Twenty-second Marion - Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race


Amended June 10, 2019

Start: Friday, June 14, 2019

The Marion Bermuda Race (“MBR”) is organized by the Marion - Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race Association, Inc (“MBCYRA”) - Organizing Authority (“OA”)

Supported by:

The Beverly Yacht Club (“BYC”)Marion, Massachusetts
The Blue Water Sailing Club (“BWSC”)Boston, Massachusetts
The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club (“RHADC”)Paget, Bermuda
  1. RULES
    1. The Marion Bermuda Race will be governed by:

      • Racing Rules of Sailing, 2017-2020 edition ("RRS") and U.S. Sailing Prescription in Rule 67,
      • Navigation Rules International - Inland (commonly called 72 COLREGS),
      • Marion Bermuda Race Safety Requirements (“MBRSR”) revised December 20, 2018 and amended April 27, 2019.
      • Offshore Racing Association Rules (“ORR”),
      • The current International Superyacht Rule (“ISYR”) and the current MBRSR shall apply to all boats entered in the Classic Yachts division. For this division only, a yacht’s compliance with World Sailing OSR Category 1 (with satellite phone) or the safety rules and regulations that apply to the boat by virtue of her flag or Classification Society are an acceptable alternative to the MBRSR where such rules conflict.
    2. Any amendments issued by the OA may change any of these documents as permitted by the RRS.

    3. Links to websites containing the rules listed above and other relevant information can be found on the MBR website.

    4. RRS 26 (STARTING RACES), 60.2 (RIGHT TO PROTEST), 62 (REDRESS) will be changed as follows:

      1. RRS 26 (STARTING RACES) will be changed such that the warning signal for each class will be 10 minutes before the starting signal and the preparatory signal will be 5 minutes before the starting signal.

      2. RRS 60.2 (RIGHT TO PROTEST) is changed to permit the Compliance Committee to act in the same way as the Race Committee.

      3. RRS 62.1( a) (REDRESS) is changed by adding “or the Compliance Committee.” This permits yachts aggrieved by the findings of the Compliance Committee to request redress from the Protest Committee in accordance with RRS 62. See SI 14.4.


    All notices to competitors will be posted on the Marion Bermuda Race website. As a courtesy, copies will also be posted on the Notice Board at the BYC or the television monitors in the bar at RHADC as appropriate.


    Any changes in the Sailing Instructions will be posted by 2000 on the day before they take effect.

    1. Signals made ashore will be displayed from the BYC flagstaff.

    2. Code flag “AP” (Answering Pennant) with two guns means: “The race is postponed. Do not leave the harbor area.” The time of the warning signal for the first starting class will be announced on VHF Channel 72 after the lowering of “AP”, with one gun. This changes RRS Race Signals.

    1. Class identification flags, provided by the OA at the Skipper’s Meeting, shall be displayed from the backstay before check-in (see SI 7) and shall not be removed until after the yacht has started and cleared the starting area.

    2. Scratch sheets indicating class assignments, class flag designations, and the order in which classes are scheduled to start will be available at the Skippers’ Meeting and on the the Marion Bermuda Race website.


    A Skippers’ Meeting will be held on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 1630 EDT in the Fireman Center for the Performing Arts (245 Front Street, Marion, MA) at Tabor Academy. The skipper and navigator must attend the entire meeting from start to finish. All other crewmembers are welcome to attend. The meeting will include comprehensive briefings on the starting procedure, weather, the Gulf Stream and approaches to Bermuda. These briefings are the only ones sponsored by MBCYRA.

    1. All yachts shall check-in on their way to the start by passing close enough to speak to the “RACE PATROL” vessel that will be stationed near Centerboard Shoal Fl. Red Buoy “2”, 1 nautical mile (NM) north-northwest of the starting line. Check-in commences at 1000 EDT June 14, 2019 and must be completed 1 hour before the yacht’s class warning signal. Check-in is mandatory. Yachts shall pass in single file across the stern of the RACE PATROL vessel maintaining a distance of approximately 100 feet between vessels. The directions for passing the Patrol vessel may be amended at the Skippers meeting. The Patrol vessel will acknowledge your check-in by loudspeaker. There will be a time penalty applied to yachts who fail to check in.

