New Fleets in New England

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The biennial Marble-Halifax race is now open to solo sailors as well as fully crewed boats 

The biennial Marble-Halifax race is now open to solo sailors as well as fully crewed boats 

While New England has a bit of a reputation for conservatism when it comes to things yachting, sailors in this part of the world are still anything but close-minded. To this end, a couple of the region’s classic distance events are both working to broaden their appeal in 2021.

The first up on the calendar, the biennial Marion-to-Bermuda race, which jumps off June 18 from Marion, Massachusetts, on Buzzards Bay, is again introducing a multihull class to complement the many other classes and categories of racing it encourages (including a celestial class, shorthanded and doublehanded racing, and awards for family-crewed and female-crewed boats).

Organized by the ad, Blue Water Sailing Club and the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club, the Marion-Bermuda will be marking its 23rd running in 2021. With its emphasis on Corinthian sailing, cruising boats and sailing for the sheer love of sailing, it has long been a favorite in this part of the world.

A portion of the multihull fleets heads for the line prior to the 2005 Marion-Bermuda 

A portion of the multihull fleets heads for the line prior to the 2005 Marion-Bermuda 

This is not the first time multihulls competed, with no less than 11 making the trip to Bermuda in 2005. However, participation apparently waned, and the class was dropped in 2011. Wouldn’t it be fun to see another strong multihull contingent putting to sea again from this part of the world! For more, visit the race website at marionbermuda.com.

Meanwhile, a little farther up the coast, the equally beloved Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race, which starts July 11, is shaking things up by offering singlehanded racing for the first time since its founding in 1905.

“Singlehanded is growing more popular in racing circles. We are hoping there will be enough interest and entries to add this class,” said Richard Hinterhoeller of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, which organizes the 363-nautical mile race along with Marblehead’s Boston Yacht Club. For more information on the event, visit the race website at marbleheadtohalifax.com.

Of course, in both cases, the fact these races finish in a foreign country remained a cause for concern. However, with the pandemic beginning to be brought under control, organizers remained hopeful. “We are cautiously optimistic that the Covid-19 pandemic will be manageable by July to enable the race to continue as planned,” said Boston YC commodore Tom Mager of his club’s mindset with respect.

For more on the state of competitive sailing across the country as a whole, go Return to Racing After a Pandemic.

May 2021

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