Little ‘Selkie' wins Marion Bermuda Overall
by Talbot Wilson
RHADC Bermuda - 'Selkie', Chip Bradish's 1988 Morris Ocean 32.5 footer from Jamaica Plain near Boston, was the overall corrected time winner of Class D and the entire 40th Anniversary Marion Bermuda Race. She was the smallest boat in the race and was sailed using only celestial navigation.
'Jambi', the Bermuda 50 that was line honors winner, was last on corrected time. She corrected at 127 hours 32 minutes and 38 second and finished almost 23 hours before 'Selkie'. The top eight boats in Class D were the top eight boats in the fleet.
The race started June 9th in Marion MA. 'Selkie' finished June 15th at 51 minutes after midnight. Her provisional elapsed time was 131 hours 40 minutes and 30 seconds. Her corrected time under ORR handicap scoring was 90 hours 44 minutes and 08 seconds.
Sailing with Bradish were Max Mulhern (Navigator), George Dyroff (Watch Captain) and Peter Sidewater (Crew).
'Selkie' and crew will hoist the Gosling Rum Founders Division Trophy, The Beverly Yacht Club Polaris Trophy and Class A first Place Trophy and more. It's a big win for the little boat.
When Race Committee member Alan Minard told him they had won, Brandish was shocked. He asked, "When can I start getting excited." - Minard replied, "Have you done anything wrong, broken any rules? No?... then start now."
When asked later how he had felt when he was told he had won the top prize, Brandish said, "I just got the sense when I walked into the clubhouse and a couple of people cheered. I wasn't sure they were cheering for me but I had that sense. I was excited."
'Selkie' was the third to last boat to finish on elapsed time and first on corrected time. Brandish said that was because "We were the smallest boat and we also got the celestial correction." The celestial correction is a time 3% credit on her ORR rating.
Brandish said, "Oh Man, every night we could see stars. One night the water was so calm it was like a pond, just glassy. All the stars were out. I was just sitting right here on the side of the boat with the tiller in my hand having the time of my life. The moon poked through the clouds and it was majestic."
Brandish has done the race before. This was the first ocean race, the first time offshore for 'Selkie'.
"The trip is always fun," - Brandish added, "to see the Dolphins and the stars. It’s lovely just to be in nature for such a long haul, each and every day. It helps you to quiet down and look at the horizon. Sailing slows you down to a place where you rarely ever get to go."
Selkie-folk are mythological creatures found in Irish, Scottish, Faroese, and Icelandic folklore. Selkies are said to live as seals in the sea, but shed their skin to become human on land.
Race Blogs are posted on Boat Blogs.
Race news is posted at Marion Bermuda Race
'Selkie', Chip Bradish's 1988 Morris Ocean 32.5 footer from Boston was the overall corrected time winner of Class D and the entire 40th Anniversary Marion Bermuda Race. She was the smallest boat in the race and was sailed using only celestial navigation. Sailing with Bradish were Max Mulhern (Navigator), George Dyroff (Watch Captain) and Peter Sidewater (Crew). - Photo by SpectrumPhoto/Fran Grenon
'Jambi',  a new Hinckley Bermuda 50 skippered by John Levinson crossed the finish line off St. David’s Lighthouse at 12:47:00 ADT to take line honors in the 40th Anniversary Marion Bermuda Race. 'Jambi' had an unofficial elapsed time of 4 days 22 hours 52 minutes 11 seconds. Based on her starting time of 12:55 EDT on June 9, that is 118 hours 52 minutes and 11 Seconds. - Photo by Talbot Wilson
Dave Patton (L) Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race Association Chairman, and Wilie Forbes Vice Commodore of the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club (Far Right) present the Winner's Banner to Chip Brandish (center left) skipper of 'Selkie' and Watch Captain George Dyroff.
'Selkie', Chip Bradish's 1988 Morris Ocean 32.5 footer from Boston was the overall corrected time winner of Class D and the entire 40th Anniversary Marion Bermuda Race. Photo by Talbot Wilson
About the 2017 Marion Bermuda Race
The 2017 edition of this classic featured 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' sailed 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 prize giving.
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.