The Tough Triathalon of Ocean Racing
The Onion Patch Series is a tough, diverse three-event 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 racing. 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. As a fitting reward, the Onion Patch concludes with Royal Bermuda Yacht Club's Anniversary Regatta's delightful and exuberant racing on the Great Sound and surrounding bays and harbours.
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 sail consistently well through a variety of conditions and challenges. Ultimately, the Onion Patch Series rewards strong, capable all-round consistent performance… a true demonstration of a yacht’s depth of performance, of the crew’s seamanship skills, 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 June 9 and June 10, 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 Friday, June 15 after the NYYC Annual Regatta.
- The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta: Two races on Friday June 22, after the Newport Bermuda Race. In recent years the format has included a short first windward-leeward race and a beautiful around the buoys race among the islands of the Great Sound, the Granaway Deep, Port Royal Bay and finishing near the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in Hamilton Harbour.
Who Sails the Onion Patch?
Entries range in size from the smallest to the largest yachts that are in the St David’s or in the Gibb’s Hill Division of the Bermuda Race that are dual scored under the IRC rule. Crews include amateur family skippers and 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 nations, yacht clubs, or other sailing organizations.
Entry for the series and the NYYC and RBYC events may be made on the New York Yacht Club website: http://www.nyyc.org/158th-annual-reggatta-jun8-10/. An application for entry for the Newport Bermuda Race is through http://www.bermudarace.com/. The Onion Patch Series Notice of Series, results, photos, and much more are at http://www.onionpatchseries.com/. Series entries close on Thursday, June 7.
Prizes are awarded at Government House as part of the Bermuda Race Prize Ceremony.
Crew Finder Service for Friday Racing in The RBYC Anniversary Regatta
Again in 2012, The Onion Patch Committee will be assisting skippers to find crew in Bermuda who are available to compete on Friday for the beautiful sailing in Great Sound. 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.
Both the NYYC Annual Regatta and the RBYC Anniversary are also open to individual entries that are not able to compete in the entire series.