During this 2012 Newport-Bermuda Race year, Royal Bermuda Yacht Club commodore Jonathan Brewin is representing his official host club on land. He heads what he called an amazing team of flag officers, staff and committed membership that help him give back to the sport he adores.
When in January Mr Brewin stepped up as commodore of RBYC, this president of HWP was still dealing with the aftermath of a devastating fire that struck his business last year.
Mr Brewin said: “Essentially, life is a balancing act which needs constant fine tuning. I am blessed to have the support of friends, family, and amazing committed colleagues in both my professional life and at RBYC.”
And so he stayed the course.
“[I was] very honoured and excited to be elected as commodore of one of the world’s greatest yacht clubs.”
Having done 48 races to date, Mr Brewin is no stranger to offshore sailing. He can boast of 10 Newport-Bermuda Races, six Marion-Bermuda and two Fastnets, as well as some 30 more races in the English Channel and the Irish Sea.
Of the Bermuda Races, he’s crewed half a dozen on Dr Colin Coupers’ Swan 46, Babe, and on the doctor’s earlier boat, Vivace. He also raced on Yeoman 21, 26 and 28, and on Nick Nack 2.
His own J160, Big Bear has not yet sailed in the Newport-Bermuda Race.
“She’s registered in Hamilton, but (is) currently in the British Virgin Islands,” he said.
He purchased Big Bear in May 2008, entered the boat in the Marion-Bermuda Race in 2009, but in Newport 2010 raced with Dr Couper on Babe.
Although land-bound this year, the commodore described the bonus he receives from working with individuals who share his love of sailing and with whom he has sailed offshore before.
“In the case of (vice commodore) Somers Kempe and (rear commodore) Jesse DeCouto, [I have raced] thousands of miles. Although I have not sailed offshore with our treasurer, Paul Hubbard, he is a highly accomplished ocean racer in his own right.”
During his tenure, Mr Brewin wants to continue the club’s sailing programme advances, increase membership and introduce new people to the sport, as well as provide enhanced benefits, optimum club maintenance and an assurance of the club’s fiscal stability for the future.
He also wants: “Continued successful liaison with our race partners, the Cruising Club of America and our sponsors to provide maximum fun and feeling of accomplishment to all the crews through safe, swift and successful crossings of the Stream. This includes ensuring newcomers to Bermuda have a wonderful introduction to all we have to offer.”
Mr Brewin noted the continued advances in race management and tracking, vessel reporting and communications of this year’s Bermuda Race.
Considering the most important advice he might offer sailors, the commodore said: “Preparation is the key. Know your boat. Know your crew, and focus on everything, particularly safety-related to ensure you have [that] safe, swift and successful crossing with maximum fun. Of course, also prepare for the fun you are going to have when you get to Bermuda.”
As is customary with the two-year post, Mr Brewin will stand down as RBYC commodore at the end of December 2013, or six months prior to the 2014 Bermuda Race.