Marion Bermuda Race Start (Photo by Talbot Wilson)

 

By Talbot Wilson

Marion MA- June 9, 2017: Fifty boats are now hard on the wind in Buzzards Bay or just reaching the Atlantic Ocean. They are racing from Marion to Bermuda in the 40th Anniversary of the Marion Bermuda Race. This classic ocean race is always a challenge.

Paul Hubbard skipper of ‘Bermuda Oyster’ (435) the only Bermuda boat in this year’s race got off to one of the best starts of the day leading the 12 Class D entries over the line the second of four starts today.

Hubbard first did this race in 1987. He said, “ Our boat is in good shape. We had a few things break on the delivery up [sailing the 645 miles from Bermuda]. We got that sorted out at the boatyard here.  This year looks to be a good trip shaping up.”

Bermuda Oyster navigator Stephen Benn was primed for the trip at the Thursday night skipper’s briefing at Tabor Academy and the crew reception at the Beverly Yacht club in Marion. He said, “I’m into last minute prep – just looking at all the data I can, as always. The weather forecast looks good, other than the high pressure in Bermuda that promise slow going for the last 100 miles, as usual.”

“When we arrive,” he added, “It could be a bit of a parking lot out there maybe 100 miles from Bermuda. The Gulf Steam should be pretty straightforward this year. This will be more of a wind race than a current race.”

Hubbard has a crew of regulars aboard— Barbara and John Ashfield from the UK. Steve Musicant, Stephen Benn and Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club [RHADC]  Commodore Neil Redburn, and new crew member Scott Snyder from Denver, Colorado.

The race got off to a good on time start with a building southwesterly breeze that was about 8kts for the first start at 12:10 EDT for the slower Class D Boats. Winds built to a sunny 15kts by the time the fastest A Class boats got off at 12:55.

Only one boat, the Class C Morris 46 ‘Escapade II’ skippered by Tom Bowler pushed the line and was over early. He had to turn back to re-cross the line. That’s not a happy way to start a 645 nautical mile ocean race.

The scratch [fastest] boat ‘Jambi’, a new Hinckley Bermuda 50 skippered by John Levinson should reach Bermuda by late Monday but that depends on where they park and for how long on the sail to Bermuda.

All of the yachts carry YB Trackers and can be follow on http://yb.tl/mb2017.
Race Blogs will also be posted on Boat Blogs.
https://www.marionbermuda.com/race-media/boat-blogs
Race news will be posted at Marion Bermuda Race
https://www.marionbermuda.com

About the 2017 Marion Bermuda Race
The 2017 edition of this classic will see boats ranging from the smallest entry ‘Selkie’, G.J Bradish’s Morris Ocean 32.5 footer from Boston to the largest, the Hinckley SW 59 ‘Pescatore’ sailed by George Tougas of Mattapoisett, MA ‘Pescatore’ is a Youth Trophy team entry.

Nine of the boats, including ‘Selkie’ will sail in the Celestial Navigation Division. In its true Corinthian spirit, the Marion Bermuda Race is the only ocean race to Bermuda that offers a celestial navigation prize.

The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club hosts the race in Bermuda. It is also home away from home for the America’s Cup defenders, the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco, and their defending team, Oracle Team USA. Actual racing in the America’s Cup Match start June 17 on Bermuda’s Great Sound, the afternoon of the Marion Bermuda Race prizegiving.

There are several special ‘trophy’ races within the Marion Bermuda Race.

The Kingman Yacht Center Team Trophy is offered for established Yacht Clubs or Sailing organizations that form a team of three member yachts. The team whose three yachts have the lowest corrected time total will be the winner.

Yachts sailing with a crew of two, a crew of three or four or an all-female crew of any number may compete in the double-handed, short-handed, and all-female competitions respectively. Prizes are the Double-Handed Trophy, the short-handed L. Bryon Kingery, Jr. Memorial Trophy and the Commodore Faith Paulsen Trophy for the ladies.

A “family” yacht racing for the Beverly Family Trophy is one with a crew of five or more with all or all-but-one being members of a single household or a single family may race for the family prize. Persons related to a common grandparent and spouses of these “family”, too.

The Offshore Youth Challenge Trophy encourages youth participation. A “youth” yacht is one with at least 4four youths aboard with at least 66% of the crew qualified as youths. A youth sailor must be 16 years of age or older but not more than 23 years old by June 8, 2017. One or more adults at least 23 years old by June 8, 2017 must be onboard.

The Beverly Yacht Club Polaris Trophy is a prize for stargazers. If a yacht has elected to be celestially navigated, she will receive a 3% favorable adjustment to her ORR rating.

While Marion Bermuda Racers are in Bermuda, the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta runs June 13-15. The J Class Regatta is June 16, 19 & 20. And Red Bull Youth America’s Cup races are spread from June 12 to June 20.

About the Marion Bermuda Race 
This is the 21st Marion Bermuda Race and the 40th year for the 645-mile open ocean challenge for cruiser type yachts.

