Annual Regattas and Boat Races in Newport, RI: A Sailing Tradition

Photo credit to David Forster

Newport’s rich maritime heritage attracts sailors and boating enthusiasts from across the globe. With its ideal sailing conditions, picturesque harbor, and storied history, Newport is the perfect backdrop for a variety of prestigious regattas and boat races held annually. These events not only showcase the sport’s elite but also celebrate the vibrant local sailing community. Here, we explore some of the most notable annual regattas and boat races that make Newport a premier destination for sailing aficionados.


The Newport Bermuda Race

One of the oldest and most prestigious ocean races, the Newport Bermuda Race (known locally as just the Bermuda Race) has been a fixture in the sailing calendar since 1906. Held biennially in even-numbered years, this 635-mile race challenges sailors with its complex navigational and weather conditions. Starting in Newport and finishing in Bermuda, the race attracts top-tier sailors and a diverse fleet of yachts. The Newport Bermuda Race is renowned for its competitive spirit, seamanship, and the camaraderie it fosters among participants.


The Ocean Race

Leg 11, from Gothenburg to The Hague, start day. 21 June, 2018.

Newport serves as a key stopover in the Ocean Race, which takes place every three to four years. This round-the-world yacht race is one of the most grueling challenges in the sport, testing the limits of human endurance and maritime engineering. Newport’s involvement in The Ocean Race brings a global spotlight to the city, with a host of festivities, fan zones, and opportunities for the public to engage with the teams and their cutting-edge vessels.


Newport Regatta

 photo credit to Ro Fernandez

Organized by Sail Newport, the Newport Regatta is one of the largest and most inclusive regattas in the United States. Held annually in July since 1984, this event attracts sailors of all ages and skill levels, competing in a variety of classes. The Newport Regatta is known for its well-organized races, friendly atmosphere, and the stunning backdrop of Narragansett Bay. It’s a highlight of the summer sailing season and a great way for local sailors to showcase their talents.


Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

Photo credit to David Forster

Hosted by the prestigious New York Yacht Club, the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup is an invitational regatta that brings together top amateur sailors from yacht clubs around the world. Held biennially in odd-numbered years, the event is raced in identical one-design boats, emphasizing skill and teamwork over equipment advantages. The Invitational Cup is known for its high level of competition, sportsmanship, and the beautiful setting of Newport’s harbor.


Candy Store Cup

Photo credit to George Bekris
Photo Credit to George Bekris


The Candy Store Cup, originally known as the Newport Bucket Regatta, is a superyacht race held annually in late July. This invitation-only event features a fleet of magnificent sailing yachts, showcasing the pinnacle of luxury and performance. The regatta is as much a social event as it is a competitive race, with a series of glamorous parties and gatherings. The Candy Store Cup is a visual spectacle, offering breathtaking views of some of the world’s most impressive sailing yachts in action.


Ida Lewis Distance Race

Photo credit to Stephen R Cloutier

Named after the famed lighthouse keeper Ida Lewis, this annual distance race takes place in August. The Ida Lewis Distance Race features a 177 nautical mile and a 150 nautical mile race course over some of the most storied and beautiful sailing grounds in the world. Starting and finishing in Newport, the race takes competitors on a scenic journey through the waters of Southern New England. Known for its challenging routes and emphasis on navigation, the Ida Lewis Distance Race attracts a dedicated following of offshore racers.


J Class World Championship

Photo credit to Onne van der Wal

The J Class World Championship, held periodically in Newport, features the iconic J Class yachts, which were originally built for the America’s Cup in the 1930s. These magnificent yachts, with their towering rigs and sleek lines, compete in a series of races that highlight their elegance and speed. The J Class World Championship is a nostalgic nod to the golden age of sailing and a testament to the enduring allure of these classic vessels.


Newport, RI, is a hub of sailing excellence, hosting a diverse array of regattas and boat races that cater to every level of sailor. From the high-octane competition of the Newport Bermuda Race and The Ocean Race to the inclusive spirit of the Newport Regatta, the city’s maritime calendar is packed with events that celebrate the rich tradition of sailing. These regattas not only provide thrilling competition but also bring the sailing community together, fostering a spirit of camaraderie and celebration. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a sailing enthusiast, Newport’s regattas and boat races offer an unparalleled experience in one of the most beautiful sailing venues in the world.


If you’re interested in buying or selling a property in Newport, RI or its surrounding communities, Hogan Associates Christie’s International Real Estate will gladly be your guide. Call us at (401) 680-6588 or send a message to info@hoganri.com.

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