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The Marion Bermuda Race is spectator friendly. Track the action on the Kingman Yacht Center Yellow Brick Tracking site. Go through the Marion Bermuda home page and click on Yellow Brick tracking.
 
Celebrating its 20th crossing in 2015 with a June 19th start, the biennial Marion Bermuda Race has been a premier 645 mile ocean race and sailing event which appeals to a broad range of cruising and racing enthusiasts.  The spirit of the race is one focused on Family and Fun, and all yachts and crew are participating for the joy and pleasure of sailing, competition, and the camaraderie that accompanies such an offshore event. 
Ian Gumprecht of Oyster Bay NY and Mark Swanson of North Creek NY, co-skippers of 'Roust'  sailed Gumprecht's little Sea Sprite 34 to first place in Class C and for first place in the entire Founders Division in 2013 to win the top prize for the race, the FOUNDERS TROPHY. Along the way they snagged the DOUBLE-HANDED TROPHY. They are back for 2015 to defend their title.
©Fran Grennon Spectrum Photography
Busy Day for Marion Bermuda Racers 
By Talbot Wilson
 
Marion, Massachusetts- June 18, 2015: This is a busy day for all competitors who are harried by last minute safety drills, provisioning and fine tuning their yachts. Skippers must all do a final check-in at Beverly Yacht Club to make sure all their entry documents are complete and to receive their Yellow Brick tracking transponders, their official race documents, Gosling’s hats and other race swag. More than half of the fleet still had to check in on the last day.
 
At 5PM Thursday, the skippers briefing convenes at Tabor Academy, a short walk from the village of Marion. Race organizers discuss race rules, offer a weather briefing and give racers a look at where the Gulf Stream currents are looping through the Atlantic.
 
Members of the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club will review the all important steps to approaching the finish line off St. David’s Lighthouse, the iconic symbol of yacht racing to Bermuda. Yachts rounding the northern end of the islands must keep seeward of North East Breaker, Kitchen Shoal, Mills Breaker and the Sea Buoy.

The finish line is a space approximately 0.4 nautical miles (NM) wide, marked by buoys at both the shoreward and the seaward ends. The line on a 111°magnetic bearing from St. David's Light, which corresponds to the division between the St. David's Lighthouse’s green and red sectors.

The shoreward end of the line is approximately 0.8 NM from St. David's Lighthouse, marked by a green buoy with a flashing green light. The seaward end of the line will be approximately 1.2 NM from St. David's Light, marked by a black buoy with a flashing white light. The buoys might not be exactly on the magnetic bearing line from the lighthouse. Yachts must pass throuth the line from north to south.

The Warning Signal for the Classic Yacht Division is scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, June 19, 2015, at 1200 EDT. The 118-foot Bermuda Sloop, ‘Spirit of Bermuda’, will begin her countdown as the first boat to start in the 20th Marion to Bermuda Race. The Warning Signal for the first Founders Division class is scheduled for 1235 EDT. Founders Division classes will start at 15- minute intervals.
 
Sailing aboard ‘Spirit’, His Excellency George Fergusson, the Governor of Bermuda, will be making his first ocean race to the island nation 645 miles SSE of Marion. ‘Spirit’ is sailing with seven professional crew and fifteen guests of the charterer Jim Butterfield of Bermuda.
 
Forty-five other yachts from 65 to 34 feet will be divided into classes in the Founders Division based on the boats’ ORR handicap ratings. Competition for special awards is extensive. There are special prizes for celestial navigated yachts, short-handed crewed yachts, double-handed crews, family crews, youth crews, all female crews, mini-class yachts of the same hull design, service academy, oldest average age, regional crews, and combined performance with other offshore races like the Newport Bermuda Race.
 
The Marion Bermuda Race is now the only ocean race in North America that offers a celestial navigation class for those skippers who want that challenge. To help stimulate participation in using celestial in 2015, the time benefit has been increased from 2% to 3% over electronically navigated yachts.
 
Sixteen of the 46 entries in 2015 will be in the Celestial Navigation Class. They compete for the Founders Trophy for first overall and also compete for the Beverly Yacht Club Polaris Trophy awarded to the first celestially navigated yacht.
 
Contact
Ray Cullum- e raycullum1@gmail.com c 508 740-8844
Talbot Wilson- e Talbot@talbotwilson.com c 850 217-7138
 
 
About the Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race Association
 
Since its inception in 1977, the biennial Marion Bermuda Race has been a premier 645 mile ocean race and sailing event which appeals to a broad range of cruising and racing enthusiasts. The spirit of the race is one focused on Family and Fun, and all yachts and crew are participating for the joy and pleasure of sailing, competition, and the camaraderie that accompanies such an offshore event. 
 
The Marion Bermuda Race encourages the development of blue water sailing skills on seaworthy yachts that can be handled safely offshore with limited crew. The Marion Bermuda Race is a 501(c)(3) organization and among other educational efforts, supports and encourages Youth Sailing programs. The Marion to Bermuda Race is organized and run entirely by hundreds of volunteering members of The Beverly Yacht Club (BYC), The Blue Water Sailing Club (BWSC) and The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club (RHADC) for the Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race Association. 

 

'Hotspur II', skippered by Ron Wisner of Marion MA returns for the 2015 Marion Bermuda Race to defend her Celestial Navigation Division win in 2013. 'Hotspur II' won the Beverly Polaris Trophy and the Navigator‘s Trophy for first place among celestial yachts.
©Fran Grennon Spectrum Photography

Copyright © 2015 Talbot Wilson and Associates. Inc, All rights reserved.


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