2024 Caribbean Rally Newport Departure

New England SDSA members have an option of an organized and fully supported departure from Newport RI as an alternative to the traditional Hampton, VA start.  The support offered by the Newport arm of the 2024 SDSA Caribbean Rally will parallel the Hampton departing boats, but will be tailored to a New England fall departure.  

The SDSA's Newport departure is now the only rally to the Caribbean originating from New England. The SDSA began its Newport RI departure program in 2022, in cooperation with the North Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, and many of the traditions that made the NARC successful over the last 20+ years will be maintained by the SDSA.   All participants will congregate in Newport during the last week of October, where excellent options exist for anchoring, mooring, or for reduced price slips at Newport Yachting Center or at The Marina at Brown & Howard Wharf.   Also enjoy reduced price dining at Benjamin’s all week long.   One day before departure, a gathering for final weather briefings will take place at the Seaman’s Church Institute, followed by Crew Dinner at Benjamin’s.  

The goal of the 2024 Newport departure is to support seasoned off-shore captains and crew, both in planning the passage to Antigua and during the delivery.  The SDSA believes that this may be accomplished either with a planned stop in Bermuda or as a non-stop passage, and that this decision is informed by weather conditions and forecasts, including while on passage.   A non-stop passage can be reasonable under favorable weather conditions, while a short Bermuda stop can break up the long passage into two shorter segments, and can allow for reprovisioning, refueling, rest and crew changes. Weather forecasting and routing support by Chris Parker and MWXC will be provided, both prior to and during the passage.  

All boats planning a Newport departure in 2024 will be subject to acceptance by a designated SDSA committee.  Also in advance of the rally, participants will be asked to designate their preferred strategy of either a pre-planned stop in Bermuda or a straight run to Antigua if conditions permit.  Should weather change or other last-minute situation arise where a change of Bermuda strategy is warranted, rest assured that can be accomplished, even while on passage.    For New England departing boats, “The Rock” is always there to provide safe harbor. 

Those who choose in advance to make a Bermuda stopover will have the opportunity to enjoy traditional welcome events in St. George, and will also benefit from a waiver of the Bermuda Cruising Permit.  Fees for the Bermuda event package will be on a per person basis and include an informal  Happy Hour night at the St. Georges Dinghy and Sports Club (nothing too elaborate just in case some boats are not in yet or are too tired for a function the first day in port), a Gossling's Rum Tasting party by the Bombay Dance Troup, and a Fish Fry night at the St. Georges Dinghy and Sports Club.

Keep in mind that Shoreside team support and free weather routing by MWXC is a time-limited benefit. Therefore we recommend that captains who choose to stop in Bermuda plan a 1-3 day Bermuda stop, followed by a departure at the first available safe weather window.   

More details to follow!   

For questions contact [email protected]