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The Launching Of The Marion-Bermuda Race By Mark J. Gabrielson

Not a BWSC event, but presented by BWSC member Mark J. Gabrielson.

The Professor and the Pilot:  How Two Unlikely Partners Launched the Marion-Bermuda Race

The Marion-Bermuda Race was founded by two very unusual men. One, an internationally-renowned MIT professor who sailed to win, the other, a jolly former Royal Navy pilot who immigrated to Bermuda to sail for fun. When they met, entirely by chance, they discovered that they shared a dream. Both believed professionalism was on the verge of spoiling ocean racing; winning in the sport was becoming unreachable for the competent amateur sailor. So, they founded an all-Corinthian race. Over 120 boats carrying more than 700 souls signed up for the inaugural Marion-Bermuda race in 1977, and it’s been run 20 times biannually ever since.


Mark Gabrielson recently published Corinthian Resolve: The Story of the Marion-Bermuda Race. The book is the first and only comprehensive history of this unique event. His talk will cover the highlights of this history, including the previously untold story of how Professor David Kingery and RAS (Ret.) ‘Dickie’ Bird met, collaborated, and launched a new and different ocean race. The book also is a great sea-story, retelling many of the more harrowing and amusing tales that characterize this 650-mile sprint to Bermuda.

Mark Gabrielson is a life-long sailor. He grew up sailing small, shallow-draft boats on Barnegat Bay, New Jersey and now cruises his restored Hinckley SW-50 yawl off the coast of Maine and the Canadian Maritimes. He has raced from Marion to Bermuda four times, each race using celestial navigation. He also has crewed or skippered ocean deliveries, including a 2018 transatlantic run from Newport to Cowes, UK. A retired businessman, Mark now writes maritime history books and teaches the fundamentals of navigation to undergraduates at Harvard. He lives in Boston and has a family summer home on Deer Isle, Maine.

Sunday, February 24, 2019, 4:30 PM
Pequot Yacht Club
669 Harbor Rd
Southport, CT  06890
Mark J Gabrielson
Off Water Event
Registration is not Required