Looking toward Marblehead Halifax Race
Published on October 13th, 2020
Planning has begun for the 39th Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race to start in 2021 on July 11 at the mouth of Marblehead Harbor. The 363 nm course to Halifax is one of the oldest races on the eastern seaboard, beginning 1905 and held biennially except during war time.
“We are cautiously optimistic that COVID-19 will be manageable by next summer,” said Tom Mager, Vice Commodore of co-host Boston Yacht Club. “Some significant changes are in the works, based on feedback from a survey taken after the 2019 race and designed to help smaller boats to finish within the time limit.”
The starting sequence will be changed to have the slower-rated boats start first, thereby giving them one to two hours of added time to complete the course, as all boats sail the same course. In some cases, additional time will be added between starts to reduce the chance of faster boats overtaking slower boats until they have cleared the triangle component after the start.
The finish line will return to its historic location of HB at the harbor entrance. Not only does this reduce the elapsed time required to sail the course, it reduces possible interference between racing boats and commercial vessels.
Finally, as a Hail Mary move for boats who cannot meet the time limit at the finishing line, crossing times will be taken at Brazil Rock and these will be used to assign a finishing position. Boats who sail the course and finish will be assigned the first group of positions, and any subsequent positions will be available for assignment based upon the Brazil Rock Gate crossing times.
The Notice of Race will be posted asap.
Source: Ed Bell