Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (July 2009)|
The race began in 1905 as an informal competition among sailors from the Boston, Eastern, and New York Yacht Clubs. The race was run sporadically until 1939, when the Boston Yacht Club (BYC) joined with the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron (RNSYS) to formalize a biennial event. Since that time, the MHOR has run regularly on alternate years from the Newport Bermuda Race, as one of the pre-eminent ocean races of the North Atlantic.
Each race begins in the early afternoon at "Tinkers Gong", just outside Marblehead Harbor. Over 1000 spectator boats observe the 100 racing yachts at the starting line. The 360 nautical mile (670 km) course runs slightly north of due east leaving Marblehead and sailing past Cape Ann. By the time they reach the open waters of the Gulf of Maine, the fleet has separated for the overnight journey. The tremendous tidal currents in the Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy system, as well as the ever-present changing weather conditions create a unique tactical challenge for the racing crews.
The finish line is located offshore from the RNSYS marina at the entrance to the Northwest Arm.
MHOR is a well-known event in North America's sailing community, usually attracting in excess of 100 boats sailing in 5 different divisions.