The 89-strong fleet in this year’s Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race enjoyed near-perfect conditions, with three boats beating a race record that had stood for 22 years.
First to finish was Jim Grundy’s 75-foot Bella Pita, designed by Bill Tripp, which completed the 363-mile course in 30 hours, 46 minutes and 52 seconds. Will Apold’s 78-foot Swan, Valkyrie, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, finished just over an hour later, followed shortly by Gustav Carlson’s Aurora, out of Larchmont, New York.
Although Bella Pita took line honors, Valkyrie won the race on corrected time, the first win for a Canadian boat in 34 runnings of the biennial classic. The previous record, set by the Santa Cruz 70, Starlight Express, in 1989, was just over 33 hours, 29 minutes.
“The winds were behind us, the seas were behind us,” Bella Pita’s Grundy said. “The weather was perfect for very fast sailing.”
As if steady favorable winds were not enough, the weather was warm both day and night, so many sailors never even had to take any of those additional layers out of their sea bag. No doubt this is a Marblehead-Halifax Race competitors will be reminiscing about for years to come.
For complete results, visit marbleheadtohalifax.com.