Newport Bermuda Race Commits to Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas Program - Sailors for the Sea

Newport Bermuda Race Commits to Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas Program

Press Release

Organizers work toward achieving Silver Level Certification; Sailors for the Sea Board Member Participants in This Year’s Race

Newport, Rhode Island- May 16, 2012 – Sailors for the Sea, the only ocean conservation nonprofit focused on the sailing and boating community, today announces the commitment of the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee for the Newport Bermuda Race to the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas program. Organizers will work toward achieving Silver level certification.

Clean Regattas certification provides independent, third-party verification that a yacht club, sailing program, or regatta is environmentally responsible, and is doing its utmost to protect the waters upon which people sail.

The Newport Bermuda Race, which maintains a tradition of amateur sailing, strong family spirit, and international prestige, is a 635-mile ocean race that lasts three to six days and crosses a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean known for challenging weather and strong currents. This year organizers further enhance the race’s cache of competitive fairness, exemplary safety record and a responsive race organization consisting of volunteer members of the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, with a strong dedication to preserving and protecting the health of the ocean.

“The Newport Bermuda Race is one of the oldest and most prestigious offshore races in the world,” said Annie Brett, program lead, Sailors for the Sea. “Certification of this regatta will send a significant message regarding the importance of ocean stewardship to the sailing community and beyond.”

In seeking certification as a Clean Regatta, the race committee encourages participants to adopt a number of best practices for the health of the oceans, including reducing plastic bottle use, following a leave-no-trace approach to dealing with trash, promoting the use of non-toxic cleaning products and bottom paint, and preventing oil spills. A team has been charged with responsibility for communicating the goals and mission of the Clean Regatta Program to race participants.

John Osmond, chairman of the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee for the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race, said, “We are pleased to register this year’s race in the Clean Regattas program and believe we will achieve Silver level certification under standards promulgated by Sailors for the Sea.” 

Sailors for the Sea Board Member – Rick Burnes – Participates in this Year’s Race
Sailors for the Sea Board Member Rick Burnes, who is himself an avid sailor and no stranger to offshore racing will participate in this year’s Newport Bermuda Race. He will be racing Cybele, an IMX 45 he co-owns with Sailors for the Sea Chairman David Rockefeller, Jr. His life-long love of sailing has provided him the opportunity to sail extensively in waters around the globe and made him profoundly aware of the dramatic decline in marine life occurring among local waters and the ocean.

Burnes notes, “My love of sailing started 45 years ago with my learning to sail on Cape Cod and later moving to extensive ocean cruising and racing. I’ve had the great fortune of making a trans-Atlantic passage to Scotland via Iceland, and having cruised extensively on the East Coast from the Caribbean to Newfoundland, as well as in Alaska, Scotland, and the coast of Turkey.” Burnes’ cruising experiences coupled with his race experiences – participating in 18 Bermuda Races, Halifax Races, and a Fastnet Race – have provided him the opportunity to see the ocean as vibrant yet fragile where its health is challenged by human interaction.

Burnes believes that, in addition to participating in Clean Regattas, the best way for sailors to help revive the oceans is to band together to influence governmental policy. He applauds this year’s Newport Bermuda Race organizers on their commitment to Clean Regattas certification and “looks forward to participating in all efforts aimed at making the ocean healthy and prosperous for all who enjoy it.”

More about Rick Burnes
Rick is a member of the Cruising Club of America and has been a member of the Inspection Committee for the last 10 Newport -Bermuda Races. He is a past Commodore of the Wianno Yacht Club on Cape Cod. Professionally, he was a founder of Charles River Ventures, a firm specializing in starting hi-tech companies. He is currently Vice-Chairman of the Sea Education Association, an organization that operates two 135-foot brigantines as oceanographic training and research vessels. He is also Chairman of the Museum of Science in Boston.

About Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas program
To participate in the Clean Regattas program, regatta organizers commit to carrying out at least one Best Practice. With three levels of certification, participants select their level of engagement, and work to fulfill the related certification requirements (five for Bronze, 10 for Silver, 15 for Gold), relating to:

  • trash and recycling collection and disposal
  • discharge
  • oil spill prevention
  • green cleaning products and bottom paint usage
  • bottom cleaning and boat maintenance
  • global warming and carbon offsets
  • biofuel conversion
  • use of recycled materials in regatta awards

About The Newport Bermuda Race
The Newport Bermuda Race is a biennial 635-mile ocean race sailed since 1906 and organized jointly by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. Approximately 165 boats in six divisions are expected to cross the starting line at Newport on June 15, 2012. The race ends off St. David’s Light, Bermuda. The race website,
, carries race rules, news, videos, photos, and expert advice. Race news is also posted on the Newport Bermuda Race 2012 Facebook page and on Twitter at @BdaRace.

About Sailors for the Sea 
Founded in 2004, Sailors for the Sea is a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers the boating community to protect and restore our oceans and local waters. For more information or to participate in any of the Sailors for the Sea programs, or to become a member and support the organization, visit