The new breed of big, fast, cutting-edge offshore racers will sail in a "demonstration" division for the next Race starting 18 June, 2004.
The Big Boat Demonstration Division is open to IMS Racing yachts with speeds between 413.9s/m GPH and 344s/m GPH, based on the 2004 IMS Rule, and not exceeding 30 meters LOA.
Having the traditional Bermuda Race with the traditional trophies and speed limits sailing along with this high-speed division with a new set of trophies promotes modern design creativity without obsolescing the investments made in the traditional fleet. The new demonstration division will not affect competition in regular IMS Racing and IMS Cruiser/Racer Divisions.
Traditional Newport Bermuda Divisions including two regular IMS and two AMERICAP divisions will continue to race for their elapse time "line honors" under the traditional 414s/m rating limit. The Big Boat group, Division 5, will race for its own prizes and its own line honors trophy.
This Big Boat Demonstration Division is open to IMS Racing types including cant keel and water ballast boats fitting within the rating band. All entries must meet ISAF/ORC regulations and Newport Bermuda safety and stability requirements.
"We welcome this new Big Boat Demonstration Division to the 2004 Newport Bermuda Race"
said John WINDER, Chairman. " Our race is an IMS and AMERICAP™ event. In 2002 we introduced the Gibb's Hill Lighthouse Trophy to give the IMS Racing type boats an equal prize. Now in 2004, we are again enhancing the event by inviting a new breed of boats that are faster than our traditional limit and include cutting edge technology like water ballast and cant keels to sail the race in their own demonstration division. They have now been included in IMS, so we have included them in the Newport Bermuda race. At the same time we are protecting the four other traditional divisions."
The regular IMS Racing Division will, as previously announced, be open to boats with water ballast, but not canting keels. Entries in this division may not rate faster than 414s/m GPH based on the 2004 IMS Rule and may not exceed 30 meters LOA. The IMS Racing Division races for the Gibb's Hill Lighthouse Trophy.
The IMS Cruiser/Racer Division races for the traditional St. David's Lighthouse Trophy. IMS-C/R is for conventional designs, not including water ballast or cant keels, sailed by an amateur captain with a predominantly amateur crew. The 2004 IMS Regulations with US SAILING Prescription 104 limiting professionals will be applied.
The AMERICAP™ Non-Spinnaker Division is intended for less intense programs. It's perfect for fun racing, family crews and new competitors. The upper AMERICAP™ rating limit will match the IMS speed and size is also limited to 30 meters LOA. The AMERICAP™ Double-handers sail spinnaker or non-spinnaker may have water ballast, and the size limit is 68 feet LOA. The Herbert L. Stone Memorial Trophy is awarded to the First to Finish in AMERICAP™. AMERICAP™ Non-Spinnaker races for the Royal Mail Trophy and a significant new 'keeper' trophy. Double-handers race for the Weld and Moxie prizes.
All in all about 90 prizes will awarded in this 635 mile ocean classic. Further details are available on the event website at the address below.