    2. A yacht not starting shall report this to the Starting Line Committee on VHF Ch. 72 or to the Offshore Communications Team at 508-538-1009 no later than the warning signal for her class.

    1. The starting line will be between a staff displaying an orange flag on the Starting Line Committee boat at the starboard end, and the private yellow buoy “N” at the port end. The buoy is 1 NM south-southeast of Centerboard Shoal, and is at 41° 39.0’ N and 70° 42.8’ W. The starting line is approximately 4 NM from Sippican (Marion) Harbor. See Attachment A. Please plan your departure time accordingly.

    2. The warning signal for each class will be 10 minutes before the starting signal and the preparatory signal will be 5 minutes before the starting signal. This changes RRS 26.

    3. The warning signal for the Classic Yacht Division is scheduled for June 14, 2019 at 1200 EDT.

    4. The warning signal for the first start of the Founders Division is scheduled for June 14, 2019 5 minutes after the start of the Classic Yacht Division boats. Founders Division classes will start at 15-minute intervals.

    5. The Starting Line Committee may change starting dates and times in accordance with SI 3 or afloat. If changes are made afloat, the Committee will announce any changes in the scheduled starting times on VHF Channel 72.

    6. The Starting Area is rectangular and is bounded by yellow tetrahedral buoys. See the diagram in Attachment B.

    7. After the warning signal for the first class to start, yachts whose class-warning signal has not been made shall keep clear of the Starting Area and of all yachts whose class-warning signal has been made. See SI 13.4

    8. Five minutes before the warning signal for the Classic Yacht Division, code flag “F” will be raised to warn yachts that are not beginning their starting sequence that they must be clear of the starting area in five minutes. Code flag “F” will be lowered one minute before the warning signal of the Classic Yacht Division.

    9. If before on-site registration a yacht anticipates starting later than ten minutes after the starting signal for her class, she shall notify the Race Committee at registration for further instructions. If on the day of the race a yacht will start more than ten minutes after the last class starting signal, she shall call the Starting Line Committee on VHF Ch. 72 or, if unavailable the Offshore Communications Team at 508-538-1009 for further instructions.

    10. A yacht‘s starting time will be the start time of her class.

    11. A yacht that does not start within 4 hours of her class start will be scored DNS unless the Race Committee has granted an exception. See 8.9.


    In addition to the provisions of RRS 29.1, sail numbers of the yachts concerned will be announced on VHF Channel 72. Failure to hear such an announcement shall not be grounds for granting redress.

    1. The course for all divisions will be from the starting line (SI 8.1) off Marion to the finishing line (SI 12.6) off St. David‘s Head, leaving the islands of Bermuda to starboard.

    2. Yachts shall pass north and west of both United States marks. These are the only U. S. marks of the course:

      NameType CharacteristicsLat. (N)Long. (W)
      Penikese IslandIsland41° 27.0’70° 55.4’
      Sow & Pigs ReefBell Buoy "36" Fl R 4s41° 23.8’70° 59.07’
    3. All yachts approach Bermuda from the North and shall pass east of:

      NameType CharacteristicsLat. (N)Long. (W)
      North East BreakerBeacon (45 ft. ht.) Fl W 2.5s32° 28.7’64° 41.0’
      Kitchen ShoalBeacon (45 ft. ht.) Fl 3 W every 15s32° 26.1’64° 37.6’
      Mills BreakerBuoy Q(3)W 5s32° 23.9’64° 36.9’
      Sea BuoyBuoy Mo (A) W 6s32° 22.9’64° 37.1’
    1. Yachts shall show navigation lights from sunset to sunrise.

    2. Strobe or other lights shall not be used except in accordance with SI 12.5 or in an emergency.

    1. Bermuda shall be approached from the North and yachts shall cross the finish line from north to south. See Attachment C.

    2. If a yacht estimates that she may finish before noon (ADT) Tuesday, June 18, 2019, the Race Committee requests that she make contact with Bermuda Marine Operations (formerly Bermuda Radio) on VHF Channel 27 when approximately 25 NM from the finish line. This call serves as a valuable early alert for our shore-based personnel.

