Youngest All-Female Crew Set to Compete from Newport to Bermuda on June 17.
The stage is set for the biennial Newport to Bermuda Race, beginning June 17th, 2022. This 635-mile ocean race nicknamed the “Thrash to the Patch,” is often considered the most challenging sailboat race in the North Atlantic. And for 2022, well over 200 yachts are entered. Among them will be “Team Bitter End,” the youngest all-female crew ever to compete in this storied distance sailing race.
The team, organized under the auspices or Oakcliff Sailing and featuring sailors from across New England, has been training every weekend in Oyster Bay, New York, and will continue a rigorous training schedule leading up to the race. Oakcliff is a nonprofit sail-training organization located in Oyster Bay, run by Dawn Riley, a member of the first all-female team to sail around the world. In addition to her offshore sailing accolades, Dawn is slated to be inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame this October. Oakcliff has provided the team a Farr 40 to train on & race aboard.
“We are very excited that one of my favorite regatta venues, Bitter End Yacht Club, has chosen to support this historic program,” said Riley. After nearly 50 years building (including four years post-Hurricane Irma rebuilding) the coolest sailing resort on Earth, they know the value of hard work and resilience,” she added.
The race crew itself is primarily between the ages of 16 and 19 years of age, plus skilled offshore sailing coaches, including noted round the world racer Libby Greenhalgh. Greenhalgh was navigator onboard Team SCA in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. In addition to regular weekend training, in the lead up to the Bermuda Race the team competed in the 186-mile Block Island Race (May 2022). By race-time, they estimate they will have logged well over 2,000 nautical miles.
Bitter End Yacht Club is delighted to support this enthusiastic and determined crew of young female sailors. According to Bitter End founding family member, Lauren Hokin, “For over 50 years, Bitter End Yacht Club has enthusiastically introduced the sport of sailing to young girls and boys from all over the world, many of whom have developed life-long passions and professional careers within the sport. Bitter End is dedicated to continuing this tradition and we are thrilled to be a part of this historic moment for women in sailing.” Hokin grew up in an offshore racing family and is very familiar with the training that goes into such a voyage.
And, it is no surprise that Team Bitter End will be outfitted by Bitter End Provisions, Bitter End’s apparel and accessories brand designed by sailors, for sailors. We can’t wait to see Team Bitter End on the starting line off Castle Hill and look forward to welcoming them ashore in Bermuda. If you are interested in supporting Team Bitter End in their quest, you can support the effort by picking up your own Bitter End Crew Dritek shirt at Bitter End Provisions and the proceeds for all Bitter End Crew shirts will go to Team Bitter End. Click here to purchase.
*Image Note: Team Bitter End photo by Oakcliff Sailing/Becca Hassel