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Challenger Lecture Series: Sailors Dodge Disaster During Downburst

November 18, 2020, 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Sail Newport, with the help of Meteorologist Mark Thornton of Lake Erie WX and local sailors, will present an online lecture and discussion about the sudden powerful storm that struck Newport on Tuesday, August 25.

Mark Thornton, considered an expert in marine weather forecasting, will detail the severe Narragansett Bay downburst on August 25. Mark will describe the meteorological phenomenon of the “Newport bubble” and the weather event that struck Newport with a sudden and powerful storm.

The panel discussion moderated by Brad Read, Sail Newport’s executive director, will follow Mark’s presentation. Panel guests will include sailors Suma Plowden, Martha Parker, Trisha McElroy, Peter Cronin, and others. The sailors who were on the water for weeknight racing will talk about their experience during the storm that built from five to over 75.3 knots in a few seconds. They also battled blinding-rain, thunder, lightning, hail, and white-out conditions that early evening on Narragansett Bay.

Two boats sank, multiple boats swamped and had man overboard situations, but miraculously, every sailor returned to the dock unharmed that evening.

Online Reservations Required

We will offer one FREE access point per household. If you have multiple people in your home who will also view the lecture on the same device, you only need to register for one (1) access point. We will have a limited number of available access points.

This presentation is open and free to the public.


Please email emily.greagori@sailnewport.org.

Make Reservation

Above Image: Paul Grimes’ 1D35, Courtesy of  Onne van der Wal, 2020