The United States Naval Academy team sailing the 66 foot sloop, Zaraffa, has claimed victory for the overall Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) title in the biennial Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race. Zaraffa, skippered by midshipman Sean Caraher, was awarded the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Cup on Thursday evening at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron as the 38th edition of the 363-mile race concluded.
Steve and Stephen Murray Sr. and Jr. took line honours on Warrior, a modified Volvo 70, by finishing first early Tuesday morning, six hours ahead of Zaraffa. Warrior, out of Southern Yacht Club, finished second to Zaraffa on corrected time.
The fleet of 65 elite boats crossed the starting line off Marblehead Harbor Sunday, July 7th and set a 363-mile course to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Conditions starting out were fair with winds out of the northeast averaging 12 knots, ideal for a downwind start. As the race progressed, the wind became light and variable, challenging the crews to seek out the most favourable course to Halifax, and to undertake numerous sail changes to maximize speed in the changing conditions.
“This year’s race was a great demonstration of why the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race has remained an iconic race for well over 100 years. The challenging conditions and strategy required offer an unparalled competitive opportunity. Most importantly, the race is about the uniting of two nations and the camaraderie experienced both on the boats and on shore,“ comments Mike Simms, Canadian Co-chair of the 2019 Organizing Committee.
Line Honors - first to cross finish line: Warrior Skipper: Steve & Stephen Murray Sr. & Jr.
ORR Division (won on corrected time over the boat above): Zaraffa Skipper: Midshipman Sean Caraher - Navy Academy Sailing
PHRF Division (won on corrected time): MacIntosh Skipper: Durk Steigenga
Warrior won the Herald and Mail Trophy as the first monohull to finish.
Tom Mager (Gigi) won the Division 2 ORR ahead of Matt McClelland (Wahoo) and Gary Gregory (Valiant).
Peter McWhinnie (In Theory) finished ahead of John Gowell (Temptress) and Ronald Rosetti (Selamat) in Division 3 ORR.
Alessandro Pagani guided Luna to first overall in Division 4 ORR while the Mudratz Offshore Team (Dreamcatcher) was second and Glenn Doncaster (Nanuq) third.
Paul Jennings (Towhee) took the Division 5 ORR with Michael Cone (Actaea) second and Richard Pedone (Talisman) third.
Durk Steigenga took MacIntosh to the overall Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) title.
Eben Moulton (Revolution) claimed the PHRF 1 class ahead of Stu McCrea (Deviation) and Keith Amirault (Dragonfly).
Steigenga won the PHRF 2 division with Eliot Shanabrook (Hafa Adai) second and Bob Kellogg (Tamarack) third.
Mike Evans (Sea Smoke) took the PHRF 3 class with Bill Greenwood III (Airborne IV) second.
David Arenburg and Hans Himmelman (Delawana) took the double-handed PHRF division while Pagani and Stephen Zachary Lee (Luna) won the double-handed ORR class.
Rosetti’s Selemat was the first schooner, ketch or yawl to finish while the Murray’s Warrior won the Olin J. Stevens Award for best score combined with the Newport to Bermuda Race.
Of the 65 teams to start, 18 failed to finish due to light winds.