The first Marion-Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race in 1977 saw 104 starters cross the line. Over the forty years since that first race the race has evolved into a true offshore challenge for cruising yachts, amateur, family and youth sailors. Special prizes abound to emphasis celestial navigation, short handed sailing, family crews and regional competition. The race is handicapped under the ORR rating system to assure the fairest scoring available for ocean racing yachts.

About the Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race Association
The Marion Bermuda Race encourages the development of blue-water sailing skills on seaworthy yachts that can be handled safely offshore with limited crew. The Marion Bermuda Race is a 501(c)(3) organization and among other educational efforts, supports and encourages Youth Sailing programs. The Marion to Bermuda Race is organized and run entirely by hundreds of volunteering members of The Beverly Yacht Club (BYC), The Blue Water Sailing Club (BWSC) and The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club (RHADC) for the Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race Association.

Marion to Bermuda Race (Photo by Talbot Wilson)

The Race Committee at the start of the Marion Bermuda Race always points toward the finish line 645 miles across the Atlantic and the Gulf stream at the sunny isles of Bermuda. ©Talbot Wilson

 

By Talbot Wilson

The Marion Bermuda Race provides an opportunity for cruising style yachts and amateur crews to sail a true ocean race, across the Gulf Stream with the finish line off St. David’s Lighthouse on the shore of Bermuda, perhaps the world’s greatest yacht racing destination.

Marion, Massachusetts: January 17, 2013 – Get your entries in! The start of the 2013 race, Friday June 14th in Buzzards Bay off Marion MA, is only six months away. That isn’t much time for all the preparation a 645-mile ocean race takes. Enter now to get started and look at the important dates and deadlines for skippers, boat and crew. The 2013 Notice of Race is posted at http://www.Marionbermuda.com/archive/2013/nor2013.pdf and entry instructions are tops on the list under the Racing tab on the web.

Entries are now open and must be made online. Sailing Instructions will be posted on April 1st. On April 15th the entry fee increases by $150 then entries close June 1st. Once your application for entry is approved and your yacht is invited to race, crew qualifications and boat inspections are the next step.

A minimum of 30% of the crew including skipper, navigator, and watch captains must have attended a U.S. Sailing sanctioned Safety-at-Sea Seminar within five years prior to the race. Both sailors on the Double-Handed entries must meet this requirement. Marion Bermuda race organizers will host their Safety at Sea Symposium at the University of Massachusetts in Boston on March 23-24.

All yachts must undergo a courtesy yacht inspection by an official race inspector. The deadline for initial inspections is June 1st. Getting your yacht inspected well before the deadline is a good idea. The Equipment Inspection Checklist is online along with comments on various ISAF and NOR requirements. Classic Yachts have different compliance requirements that skippers should address.

The Marion Bermuda Race provides an opportunity for cruising style yachts and amateur crews to sail a true ocean race with the finish line off St. David’s Lighthouse on the shore of Bermuda, perhaps the world’s greatest yacht racing destination. The race is now open to yachts from 32-feet to 100-feet long in three divisions: the Founders Division 32-80 feet now allowing the use of symmetrical spinnakers and spinnaker poles, the new Big Yacht Division 65-100 feet long with a full sail inventory and the new (maybe old) Classic Yacht Division for registered sail training vessels and classic yachts.

The Marion Bermuda Race remains a Category 1 Race, restricted to invited yachts with fixed keels, fixed ballast, complete permanent galleys, enclosed heads and finished interiors with permanent bunks. It is sailed under the ORR rating rule, full or partial, for the Founders and Big Yacht Divisions and under ASTA handicapping for the Classic Yacht Division.

About the Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race Association

Since its inception in 1977, the biennial Marion Bermuda Race has been a premier 645 mile ocean race and sailing event which appeals to a broad range of cruising and racing enthusiasts. The spirit of the race is one focused on Family and Fun, and all yachts and crew are participating for the joy and pleasure of sailing, competition, and the camaraderie that accompanies such an offshore event. The Marion Bermuda Race encourages the development of blue water sailing skills on seaworthy yachts that can be handled safely offshore with limited crew. The Marion Bermuda Race is a 501(c)(3) organization and among other educational efforts, supports and encourages Youth Sailing programs. The Marion to Bermuda Race is organized and run entirely by hundreds of volunteering members of The Beverly Yacht Club (BYC), The Blue Water Sailing Club (BWSC) and The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club (RHADC) for the Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race Association.

ebsite: www.marionbermuda.com

For the Briand 76 Lilla, said Nancy DiPietro, “Winning was one thing, but breaking the all time Marion Bermuda Race record in 2012 was something really special. We were chased down at the finish line by the committee boat who insisted on handing us Champagne & ICE – in another 40 knot wind squall! We were greeted on the dock by RHADC Commodore, reporters and photographers. We were early. We attended the race committee party at St. David’s Light House and had the pleasure of watching the second yacht finish as we sipped Dark-n-Stormys on the hill.” Lilla also won the Cruiser Division of the Newport