NJ man dies after going overboard in yacht race to Bermuda

A New Providence man died at sea on Sunday, after falling overboard during a yacht race from Newport, Rhode Island to Bermuda, the race organizers announced.

Colin Golder was the captain of the Morgan of Marietta, a 42-foot sloop, or single-masted sailboat, taking part in the 635-mile Newport Bermuda Race, the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee said in a release.

The committee said Golder’s crew reported that he went overboard early Sunday afternoon in strong winds 325 miles west of Bermuda, the remote British island territory that sits about one-third of the way across the Atlantic Ocean.

The committee said Golder’s crew recovered his body and headed back to the US mainland on Sunday, two days after Friday’s start of the race. His next-of-kin was notified, the committee said.

On Sunday, Colin Golder of New Providence died after going overboard from the 42-foot sloop Morgan of Marietta during the Newport Bermuda Race. The boat is seen here at the start of the 2014 race. The crew members in the photo are not identified.Daniel Forster/PPL

“The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee, the Cruising Club of America, and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club wish to express sincere condolences to the family and crew of Mr. Golder,” the committee stated in the announcement, referring to the two clubs that have jointly organized the race since 1924.

A person who answered the phone at Golder’s home on Monday said they did not wish to comment.

The Newport Bermuda Race is a bi-annual event with origins dating back to 1906, and the Lighthouse Trophy given to the winner is one of distance sailing’s most coveted prizes. The race regularly includes more than 150 boats with crews of about 10 each.

A spokesperson for the race, John Burnham, said in an email that the race has had “an extraordinary safety record,” over more than a century of competition.

“The joint organizing committee of the two clubs — Bermuda Race Organizing Committee — only permits competitors with demonstrated experience to enter and sail in the race and require that their sailboats and their crews have passed a rigorous inspection and training process,” Burnham said.

While the North Atlantic and the Gulf Stream are known for rough weather, Golder is only the second sailor to die in the race’s history, according to its website.

“In 45 races over a century, only two boats have been lost, one on Bermuda’s reef, and the other in a deadly fire in 1932 that also claimed the Bermuda Race’s only loss of life,” apart from Golder’s, the website states.

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Steve Strunsky may be reached at [email protected]

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