    3. All communications with the Marion Bermuda Race Finish Line Committee will be on VHF Channel 72.

    4. When a yacht is approximately five miles from the finish line, or passing Kitchen Shoal beacon, she shall contact the Finish Line Committee by radio on VHF Channel 72. She shall announce her name, sail number, and her position relative to the finish line. This call will be acknowledged by the Committee.

    5. A yacht finishing at night shall, when about five minutes from the finish line, shine a powerful light on her shoreward sail number on her mainsail for at least one minute continuous duration. She shall repeat this illumination when about two minutes from the line and again as she finishes.

    6. The finish line will be approximately 0.4 NM wide and will be marked by buoys at both the shoreward and the seaward ends. It will be on a 111° magnetic bearing from St. David’s Light, which corresponds to the division between the Light’s green and red sectors. The shoreward end of the line will be approximately 0.8 NM from St. David’s Light, and that distance will be marked by a green buoy with a flashing green light. The seaward end of the line will be approximately 1.2 NM from St. David’s Light, and that distance will be marked by a black buoy with a flashing white light.

    7. Neither buoy will necessarily be on the finish line. Yachts must finish between the buoys and are advised to sail well beyond their estimated crossing of the finish line to ensure that they have actually crossed the line.

    8. Each yacht shall take the time (ADT) of her own finish (when St. David’s Light bears 291° magnetic), and shall enter that time on her Certificate of Compliance. Time and bearing shall be taken from the yacht’s main mast location.

    9. Yachts shall not at any time pass through a line joining the green finish line (shoreward end) buoy and St. David’s Light.

    10. Yachts that have finished shall not re-cross the finish line, but shall turn to seaward of both buoys, keeping well clear of the line and all yachts approaching the line.

    11. Within two minutes after finishing, each yacht shall contact the Finish Line Committee on VHF Channel 72. This transmission will be acknowledged by the Finish line Committee, but the yacht’s finishing time will not be given.

    12. After receiving the finish acknowledgment, yachts shall contact Bermuda Marine Operations (formerly Bermuda Radio) on VHF channel 27 (international) to coordinate transit to St. Georges or Hamilton. At nighttime they will be directed into St George’s Harbour, but should they decide to go to Hamilton, they do so at their own risk. Yachts shall continue to monitor VHF Channel 16 while underway in Bermuda waters.

    13. Yachts that have not finished within 120 hours of their start shall attempt to report their positions and estimated finishing times daily to the Offshore Communications Team between 0800 and 1600 ADT. Yachts with SSB may contact Bermuda Marine Operations (formerly Bermuda Radio), call sign ZBR, on 4125 KHz SSB or on VHF Channel 16. Yachts may also contact the Finish Line Committee.

    14. The Finish Line Committee will cease manning the finish line seven days after the start of the last class, or earlier at its discretion.

    1. In order to be placed on the finish list, each yacht that finishes must complete and hand its Compliance Certificate to the Duty Officer at the RHADC Duty Desk, within six hours of its finish if between 0600 and 1200 ADT, otherwise by the first 1200 ADT after its finish. The Certificate may not be handed in to any other person or at any other location. A stamped receipt must be received from the Duty desk as evidence of submission. Skippers are reminded they must clear customs before going to the Duty Desk to submit their Compliance Certificate.

    2. The skipper, navigator or designee, shall be available on board for a Compliance Inspection of the yacht for up to 48 hours following completion of the race. The moored location of the yacht plus name and full contact details in Bermuda for skipper and/or navigator or other responsible crew member, must be included on the Compliance Certificate so that ready communication between the yacht and the Compliance Committee may be achieved.

    3. The Compliance Committee will review each yacht’s Certificate of Compliance, reports of the Start and Finish Line Committees, and any other material it deems appropriate to verify each yacht’s complete compliance with the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions, and any changes to these documents.

    4. The Compliance Committee may grant time credits and assess penalties to competing yachts, without a hearing. This changes RRS 63.1. After prior races, the Committee granted time credits to yachts rendering assistance, and assessed the following penalties, included here as examples only:

      • Sail number discrepancies 30 minutes,
      • Starting Area infringement one hour,
      • Failure to attend the entire Skipper’s meeting one hour,
      • Passing the incorrect side of a mark of the course two hours,
      • Mid-race change from Celestial to Electronic navigation five hours,
      • Pre-race equipment deficiencies not corrected disqualification and recommended exclusion from future events,
      • Failure to check in: 30 minutes.
    5. The Compliance Committee will post its findings on the RHADC Official Notice Board not later than 2000 ADT daily.

