Marion Bermuda Race cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions
The 23rd Marion Bermuda Race has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers have confirmed.
The 645-mile ocean race was scheduled to commence from Sippican Harbour, Marion, Massachusetts on June 18.
However, organisers made the “extremely difficult decision” to cancel it as they felt to do so could potentially put those involved in “harm’s way” after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on international travel listed Bermuda as a “very high risk” travel designation.
“The Marion Bermuda Race Board of Trustees has made the extremely difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Marion Bermuda Race due to the current environment and unpredictable nature of Covid-19,” Ray Cullum, chairman of the Marion Bermuda Race Board of Trustees, said in a statement posted on the event’s official website.
“The Organising Committee has worked hard over the last several months to develop a viable plan that would work for all involved in the execution of the race. The government in Bermuda has been as accommodating as possible considering their first priority is to protect the citizens of Bermuda.
“The Covid-19 situation continues to evolve unpredictably. The guidelines set forth by the CDC on international travel at this point have Bermuda listed as a ‘very high risk’ travel designation, meaning that all travel to Bermuda should be avoided.
“The Marion Bermuda Race established from the beginning of the planning process that we would not do anything that would place skippers, crews, volunteers or staff in harm’s way. The Trustees felt strongly that if we were to run the 2021 race within the current Covid-19 environment and guidance we would be ignoring that position.
“We will be sending out additional information to all skippers within the next few days.
“We would like to thank all competitors for your support and understanding during this difficult time. I would also like to thank the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club, Beverly Yacht Club and Blue Water Sailing Club and all of the committee members and volunteers that have spent countless hours planning the event.”
A total of 39 boats competed among five divisions in the 22nd Marion Bermuda Race in 2019.
Kiwi Spirit led from start to finish to secure line honours while Cordelia finished first in the fleet on corrected time and also secured class D honours and the Polaris Trophy as the best celestially navigated yacht.
Abigail captured the Class A title, Gallant won Class B, while Pinnacle secured bragging rights in class C.
Spirit of Bermuda and Cyclone were the only two local entries in the fleet.
Bermuda Sloop Foundation’s 118-foot triple-masted schooner was ruled as a non-starter for a starting line infraction, while Michael Tucker's Farr 395 finished eighth among the nine entries in Class B.
The first Marion Bermuda Race was held in 1977 and has since evolved into a true offshore challenge for cruising yachts, amateur, family and youth sailors.