by Talbot Wilson
Marion MA, June 14, 2019: The fleet of 39 Marion Bermuda yachts is on its way to Bermuda. 38 of the boats are in the Founders Division and one is a Classic yacht. The first start between the classicsTabor Boy and Spirit of Bermuda set the pace with an aggressive move by Spirit running down the starting line, crossing close ahead of Tabor Boy.
But the maneuver didn’t pay off for the big black Bermuda Sloop. She ran the line in front of Tabor Boy clear ahead. Then when she got to the pin end of the line and hardened up into the wind, she actually sailed outside of the yellow pin, beyond the starting line.
Whoops! She did not start properly, but continued to sail the course southward on a beat out of Buzzards Bay.
Failure to cross the starting line means that Spirit of Bermuda did not start.
Under the rules, Spirit had four hours after the class started to return to the line and actually start properly. Her class start time was 1210 hrs. When she did not return by 1610, she was ruled a non-starter, DNS, and will not be scored in the race.
Founders Division classes A (fastest) through D (slowest) started in reverse order after the classics. All went well. In the Class D start three of the boats had reefs in their mainsails. By the time Class D started, winds had built to a steady 20 Kts with gusts to 30. The tide flooding against the southwest wind made for lumpy going. Reefs were deep and headsails small.
Frolic, sailed by a crew of four with Beverly Yacht Club past Commodore Ray Cullum at the helm, got the best start in Class D. The Dixon 44 from Marion MA dug hard for the Eastern shore of the Bay.
In Class C, Scrappare, David LeBlanc’s Catalina 42 from Seekonk MA, Dauntless, Matthew Breuer’s double-hander Sabre 424 from Boston, and Meridian, Murray Beach’s Tartan 4600 from Westwood MA, set the pace.
The Class B leader off the line was NA24 Gallant. She’s a Pearson Composite Navy 44 skippered by Christian Hoffman. They looked very smart coming off the line.
Machbuster, the last boat to start in Class A, was flying an orange and white storm jib, prepared for the worst. She’s a Little Harbor 70 skippered by Eugene Berardi from Kingston, NY.
Races within the Race
Competition for special awards is a unique attraction for the Marion-Bermuda Race. The Notice of Race has all the details. Go to the website for photos and descriptions of the trophies and the competition for them.
The R&W Rope Rigging Solutions 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 has at least four (4) 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 14, 2019. One or more adults at least 23 years old by June 14, 2019 must be on board.
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.
About the Marion Bermuda Race
The 2019 race is the 22nd Marion Bermuda Race and the 42nd 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-two 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.