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Big wind for Marion Bermuda Race start

Published on June 14th, 2019

Marion, MA (June 14, 2019) – The fleet of 39 yachts got underway for the start of the Marion Bermuda Race, with 38 teams in the Founders Division and one is a Classic yacht.

The first start between the classics Tabor Boy and Spirit of Bermuda set the pace with an aggressive move by Spirit running down the starting line, crossing close ahead of Tabor Boy.

But the maneuver didn’t pay off for the big black Bermuda Sloop. She ran the line in front of Tabor Boy clear ahead. Then when she got to the pin end of the line and hardened up into the wind, she actually sailed outside of the yellow pin, beyond the starting line.

Whoops! She did not start properly, but continued to sail the course southward on a beat out of Buzzards Bay. Failure to cross the starting line means that Spirit of Bermuda did not start.

Under the rules, Spirit had four hours after the class started to return to the line and actually start properly. Her class start time was 1210 hrs. When she did not return by 1610, she was ruled a non-starter, DNS, and will not be scored in the race.

Founders Division classes A (fastest) through D (slowest) started in reverse order after the classics. All went well. In the Class D start three of the boats had reefs in their mainsails. By the time Class D started, winds had built to a steady 20 knots with gusts to 30. The tide flooding against the southwest wind made for lumpy going. Reefs were deep and headsails small.

Frolic, sailed by a crew of four with Beverly Yacht Club past Commodore Ray Cullum at the helm, got the best start in Class D. The Dixon 44 dug hard for the Eastern shore of the Bay.

In Class C, Scrappare, David LeBlanc’s Catalina 42 (Seekonk MA); Dauntless, Matthew Breuer’s double-hander Sabre 424 (Boston, MA); and Meridian, Murray Beach’s Tartan 4600 (Westwood MA) set the pace.

The Class B leader off the line was NA24 Gallant. She’s a Pearson Composite Navy 44 skippered by Christian Hoffman.

Machbuster, the last boat to start in Class A, was flying an orange and white storm jib, prepared for the worst. She’s a Little Harbor 70 skippered by Eugene Berardi from Kingston, NY.

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Background: 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.

Source: Talbot Wilson

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