Bermuda Ocean Race Update

Brad Cole’s team of Midshipmen, set the chute and set sail for Bermuda

When Brad Cole is coaching sailing with J World Annapolis, he works with the Varsity Offshore Racing Team (VOST) at the US Naval Academy.  Brad, set sail Friday in the Annapolis to Bermuda Ocean Race aboard the Navy 44 and has been posting some news and photos as they race down the bay.  You can track the race HERE to follow their progress.

The race has been structured to provide a combination of inshore and offshore racing previously not available. Divisions are established to insure fair matching for both cruising and racing boats.  A major objective is to enhance the art of navigation for more sailors. This includes piloting through the 125 miles of Chesapeake Bay coastal waters and navigation of the 628 mile offshore leg. A2B provides these challenges within a framework designed for safe offshore sailing. It enables many sailors to fulfill a lifelong ambition: a blue water passage to an island of coral with white sandy beaches and hospitable people.

The first Annapolis To Bermuda Race was established in 1979 with seven yachts that competed informally. The organizers determined there was sufficient interest for this type of race and it became an accepted biennial event starting in 1980. Since then the fleet has grown and now attracts both racing and cruising boats. The fleet is limited to 50 entries. This allows the committee and host clubs to be responsive to the needs of each entrant–a major objective of the race organizers.


Brad Cole, in the role of coach for the Naval Academy Varsity Offshore Sailing Team,  is currently racing from Annapolis to Bermuda.  He kindly allowed me to post his photos and notes.


Two Navy 44’s from the Naval Academy Varsity Offshore Sailing Team (VOST), “INTEGRITY” and “GALLANT.” (Summer training for the Midshipmen.) Getting ready to sail to Bermuda with Navy in Annapolis to Bermuda Race.  “INTEGRITY” dressed and ready to head out to the pre-start parade.


Not much wind, but lots of sunshine here in Naptown…


My fellow coach studying the Jennifer Clark Gulf Stream predictions/forecast. 


DEFIANCE will be racing in Newport to Bermuda.


Dock lines dropped, departed Santee Basin….


Holland McCabe


Pre-start parade in Annapolis Harbor underway…


Grundy’s Alden Schooner.  He is taking that down on this race to house his Newport to Bermuda crew. He will be racing his new Carkeek 47, “Grundoom” in the N to B.


We started at 1345. “GALLANT” got off the line a little ahead of us. Enough breeze to move us along…  We are on a beam reaching on port tack in 12-14 knots of true wind. 


1630 and wind has gone light…



…Assistant navigator (A Nav), Zach, keeps his watch sailing the boat on an optimal course. 


Sun going down. Hopefully wind will come back up overnight.  


 I’m on watch until 2400 and then again at 0400. Four hour watches at night, three hour during the day.   Glad to be through Bridge Tunnel and into ocean!  Boat is now moving well and  we are on a beam reach making SOG of 7.2 under a beautiful starry sky.  I’ll loose cell service as soon as we exit the Chesapeake Bay, and be out of communications until we reach Bermuda on Wednesday or Thursday if winds are light.  Next update from St, George’s, Bermuda.  Dark ‘n Stormy here I come! 

Track the race here:

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