An international fleet of more than 60 boats took to the starting line on Sunday to begin the 38th Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Race. The 363-mile race, which dates to 1905, is billed as the “granddaddy of ocean races.”

“We are excited about the strength of the entries this year,” said David Bows, Vice Commodore of the Boston Yacht Club who co-chairs the race along with Michael Simms of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.

Several large boats with impressive records signed up. Among them Valiant, a 12-meter yacht, skippered by Gary Gregory of Marblehead. Now a race veteran, Valiant first competed in the “Halifax” in 1991.

Warrior, a 70-foot Volvo out of Southern Yacht Club has added MHOR to her summer itinerary.

From Nova Scotia, Airborne IV, a Beneteau 50 owned by Halifax businessman Bill Greenwood is among the larger boats in the Canadian fleet. Greenwood is a former Commodore of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron. Airborne IV won her class overall, and the overall PHRF racing division in 2017. 

“One of the pleasures of organizing this race is seeing which familiar friends are returning from prior races (almost 60%) and the excitement of seeing some of the first-time entries” says VC Bows.

Among those first-time entries is Gigi, a J122 skippered by BYC Rear Commodore Tom Mager.

“I am looking forward to roughly three days of great teamwork with the crew racing around the clock. I’ve heard the stories of beautiful sunsets, sea life along the way and the huge welcome at the RNSYS."

With the speediest ships reaching the Halifax destination late Monday evening, a full list of results can be expected in Wednesday's edition of The Salem News. For those interested in viewing those results earlier, please visit Marbleheadtohalifax.com

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The Boston Yacht club has hosted a round of parties and receptions throughout the event.

The event is a cooperative venture of the RNSYS and the Boston Yacht Club of Marblehead. Title sponsor is the Steele Auto Group of Canada with US supporting Sponsors: Gill, Marblehead Bank, Atlantica Hotel of Halifax and Goslings Rum.