the buoys racing in Great Sound) and sailors from yachts that are not participating in the Friday racing.
Register for the Onion Patch Series
Registration for the Onion Patch Series is part of the Bermuda Race registration process. Simply fill out the Onion Patch registration form in the registration section of the Bermuda Race web site. There is a $100 registration fee for the series.
Register for the NYYC Regatta and the RBYC Regatta
Registration for both these regattas is part of the NYYC Annual Regatta registration process at www.nyyc.org.
Visit the Onion Patch web site