Racing: Marblehead to Halifax Canceled; Alternative races planned.

Dreamcatcher Cate Brown

Apr 22, 2021

Dreamcatcher at the 2019 start, the last race held. credit Cate Brown.

The Biennial Marblehead to Halifax ocean race has been cancelled for this summer – the victim of Covid-19.

Organizers at the co-sponsoring Boston Yacht Club and Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron made the decision last week unable to get clarity about when the U.S./Canadian border might reopen. The border has been closed to non-essential travel since March of 2020.

In place of the international race both clubs are planning separate ocean races that will have similar start times but avoid international borders. Despite their disappointment, MHOR organizers are getting excited over the idea of creating a new race with similar but more accessible distance sailing challenges.

In a statement the joint regatta committee said, “Due to the current situation with COVID, we don’t have enough clarity on whether current restrictions at the Canada/U.S. border will change to allow the race, even though we have been in regular contact with border authorities”.

“We are concerned that we won’t have time to properly prepare for the race or give our competitors ample time to prepare their yachts when or if the restrictions are lifted before July”. 
“Our attention and efforts will now turn to our respective options where both the Boston Yacht Club and the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron will look to hold slightly shorter races that will start around the same time. More information on these will be available in the coming weeks from our respective yacht clubs.”

The MHOR committee described their decision as sad but promised that the storied 363-mile race from Marblehead to Halifax will be back in 2023.

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