A2B Ocean Race Countdown Has Begun!


Countdown timer to the start of the race.

As Tropical Storm Colin rolls up the east coast and blows out to sea, our final preparations are underway for the 20th running of the Annapolis-Bermuda Ocean Sailing Race. The official start is 1340 on Friday, June 10. The good ship Arcadia, my lifelong friend Lex Birney’s 51-foot Able Marine Apogee, is totally ready! Captain Lex has been hard at work over the last six months getting a lot of details shipshape. Last but not least, she was hauled one more time, and the bottom was cleaned yesterday. She is squeaky clean, looking sleek, and fast.

IMG_1240We braved the Sam’s Club scene, and laid in provisions this past weekend, for Arcadia’s hale and hearty race crew of 8 that will gather Thursday for a shakedown and mandatory safety briefing and man overboard drills. We anticipate 4–5 days for the passage, but if we can blow out of the Bay in a hurry, we could find some pretty favorable winds. That’s still 40-man (and woman) days of food.

The skipper allowed me to make a minor enhancement to the cockpit roofpipe insulation and companionway, adding a piece of adhesive pipe insulation across the leading edge. For us tall guys, I have found that it is not the boom that will get you. The cowling has creased my forehead more times than I can count—or at least remember.

We will be posting a daily sailing blog on these pages and for those who want to check out the leader board, all boats have special transponders and the race committee has set up a special website for realtime tracking for the duration of the race. Look for the Arcadia out in front.


  1. Making sure you have the proper shorts for your arrival on the pink sands of Bermuda.
    BEWARE THE TRIANGLE! Have a great trip.

  2. Colin Neal says

    Our son (Aussie)David is sailing his yacht “Mana” in the race. Wishing all the crews a fun and safe passage to Bermuda and back.

  3. Brian Barone says

    Best of Luck to the Captain and Crew! I love that your race is tied into such a fantastic cause! A great idea for others in 2018!

    • Bill Howard says

      Thanks, Brian. You are doing a great job on shore. Blogging from the water is a challenge but we are up to the challenge. Good stuff coming. It’s gorgeous out here, but looks like conditions will get a little more challenging.

  4. George Ohrstrom says

    Go Arcadia!!
    Hope the winds are fair for you and may you have ” the weather gauge”
    If necessay!

  5. Rosemary Geist says

    Good luck from your outlaw, Rosemary!

    • Bill Howard says

      Will be posting more words and pictures, pretty remarkable adventure. Great to be back on the water. Love you, hope the wrist is healing well.

  6. Alison Geist says

    Go Arcadia! Wishing you a speedy voyage. Are you wearing your lifejacket, Bill??!!! Walloon awaits you.

  7. Elizabeth G. Howard says

    YAY! About to break free of the bay! Seize the moment, Arcadia!

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