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Why Race to Halifax? A First Time MHOR Skipper Shares Motivation for Entering.
Racing to Halifax for the First Time; One skipper’s perspective. For Tom Mager aboard his J122 Gigi the 2019 Halifax will be his first.
For Tom Mager aboard his J122 Gigi the 2019 Halifax will be his first.

“My racing is typically around the buoys and the Beringer,” says Mager. “Given the long history of the Boston Yacht Club and Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron running this race I know how special an experience this will be.”

“I am looking forward to roughly three days of great teamwork with the crew racing around the clock. I’ve heard the stories of beautiful sunsets, sea life along the way and the huge welcome at the RNSYS”.

Mager, who is Rear Commodore of the BYC, says he has new respect for boaters who regularly race the MHOR and other long-distance races. He is impressed by the planning and preparation. “The safety requirements are probably the most significant aspect of preparing for the race,” he says. He is outfitting Gigi with the life raft, storm sails, manual bilge pump down below, offshore life jackets, personal AIS devices and more. “The good news is when I’ve gotten everything lined up for this year, the next one will be a breeze.”

Mager has found the other significant part of his planning is having the right crew. “It is not only a major commitment for the boat owner but also the crew. The crew count is limited to the capacity of the life raft. A navigator familiar with the unique aspects of this race is also critical,” he says. Mager says he is fortunate to have signed BYC Past Commodore Peter Fein as navigator for this event. Other crew slots are expected to be filled by his regular crew which he describes as “awesome.”

One last detail, according to Mager, is getting the boat back to Marblehead after the race. Most of the crew will fly back to work and family. “I’m still working on the details of getting Gigi back to Marblehead”.