Marion to Bermuda 2019: photo gallery

Kenneth Borges
Jun 14, 2019

MARION — A total of 38 sailboats took off from Buzzards Bay on Friday, June 14 to embark on the twenty second Marion to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race. One medical incident happened as the boats took off, forcing one crew member to stay behind. 

The race offers sailors the chance to sail from Marion to Bermuda, over the course of four or five days. The proceeds from the race will be used for youth sailing programs. Boats began their journey in five separate classes, one for “classic yachts” and four groups A through D based on their perceived capabilities with the fastest boats in Class A , and slowest in Class D.

A crew member aboard “Defiance” sustained a gash to their forehead during the start of the race. Marion Harbormaster Isaac Perry said the crew member was struck in the head by the boom of the boat.

The injured sailor received first aid from fellow crew members and was returned to land by the harbormaster. Perry said the individual was conscious and alert. The identity and condition of the individual was not released by the harbormaster or emergency responders. The remaining crew members continued the race.

This year’s race marked the first time that Tabor Academy’s Tabor Boy entered the Marion to Bermuda race, though the boat has sailed to Bermuda before outside of competition. 

Tabor Academy has a longstanding designation as a Naval Honor School, and specializes in sailing, seamanship, and leadership training. Students can enroll in nautical science classes including boat design, sea survival, and celestial navigation. Tabor Boy is used for sail training in the fall and spring, and during the summer, the vessel conducts six five-day orientation cruises for new Tabor students. Aside from a licensed master, her crew is made up entirely of Tabor students who sail in shifts of roughly twelve hours.

This level of responsibility on the students is largely the reason for the long success of the program. It is worth noting that many schooner crew have gone on to successful careers in
the U.S. Merchant Marine, Coast Guard, and Navy.

Tabor Boy has made numerous offshore trips with students, primarily to Maine, Bermuda, and the Virgin Islands to support student research on coral reefs. In 1993, the vessel
transited the Panama Canal and spent a week in the Pacific Ocean. She also visited the Turks and Caicos, Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico.

The Tabor Boy and her opponent in her division, the Spirit of Bermuda, jockeyed for position at the start. Both boats approached the line on starboard tack, with Spirit of Bermuda coming in to windward and luffing to kill speed. Tabor Boy took a long slow starboard approach, hitting the line just aft and to windward of Spirit of Bermuda. After the start, the two boats sailed off across the bay toward Woods Hole in a hearty Sou’wester.

Final race results will be adjusted based on penalties and a handicap system designed to level the playing field for slower boats. Results will be posted online at

Two additional boats were scheduled to compete, but withdrew due to damages sustained prior to the race.