by Talbot Wilson

Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club (RHADC) BERMUDA, June 17, 2019: At 0730 ADT Monday morning Kiwi Spirit, the Line Honors leader of the Marion Bermuda fleet, was 125 nautical miles out from the finish. That’s a little more than 143 statute (land) miles.

Finishers are not expected for at least another 20 hours. Estimated time of arrival off St David’s Lighthouse is 0 ‘dark’ 0300 or so.

Kiwi Spirit, designed originally for Dr .Stanley Paris' single-handed circumnavigation, was sailing at 6.6 kts steering a course of 144º. She's sailed by a Riley family crew with 18-year old Jo Riley as the skipper.

Eugene Berardi’s MachBuster, a Little Harbor 70, has moved up into second place for line honors poised to strike some 20 nautical miles behind the leader. At 0730 she was doing 7.4 kts steering 158º. MachBuster will push the Riley's boat hard from behind as winds lighten on the leader as the day develops.

According to 'Predict Wind', one of the data layers on YB Tracking, Kiwi Spirit and the front of the fleet had a southerly breeze at about 10 kts. After being well to the West, they were tracking just east of the original rhumb line from Buzzards Bay to Bermuda’s Isles. The wind shift is in control.

Selkie, the Morris 32 which was winner overall in 2017, was near the back of the fleet (the second smallest boat this year), 250 nautical miles from Bermuda. She was sailing briskly at 7.4 kts in 14 kts of SSW wind. By mid-day Monday, winds for the fleet are expected to swing back to the southwest, but only in the 10 kt range.

Abigail, Robert Buck’s Aquidneck 52 from Marion MA, was some 20 miles back and a little further west than Kiwi Spirit. She was sailing at 7.3 steering 160º to Bermuda. Abigail is still holding on as the predicted leader of Class A... at this time, according to the predicted data on the YB Tracking.

Monday’s estimated leader in Class B was still the US Naval Academy's Gallant, a Pearson Composite Navy 44 skippered by Christian Hoffman. She was doing 7.9 kts steering 151º

Dauntless— a double-handed Sabre 425 is the new predicted leader In Class C. She's sailed by Matthew Breuer (designated skipper) with Paul Kuechler both of Boston MA. They were making 7.4 kts at 152º. Their wind was around 14 kts at 202º

Cordelia, still the leader of Class D on Monday morning, had 200 miles left to Bermuda. She was making 7.4 kts steering 152º. Cordeliais skippered by Roy Greenwald of Marion.

The classic schooner Tabor Boy from Tabor Academy in Marion MA continues as the sole competitor in the Classic Division. They were sailing at 7.5 kts steering 158º. Wind near them was 11kts at 200º.

This morning the boats were sailing into the north part of Bermuda ‘parking lot’ area where nothing good can happen, fast. This is an area some 50 nautical miles from Bermuda that extends all the way to the finish. The island is surrounded by its own tricky currents and tides. It’s well known areas of light patchy winds.

Handicap Adjustments
The Founders Division boats will be sailing under a new “anti-bias” version of the ORR handicapping system. The new system designed by race organizers in collaboration with the Offshore Racing Association (ORA) should remove the bias against faster boats by eliminating the “Parking Lot” effect.

The “Parking Lot” effect is the bias which occurs when faster boats loose time against slower boats in low or no-wind conditions usually experienced south of the Gulf Stream and north of Bermuda and often as evening falls on boats at the mouth of Buzzards Bay.

The “Parking Lot” adjustment will be applied as a time correction factor based on actual vs. predicted performance of the first three boats to finish. It will only be applied if conditions are appropriate according to how these boats perform. If the pace boats beat their predicted times, it is clear that they sailed fast and there was no ‘Parking Lot” at all. In that case, no correction will be applied.

All of the race details, including an explanation of the handicap correction system and formula, for the race are published in the Sailing Instructions.

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.

Press Contact
Talbot Wilson