Overcoming all the challenges

Published on July 11th, 2021

When the biennial 363nm Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race had to be cancelled in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, an alternative course was conceived that kept the fleet from crossing the closed USA-Canada border. Called the Inaugural Michael A. Mentuck Memorial Ocean Race, Boston Yacht Club plotted a 250nm coastal course to Matinicus Rock off the coast of Maine and back.

With 20 boats registered for the July 8 start just outside Marblehead Harbor, Tropical Storm Elsa had other plans, forcing the start to be postponed one day and the course shortened to 144 nm with a turnaround at Boon Island Ledge instead.

Eighteen teams crossed the start line on July 9, enduring inconsistent winds throughout the race. “We must have changed sails 20 times,” one racer decried, with Race Director Karen Tenenbaum of the Boston Yacht Club describing the race as “a test of patience and endurance.”

Vice Commodore Bruce Baker praised the organizing committee for meeting “all of the challenges the race threw at them” with the overall handicap trophy going to co-skippers Jud Smith and Bump Wilcox on the Tripp 41 Africa which completed the course in 1:01:21:42.

Looking forward, the memorial regatta will be held again next year and then every other year opposite the Marblehead-to-Halifax Race. For details on the 2021 edition, click here.

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