The 40th anniversary of the Marion to Bermuda begins on June 9th from Marion, Massachusetts. This special anniversary edition will also be special because the 35th America’s Cup will be underway in Bermuda. This year’s race has a record number of boats, with nearly 250 already signed up.
It all began in 1975 for the Marion to Bermuda Race. W. David Kingery was very busy with various sailing activities. He was a member of the Beverly Yacht Club, on the Board of Governors of the Blue Water Sailing Club, and interested in doing a single-handed race from England to Newport. To qualify for the race, David chose to do a single-handed voyage to Bermuda and on this trip was struck with the concept of organizing a race to Bermuda for cruising yachts and family sailors.
Having successfully completed the Bermuda trip, he discussed his idea with Dickie Bird of the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club and then with Leo Fallon, Commodore of the Blue Water Sailing Club, and with various members of the Beverly Yacht Club. Support was promised from all three clubs; the 1977 Marion-Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race began with supporting clubs at each end and an additional staff of enthusiastic volunteers from the Blue Water Sailing Club. The first Marion-Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race in 1977 saw 104 starters cross the line. The going was slow in light southwesterly winds and most of the expectant officials at the finish line thought CHEE CHEE would cross first. But her position was not accurate and SILKIE appeared to take line honors, first on corrected time and first short-handed.