Entries Mount for 21st Marion Bermuda Race
By Talbot Wilson
Entries continue to come in for the 2017 Marion Bermuda Race. In the first 15 days after entries opened some 30 boats entered. Now the total has reached 48 including 18 newcomers to the Race. That’s two more than the final entry total for the 2015 race. Racing starts in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts on Friday June 9th.
Yachts have until May 27th to complete their entry, but are always encouraged to enter early and be prepared. There is lots to do to get a yacht and its crew safe and ready to cross the Gulf Stream.
Since 1977 the Marion Bermuda Race has been a premier 645-mile ocean race. It’s a 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.
This year the race ends just before the 2017 America’s Cup starts. There will be an America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta, a J Class Regatta, the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, and the America’s Cup Match finals… all happening as Marion Bermuda yachts are coming into Bermuda. This will be a spectacular 16 days of sailing and spectating for Marion Bermuda racers who choose to vacation in Bermuda after the ocean race.
Yachts enter the race by using the online system accessible on the Marion Bermuda Race website. All race-related correspondence, including requirements for written notice, or questions about the eligibility of your yacht, may be conducted by email addressed to the Race Administrator.
The early entry fee is $950 for Yacht and Skipper and jumps to $1,100 after April 10, 2017. The entry fee for a service academy or ".edu" defined organization is $475 and $625 after April 10th. For both entry fees, each additional crewmember is $50.
The entry fee includes professional briefings on weather and the Gulf Stream at the Skipper’s meeting, an ‘on-call’ professional medical diagnosis and consulting service provided by the George Washington University Maritime Medical Access Facility during the Race and on the return passages and use of the transponder for the position tracking system during the race.
One of the important safety requirements to plan for is to make sure that at least 30% of those aboard the boat, but not fewer than two members of the crew including the person in charge, shall have attended a one-day or two-day US Sailing Safety at Sea Seminar within the last 5 years, or other courses as accepted by US Sailing. The Marion Bermuda Race offers a Safety at Sea Symposium March 11-12 at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
For race participants who choose to stay for the cup races and festivities, the America’s Cup Event Authority has established the first and only dedicated travel website for America’s Cup spectators to view and book packages to attend the 35th America’s Cup. Race participants will have slips available at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club for America’s Cup finals on a first come first served basis. Special accommodation packages are available, please visit www.americascuptravel.com for more information.
If you are interested in booking hotel accommodation only, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org and a dedicated team member at Travel Places Bermuda Ltd., will happily assist you. If you are interested in Bed and Breakfast accommodations or other Bermuda properties: www.bermudarentals.com
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.
Races within the Race
Celestial Navigation - A yacht may elect to race using celestial navigation. If a yacht elects to be celestially navigated, she will receive a 3% favorable adjustment to her ORR rating. This choice must be made by May 12. See NOR Attachment D for the details of the conditions that a yacht must meet to be considered a celestially navigated yacht. In its true Corinthian spirit, the Marion Bermuda Race is the only ocean race to Bermuda that offers a celestial navigation prize, the Beverly Yacht Club ‘Polaris’ Trophy.
The Family Race - A "family" yacht is one with a crew of five (5) or more with all or all-but-one being members of a single household or a single family. Persons related to a common grandparent and spouses of these will be considered "family."
The Offshore Youth Challenge - A "youth" yacht is one with at least 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 8, 2017. One or more adults at least 23 years old by June 8, 2017 must be onboard.
The Double-Handed, Short-Handed Competition and All-Female Crew - Yachts sailing with a crew of two (2), a crew of three or four (3 or 4) or an all-female crew may elect to compete in the double-handed, short-handed, and all-female competitions respectively.
The Team Race Prize is offered for established Yacht Clubs or Sailing Clubs which may form a team of three member yachts to compete for the Team prize. The team whose three yachts have the lowest corrected time total will be declared the winner.
‘Lilla’, a Briand 76 Skipper Simon DiPietro returns to defend her record run to Bermuda. ‘Lilla’ holds the Marion Bermuda Race course record with an elapsed time of 68:58:45. The previous course record was 72:30, set in 1989 by the late Warren Brown's famous ‘War Baby’, a custom 61 S&S design. (©Fran Grenon Spectrum Photo)
‘Hotspur II’ skippered by Ron Wisner of Marion will be sailed with celestial navigation in the Marion Bermuda Race. In its true Corinthian spirit, the Marion Bermuda Race is the only ocean race to Bermuda that offers a celestial navigation prize, the Beverly Yacht Club ‘Polaris’ Trophy. Yachts that meet the requirements and elect to steer by the stars receive a 3% credit to their ORR handicap. (©Fran Grenon Spectrum Photo)
'Swift' the US Naval Academy 44 (NA11) took home a treasure trove of prizes from the 2015 Marion Bermuda Race. They were 1st in Class B, won the Offshore Youth Challenge Trophy, the Bartram Trophy (for Academy, Maritime College boat), Naval Academy Trophy (for top Chesapeake Bay boat). the Kingman Yacht Center Marion Bermuda Team Trophy (for a team of Three Yachts). the other two Navy 44's 'Defiance' and 'Integrity' were 2nd and 3rd in Class B and shared the team trophy.
Photos © Talbot Wilson
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.