Record Pace for Marion Bermuda Entries

Published on October 5th, 2016

Marion, MA (October 5, 2016) – Applications for entry in the 2017 Marion Bermuda Race have flowed in at a record pace for the 2017 race since registration opened on September 15th. In the first 15 days, 30 yachts entered the 645-mile amateur classic. The Founders division claimed 29. The Big Boat Division has only one applicant so far, ‘Lilla’, a Briand 76 Skipper Simon DiPietro. In 2011, ‘Lilla’ set the Marion Bermuda Race course record with an elapsed time of 68:58:45. Previous course record was 72:30, set in 1989 by the late Warren Brown’s famous ‘War Baby’, a custom 61 S&S design.

Organizers expect the entry pace will slow, but also expect a large fleet. The race starts June 9 from Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. All qualifying cruiser style yachts are invited to enjoy the classic ocean challenge followed by all the post-race fun and activities at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club. All are invited to stay for a front row seat at the 2017 America’s Cup on Bermuda’s Great Sound. The 2017 Marion Bermuda Race will finish the week before the America’s Cup finals start.

Ray Cullum, Marketing chairman commented, “We have never had a rate of entry like this. My theory is those skippers that plan on staying for the America’s Cup are registering early. From here on in, race entries will be [racing to Bermuda then] leaving [for home] in the normal time frame. I do believe we will see more skippers register that plan to stay for the America’s Cup but not at this accelerated rate.”

Alan Minard, Registration Chairman, added, “By my count 13 of the current 31 entries are new to the Marion Bermuda Race. I agree with Ray that we had a group of skippers that were eager to sign up in advance of the AC Finals. If we get a steady flow of entries over the next few weeks I would be willing to predict a larger than usual fleet. Fun to see 30 boats rush to sign on – the proof will be in the next month or two.”

“The number of inquiries via email,” Minard continued, “is about the same as prior years. The Newport boat show leads were smaller than usual but at least 2 of the 34 leads have already registered. Quality matters!”

In an effort to provide the best possible viewing opportunity for the 2017 America’s Cup finals in Bermuda, the Trustees of Marion Bermuda Race moved their race start date to June 9, 2017. This enables all race participants to arrive in Bermuda prior to the start of the America’s Cup finals on June 17, 2017.

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.

Forty-one years ago, in 1975, W. David Kingery was very busy with various sailing activities and interested in doing a single-handed race from England to Newport. To qualify for the race, David chose to do a single-handed voyage to Bermuda and on this trip was struck with the concept of organizing a race to Bermuda for cruising yachts and family sailors.

He discussed his idea with Dickie Bird of the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club and then with Leo Fallon, Commodore of the Blue Water Sailing Club, and with various members of the Beverly Yacht Club. Support was promised from all three clubs; the 1977 Marion-Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race began with supporting clubs at each end and an additional staff of enthusiastic volunteers from the Blue Water Sailing Club.

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
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-HandedCompetition and All-Female Crew are 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.

In keeping with the Race’s mission of supporting youth sailing in both North America and Bermuda, the race will be supporting the America’s Cup Endeavor Program, a community sailing program for Bermuda youth. This program was developed by the America’s Cup Committee to leave a sporting legacy in Bermuda after the America’s Cup.

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.

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Source: Event Media

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