Hurdles remain for race to Halifax

Published on March 29th, 2021

The Organizing Committee for the biennial 363nm Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race is set to start the 2021 edition on July 11 except for one significant detail – the Canada-US border continues to be closed to non-essential travel.

There is no set timeframe for the border to re-open, plus Nova Scotia has had a 14-day quarantine rule in place since very early on in this pandemic. While this has allowed the province to have one of the lowest case levels in Canada, it isn’t too conducive to post-race celebration.

For the race to proceed, both items need to be resolved, with a plan in place providing sufficient time to either go or no go. Thus, a decision will be made by mid-April with guidance on the decision of the race by April 9, 2021.

In an update from the Organizing Committee, they recognize that large social gatherings, such as the skippers meeting and awards ceremony, would become virtual, or open to a limited number of guests. “We believe that being able to have a race, even if it has a different feel than in years past, would be well received.”

However, if the race in its traditional form across the border cannot be held, co-hosts Boston Yacht Club and Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron are working on alternative plans for ocean racing within their respective borders.

Each club is looking to host a distance race that can help us keep the spirit of the race alive. The start of these alternative races would be approximately the same date and distances are still to be determined. These races would be independent of each other so the normal trophies would stay in their cases until 2023.

With anticipation of normalcy in 2021, the waiting continues.

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