Selkie wins Marion Bermuda Race

Published on June 15th, 2017

(June 15, 2017; Day 7) – ‘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 today 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, Bradish 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, Bradish 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. Bradish 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.

Bradish 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.”

Bradish has done the race before. This was the first ocean race, the first time offshore for ‘Selkie’.

“The trip is always fun,” Bradish 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.

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Background: 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.

Source: Talbot Wilson

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