First time participants in this year’s 360 mile Marblehead-Halifax Ocean Race, which gets underway from Marblehead, Massachusetts on July 5, will be getting a lot of help from the host Boston Yacht Club. To attract more entries, Boston’s event committee has come up with a Race Buddy program that pairs first-time skippers with those who have done the race one or more times. Newcomers will learn about the tactical options that may come up during the race and they’ll also get helpful tips on how to get the most from a pre race preparation budget.
Another new (and free) Race Concierge service is also being launched for all competitors and the service is designed to answer all travel and logistics questions affecting skippers, crews and their families. “Times have changed,” says Vice Commodore and race chairman Charlie Garrard, “and everyone knows that race preparation, logistics and organizing ground arrangements is time consuming. That’s why we’ve designed this program to help all race entrants and their families answer questions on where to stay, the local restaurants, activities for the family and rail and air travel connections. In short we are increasing the emphasis on family participation,” says Girrard, “especially those who are not racing.”
“This is a great race–not too short and not too long—and it has a great destination,” says John Brim, the veteran skipper of the Reichel Pugh 55 Rima 11. “The tactical challenge of the currents at Brazil Rock and the beauty of the Gulf of Maine, are just two reasons I keep coming back. Even though the times are not the best, you should put this event on your calendar.”
The first Marblehead-Halifax race was sailed in 1905 as an informal competition between sailors from the Boston, Eastern, and New York Yacht Clubs. Since then, the race is run on alternate years from the Newport-Bermuda Race and is considered one of the premier ocean racing events on the East Coast. Sign up for this year’s Marblehead-Halifax race; find out about the race buddy program from David Bows Jr.; or get travel and lodging assistance with the race concierge team.