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Wednesday, October 05, 2016
Skippers enter Marion Bermuda Race at Record Pace

Applications for entry in the 2017 Marion Bermuda Race have flowed in at a record pace for the 2017 race since registration opened on September 15th. In the first 15 days, 30 yachts entered the 645-mile amateur classic. The Founders division claimed 29. The Big Boat Division has only one applicant so far… it’s ‘Lilla’, a Briand 76 Skipper Simon DiPietro. In 2011, ‘Lilla’ set the Marion Bermuda Race course record with an elapsed time of 68:58:45. Previous course record was 72:30, set in 1989 by the late Warren Brown's famous ‘War Baby’, a custom 61 S&S design.

Organizers expect the entry pace will slow, but also expect a large fleet. The race starts June 9 from Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. All qualifying cruiser style yachts are invited to enjoy the classic ocean challenge followed by all the post-race fun and activities at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club. All are invited to stay for a front row seat at the 2017 America’s Cup on Bermuda’s Great Sound. The 2017 Marion Bermuda Race will finish the week before the America’s Cup finals start.

Ray Cullum, Marketing chairman commented, “We have never had a rate of entry like this. My theory...those skippers that plan on staying for the America's Cup are registering early. From here on in, race entries will be [racing to Bermuda then] leaving [for home] in the normal time frame. I do believe we will see more skippers register that plan to stay for the America’s Cup but not at this accelerated rate.”

Alan Minard, Registration Chairman, added, “By my count 13 of the current 31 entries are new to the Marion Bermuda Race. I agree with Ray that we had a group of skippers that were eager to sign up in advance of the AC Finals. If we get a steady flow of entries over the next few weeks I would be willing to predict a larger than usual fleet. Fun to see 30 boats rush to sign on - the proof will be in the next month or two.”

“The number of inquiries via email,” Minard continued, “is about the same as prior years... The Newport boat show leads were smaller than usual but at least 2 of the 34 leads have already registered. Quality matters!”

In an effort to provide the best possible viewing opportunity for the 2017 America’s Cup finals in Bermuda, the Trustees of Marion Bermuda Race moved their race start date to June 9, 2017. This enables all race participants to arrive in Bermuda prior to the start of the America’s Cup finals on June 17, 2017.

Now, the America’s Cup Event Authority has established the first and only dedicated travel website for America’s Cup spectators to view and book packages to attend the 35th America’s Cup. Ocean Race participants will have slips and moorings for America’s Cup finals. Special accommodation packages are available.

Each Bermuda Accommodations package includes hotel accommodation, on-water spectator tickets on official spectator boats to watch the racing live and up close, round trip airport transfers and Official America’s Cup merchandise. If you, your crew, or your guests and family are interested in attending the 35th America’s Cup as an add-on after the Marion Bermuda race, please visit www.americascuptravel.com for more information.
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