The big news is that the course record was set, with Lilla, a Briand 76, coming in with an elapsed time of 68:58:45 and a corrected time of 71:48:26. The record was 72 hours. The top three boats in the race all hail from Mattapoisett, MA. Lilla (Class A) was skippered by Simon Di Pietro; Pescatore (Class A), a Hinckley SW 59, took second skippered by George Tougas; and Margalo (Class A), a DP 48 took third with skipper Chip Johns.
There were 53 boats registered this year – 50 at the starting line and 42 who finished the race – an increase in all categories from 2009. Of the 50 who started, five retired early out of Buzzards Bay due to fatigue, injury or rigging failure (Alastor, Patchwork, Aries Dream, Truant, Hotspur II). Hotspur II rallied by fixing their rigging issues with a touch and go in Marion, and returning to the course after repairs the very same day to cruise to Bermuda.
Three other boats retired towards the end of the race, with very light winds – Lyra, Sparky and Honeymoon.
Weather-wise, the start of the race was well controlled despite a very blustery and wet day, with winds in the 25 kt range gusting up to the 40s. Boats who legged out early were able to take advantage of cold eddies and the Gulf Stream currents and got on the right side of things. The slower boats ended up becalmed on two occasions mid-race but were able to catch a break on Wednesday with increased winds speeds in the range of 15 kts SW. The last batch of boats to arrived on Thursday, June 23, and ended up with virtually no wind, thus retiring and motoring inbound.
All of the skippers and crew we spoke with exclaimed how welcomed they felt both in Marion and Bermuda, and throughout the entire preparation process. The competitors all felt accomplished and thrilled to be celebrating in Bermuda with their crew, family and friends.
For more information, go to www.marionbermuda.com.