    6. A yacht aggrieved by a posted finding may request a meeting with a representative of the Compliance Committee to hear an explanation of the finding. Such requests shall be initiated through the RHADC Duty Officer and must be made by:

      1. Two hours after the yacht’s Certificate of Compliance was due if the request concerns findings posted before the Certificate of Compliance was due, or

      2. 1200 ADT on the day after the findings are posted if the request concerns a later posting.

      The meeting(s) will be held between 1400 and 1700 ADT as agreed between the yacht and the Compliance Committee directly or through the RHADC Duty Officer.

    7. RRS 62.1(a) is changed by adding “or the Compliance Committee.” This permits yachts aggrieved by the findings of the Compliance Committee to request redress from the Protest Committee in accordance with RRS 62. See SI 14.4

    1. A yacht that intends to protest another yacht shall display her protest flag for one hour after the incident. This changes the third sentence of RRS 61.1(a).

    2. Protest forms are available from RHADC Duty Desk, and once completed should be delivered to, the RHADC Duty Officer.

    3. Protests shall be delivered by two hours after the time that the yacht’s Certificate of Compliance was due, as described in SI 13.1

    4. The Protest Committee shall extend the time limit for delivering a request for redress involving the findings of the Compliance Committee (SI 13.6) to one hour after the conclusion of the meeting. This changes the third sentence of RRS 62.2.

    5. Protest notices will be posted on the RHADC Official Notice Board to inform competitors when and where there is a hearing in which they are parties or witnesses.

    6. The Protest Committee may assess time penalties in lieu of disqualification. Such penalties will be applied to the yacht’s corrected time.

    1. The MBR will be handicapped by the ORR Marion Bermuda Offshore All Purpose TOT rating.

    2. Corrected time will be modified for “parking” time as follows:

      ORRn = ORR Time Correction Factor (“TCF”) rating of the nth yacht to finish
      En = Elapsed Time of the nth finisher (hours)
      T0 = ORR predicted seconds per mile (“SpM”) based on the 2019 ORR Marion Bermuda TCF 1.000 ORR rated yacht
      Bonusn = Celestial adjustment per yacht’s election (NoR 13.5). 0.97 if celestial or 1.00 otherwise.
      Use the following steps to calculate Cn the corrected time for each finisher:
      For n = 1, 2, 3
      Yachts without penalties or abnormalities per judgement of Principal Race Officer
      Rn = (T0 / 3600) * 645 / ORRn
      (Predicted time in hours of nth finisher)
      P = ((E1-R1) + (E2-R2) + (E3-R3)) / 3
      (“Parking” time)
      If P < 0 then P = 0. P rounded up when it is half way to nearest 0.01 hour.
      For n = 1 to the number of finishers
      Cn = (En - P) * ORRn * Bonusn + P
      (Corrected time in hours nth finisher)
    3. The “parking” time to be used will be posted on the MBR website and on the Official Notice Board at RHADC after the first three boats have finished.

    1. A yacht that withdraws from the race shall promptly notify race officials in one of the following ways:

      • Contact the Starting Line Committee on VHF Ch. 72 if this option is available.
      • Telephone the MBR Offshore Communications Team at 508-538-1009
      • Contact Bermuda Marine Operations (formerly Bermuda Radio) on VHF Channel 27 or 4125 KHz
    2. Please be prepared to furnish whomever you contact with the following information:

      • Name of the yacht,
      • Sail number of the yacht,
      • Skipper’s name,
      • Your situation,
      • Yacht’s position,
      • Yacht’s intended destination,
      • Your phone number,
      • The name and phone number of the person you wish to have contacted.
    3. After withdrawing from the race, the skipper shall complete both sheets (Sections 1 through 7) of the Certificate of Compliance and file this Certificate (including Section 7 on a separate sheet) with the RHADC Duty Officer, showing the details of her withdrawal. Send the complete Certificate by fax if you cannot present it in person. The RHADC fax number is (441) 236-8561

    4. Failure to comply with any part of SI 16 will be noted as a safety violation and will affect the Committee’s acceptance decisions for future Marion Bermuda Races.

