A competitive international fleet of boats will be at the starting line July 9 to begin the Marblehead to Halifax ocean race. The 363-mile race, which dates back to 1905, is billed as the “granddaddy of ocean races.”
Seventy-three boats have already signed up with two months of registration to go. “We are excited about the strength of the entries so far,” said Jennie Aspinall, vice commodore of the Boston Yacht Club and co-chair of the race. Sixteen of the entrants will be defending one of more podium finishes from 2015.
Several large boats with impressive records have signed up. Among them is Prospector, this year’s winner of the 811-mile Miami to Montego Bay, Jamaica Pineapple Cup. The 68-foot yacht which carries a crew of 20 is based at the Shelter Island Yacht Club in New York.
Another is Ticonderoga, a 72-foot wooden ketch out of Greenwich, Connecticut, designed by L. Francis Herreshoff. She is owned by Scott Frantz of the Riverside Yacht Club. At 80, her beauty is fabled for her sleek and graceful lines and her 86-foot main mast.
Warrior, a 70-foot Volvo out of Larchmont, New York, has added MHOR to her summer itinerary. Her crew has been spending recent weeks team building and is expected to be a contender.
From Nova Scotia, Airborne IV, a Beneteau 50 owned by Halifax businessman Bill Greenwood is among the larger boats in the Canadian fleet. Greenwood chaired the Race back in 1981 and his son is co-chair this year with Aspinall. He is a former Commodore of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron. Airborne IV won its class in 2011 and is looking to repeat in 2017.
The event is a cooperative venture of the RNSYS and the Boston Yacht Club of Marblehead. Title sponsor is the Steele Auto Group of Canada with US supporting Sponsors: Gill, Marblehead Bank, Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty and BNY Mellon Wealth Management.
Among the current 73 entries, 34 are first timers, 17 are second timers, and there are four entrants who have only missed two races since 1997. Hinterhoeller says one of those racing has entered every Marblehead to Halifax since 1997.
The Marblehead to Halifax race will cap off a week of Fourth of July celebrations in the picturesque oceanside community.
The Boston Yacht club will host a round of parties and receptions throughout the event.