Rally to the Cup 2017: FAQs

Below are frequently asked questions regarding the "Rally to the Cup 2017."

Will there be dock space for my boat Bermuda?

There will be room at the St. Georges Dinghy and Sport Club for about 30 to 40 boats depending on size and first come first serve. However we do not have access to the entire club until the afternoon if June 15th since the club has a bi-annual commitment to the Bermuda One/Two Race and they depart the morning of the 15th. There might be room for a few boats before then, but we will not know until late next spring. The club should be applauded and we respect that they want to retain their commitment to the Bermuda One/Two since they are regular event sailing to Bermuda every two years and the Americas Cup might be a onetime event.


What will it cost for dockage?

The Club raised their dockage to $2.00 a foot a couple of years ago, but we can expect this to perhaps double again for the Americas Cup. We will let you know as soon as they set their prices. Anchoring out has always been free in the past and we expect this to remain so. I have heard they are introducing a new permit fee to replace the $35 per person head tax. I am told it will work out to be about the same as before. We will let you know when we find out.


What are my other options if I do not sign up in time to get dock space at the club?

There is a planned designate anchorage area for participants in the Rally to the Cup and we will have a launch service to get you to and from your anchor boat so you do not have to sail to Bermuda with a dinghy if you do not wish to. We also hope to allow a rotation of boats at the Club so boats that might need repairs or need to plug in for a day or two to charge up or get water can come alongside while boats are out on the race course or to ask some boats at the dock to volunteer some time at anchor so other boats can come alongside for repairs and charging proposes.


Can I depart from my home port?

For historical reasons the main fleet will depart from Newport, but we also plan to have a couple of other official departure ports. However we understand that most people to not have an unlimited time to sail to and from Bermuda and be there for the entire America’s Cup finals. It might not work out to spend time sailing from their home port to one of the designated starting areas so we will have a plan “B” for you to depart from your home port and still get a weather routing report to meet us in St. Georges when the bulk the fleet plans tom arrive.


How will on the water viewing work?

The ACEA (Americas Cup m Event Authority) will let the public know how to purchase a “course flag” so you can be part of the spectator fleet. As soon as they decide what the costs will be, we will let you know and help you with plans to be on the course if you wish. You will also be able to watch the race on jumbo screens at the Race Village and in locations ashore to be determined. I think many people will agree that watching on TV might be better than being on the race course and will be more exciting watching from the race Village or ashore in Bermuda.


Who is organizing the “Rally to the Cup”?

The “Rally to the Cup” is being organized by Hank Schmitt and Offshore Passsage Opportunities. Hank has sailed to Bermuda from the East Coast over 25 times and from the Caribbean North an additional 20 times. He will also be sailing with the fleet.


What about the return passage?

There is no formal return passage, but we will help organize groups of boats which plan to depart about the same time and plan for some weather information.


If I need help getting to or from Bermuda how do I get crew and what will they cost?

Hank Schmitt runs the crew network Offshore Passage Opportunities. We can help you get crew for fee that will sail for free and plan to pay their own way to and from the boat. This is also a free service to you. If you do not have time to sail your own boat to or from Bermuda we may also be able to help organize a skipper that you would approve of and pay and then he can work with OPO to provide a free crew.


How do I sign up if I have a boat?

Simply fill out the online signup sheet and pay the initial entry fee. You can add crew at a later date. If you have any questions you can call us at 631-423-4988 or 1-800-4-PASSAge (631-472-7724). If I am at sea and do not answer or call back right away, my wife checks the phones and e-mail while I am offshore. Once you sign up will we continue to send you updates about the rally. You worry about getting your boat and crew ready and we will worry about the logistics


Are their safety requirements or inspections of boats?

Like our NARC Rally we do not have a limited list of gear or safety requirements. We expect all boats to meet US Coast Guard safety requirements and boat owners will be asked to sign a waiver so we are free from litigation, but we try to keep things simple.


Are you part of the America’s Cup?

We have no affiliation with the America’s Cup. Rather we are working with the many friends we have met in Bermuda over the last 17 years of organizing the NARC Rally. We have a very good relationship with the St. Georges Dinghy and Sports Club members and officials and also Bermuda Yacht Services that runs the recreational waterfront in St. Georges. It is because of our good relationship of being easy to work with and being well organized that has helped us plan the event.


What if I do not have a boat?

If you do not have a boat and wish to sail to or from Bermuda and be in Bermuda for all or part of the America’s Cup just let us know and we might be able to help you sign aboard as crew or you can join one of our Swans sailing to or from Bermuda for a fee. We also plan to have a limited number of places to stay ashore. But you will have to let us know early since space will be very limited for this big event. Call or e-mail for more information at offshorepassage@sprintmail.com