    1. All yachts shall monitor VHF Channel 72 from 0930 on the day of their start for announcements from the start line race committee boat until they have started properly.

    2. To facilitate communications between the race committee and the competitors when they are offshore, the MBR has established an Offshore Communications Team that can be contacted at 508-538-1009 and will operate 24 hours a day from 0930 on the day of the start until Friday before the awards ceremony, or until the last yacht has finished whichever comes first. Report the following kinds of situations to the Offshore Communications Team:

      • Withdrawal (reporting required by SI 16),
      • Diversion to assist another sailor,
      • Request for assistance upon arrival in Bermuda,
      • Damage to the yacht which will affect arrival time in Bermuda,
      • Medical emergency being handled by George Washington University Marine Medical Access service. See SI 17.4.

      When making a call, be prepared to identify the yacht by name, sail number or skipper name and be prepared to give a brief description of the situation.

    3. In an emergency follow the normal at-sea procedures to involve the Coast Guard or to attract nearby yachts. Do not call the Offshore Communications Team until it is safe to do so.

    4. In a medical emergency, contact the George Washington University Marine Medical Access service directly at 202-715-4219 or 202-741-2936.

    5. Continuous Radio Watch: After starting properly, all yachts for the duration of their race shall stand a continuous watch on their Satellite communications system, VHF Channel 16 radio and on 4125 KHz if they have SSB equipment.

    6. For safety reasons, yacht-to-yacht transmissions on VHF radio or satellite communications systems are prohibited from the time of the first attention signal until four hours after the last start of the day, except during emergencies. Thereafter, transmissions that do not contain information giving an advantage to any competitor are permitted. Re-transmitting the contents of public weather forecasts is encouraged if requested by another vessel.

    7. Communications with both the Starting Line and the Finish Line Committees shall be limited to those permitted by these Sailing Instructions and emergency transmissions. See SI 7.2, 8.9, 12.4, 12.11 and 16.1.

    8. AIS: Boats shall use their best efforts to enable the transmitting mode of their AIS and shall monitor AIS or DSC for AIS-SART, MOB, and similar distress signals at all times. See RRS 1.1. A yacht’s AIS shall transmit the name of the vessel as she is entered in the race. If this is not possible, the yachts shall inform the Race Committee of the name she will transmit on AIS.

    9. Satellite Phone Watch:

      1. Each yacht shall demonstrate that the satellite communication system operates properly by having someone from the yacht’s crew, while on board the yacht, place a satellite phone call to and receive a satellite phone call from the Offshore Communications Team at 508-538-1009. The Offshore Communications Team will be available for the Communications registration daily beginning from 0900 to 1600 Saturday, June 8 until the end of on-site registration.

      2. Yachts shall be ready at all times to receive telephone calls via a satellite telephone installed in accordance with MBRSR 3.11, except while making brief data connections.

    10. Position Reporting:

      1. Each yacht shall provide a periodic report of her position by means of an automatic transponder (supplied by the OA).

      2. If a yacht believes or is notified that her transponder is not functioning properly, she shall report her daily noon position to the Race Committee via the Offshore Communications duty officer on 508-538-1009 by 1600 Atlantic time each day until mooring in a port. The Race Committee may ask for additional position reports at regular intervals, and may relieve the yacht of her reporting duty under this paragraph. Any yacht failing to report her position according to this paragraph shall provide an explanation with her Certificate of Compliance. The Race Committee may post positions reported per this paragraph on the official Notice Board.

      3. Automatic transponder positions will be updated on the tracking website (link to be shown on the MBR website) every hour. This tracking website is used by the MBR committees and other non-racers and shall not be used by a racing yacht either directly or indirectly.

  18. AWARDS

    The Awards Ceremony will be held in Bermuda on the afternoon of June 22, 2019. Details will be posted on the RHADC Official Notice Board and posted on the website.

Attachment A Starting Diagram - Starting Line Location

Attachment A

Attachment B Starting Diagram - Starting Line Area

Attachment B

Attachment C Approaches to the Finish Line

Attachment C