Cruising, Crashing and Cupping – Marion to Bermuda

Corinthians Race to Bermuda to Catch the America’s Cup

pesca bdaThis Friday, June 9th marks the start of the 40th anniversary of the fabled Marion to Bermuda Race. This 21st running of the race has been rescheduled to an earlier start date to align the arrival of the fleet in Bermuda with the America’s Cup final races in mid June. Alternating every other year with the Newport Bermuda Race, the Marion race has long been more of a cruisers delight, with the high-tech race boats that frequent the Newport version heading to Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week on these “off” years.

Of course Team TotalBoat will be rooting for our friends on Pescatore, a Hinckley Sou’wester 59 hailing from Mattapoisett, Mass. Racing in the Youth Challenge division (a certain number of crew need to be below age 23- so in their case- 5 crew under 23), Team Pescatore is hoping to beat their record from the last Marion Bermuda Race, when they were 3rd over the line, and finished 2nd in class. We will be following the boat on the race tracker and will report from Bermuda. If you’re around town and spy the TotalBoat ensign flying on Pescatore, knock on the hull and ask Captain Twice for a TotalBoat hat. Tell him we sent you. 

It’s an amazing time to be finishing off St. David’s Lighthouse. With the America’s Cup event in full swing, and with the Cup finals beginning on Friday the 16th, most of the boats will be safely in Bermuda to watch the racing and soak up the amazing atmosphere surrounding the event.

It’s been super exciting to watch the racing thus far in the challenger series, with the most spectacular day of racing (maybe ever, says Ben Ainslie of the UK race team) taking place yesterday and resulting in a wild wipeout for Team New Zealand who pitch poled right before the second start. The wind was upwards of 20+ knots, reaching the upper limits of the race’s permitted conditions (between 6-24 knots) and questioning if perhaps that isn’t a touch too much breeze for these foiling, high-speed catamarans.  The video below shows the crash in all it’s glory, and hopefully will be the most dramatic wipeout for both fleets, Cup and Marion Bermuda.

The Marion race fleet should feel very welcomed by these carbon cats, despite the massive differentials in their “sailboat” formations and designs. Far from “Corinthian,” the America’s Cup has become quite the spectator sport for those lucky enough to make it to Bermuda, some 650 miles off the coast of the US. We are counting on some close up photos from Pescatore once they finish their own race, and wish all competitors of both the Cup and the Marion-Bermuda race, the best of luck!

About Marion Bermuda Race: Since its inception in 1977, the Marion Bermuda Race has been a Corinthian event, and yachts are accepted by invitation. The spirit of the race is that all yachts and crew are participating for the joy and pleasure of sailing, competition, and the camaraderie that accompanies such an off-shore event. The race provides an opportunity for cruising yachts and amateur crews to participate in an ocean race and a rendezvous in Bermuda. It encourages the development of blue water sailing skills on seaworthy yachts that can be handled safely offshore with limited crew. Prizes are awarded in various categories with a bonus for celestially navigated yachts.


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