Marion to Bermuda Race 2015

Marion to Bermuda Race to Award Youth Challenge Trophy in 2015

The Marion to Bermuda Race announces the creation of a new prize, the Offshore Youth Challenge Trophy, which will be first awarded in the June, 2015 Race. The creation of this challenge makes the Marion to Bermuda race the first offshore event, following the USSER US Oceans guidelines, to offer a youth specific trophy for crews 16 to 23 years of age.

The Marion to Bermuda Race Offshore Youth Challenge Trophy was created to enable young adult sailors to experience the challenge of sailing offshore in the accompaniment of experienced adult mentors. The Marion to Bermuda Race classifies youth sailors as those who will be between the ages of 16 and 23 at the start of the 2015 Marion to Bermuda Race (June 19th, 2015).

"The creation of this trophy, and trophies like it, is vital to the growth of our sport," says Mark Gabrielson, a Marion to Bermuda Race Trustee. "Not only will the level of competition in the race increase with the participation of new talent, but the social events in Bermuda are sure to be even more fun."

"From the point of view of the students, it's a great way to have their own category to compete in and a goal to work toward," says Matthew Wall, who is coordinating the offshore sailing efforts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Having the Youth category in a race gives our students a chance to get their feet wet. The timing is great for MIT, we have students interested and are in the process of finding a boat we can race."

The Offshore Youth Challenge Trophy is open to any boat that meets the requirements of the Marion to Bermuda Race as stated in the Notice of Race. Teams do not have to be enrolled in one specific school together, nor be representing a single program. A minimum of four sailors aboard any boat must be between the ages of 16 and 23 for the boat to qualify for the Offshore Youth Challenge, with no less than 66% of the crew classified as youth sailors.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for skippers who are interested in investing in the future of sailing to invite young people to participate in the 2015 Marion to Bermuda Race on their boats," says Gabrielson.

All participating youth crew are required to meet the same safety prescriptions indicated in the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions determined by the race organizers, including attending a Safety at Sea Seminar. The Marion to Bermuda Race is hosting its Safety at Sea Symposium in Boston, MA March 21-22, 2015.

Special accommodations and social events will be organized in Bermuda for all youth participants.

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