Please select your home edition
InSunSport - International - Tough

Edgartown Race Weekend - BBBR and Round-the-Island Race winners named

by Barby MacGowan on 29 Jul 2014
Saturday’s ‘Round-the-Island Race Michael Berwind
Buoy racing followed by a circumnavigation of Martha’s Vineyard made Edgartown Yacht Club’s three-day Edgartown Race Weekend (July 24-26) the just-right combination for dozens of teams competing. The Thursday/Friday Big Boat Buoy Races, a separately scored fleet racing series that made its full debut last year after organizers trial-tested a one-day buoy racing event the year prior, hosted 32 boats, while the 77-year old ‘Round-the-Island Race -- decidedly more storied, if not downright legendary -- saw 67 boats taking on the hearty 56 nautical mile rounding of one of America’s most beloved island vacation destinations.

For the Big Boat Buoy Races, Jim Swartz’s (Park City, Utah/Edgartown) IRC 52 Vesper, which recently concluded a successful campaign in Europe, topped the eight-boat IRC fleet, trading victories with Gunther Buerman’s (Newport, R.I.) IRC 52 Hooligan in the first day’s two races that saw a northerly breeze build to 15-17 knots by early afternoon. A third race that had been started was abandoned after Hooligan snagged a race mark and it broke free, rendering the race unfair to those who followed behind, but there was still Friday’s racing for settling scores. In the lingering northerly that weakened throughout the day, Vesper won two of three races sailed, while Hooligan, taking the hit of two seventh-place finishes, fell to fourth overall. Steve and Heidi Benjamin’s (Darien, Conn.) Carkeek 40 Spookie improved its score line to rise to second on the scoreboard, while Takashi Okura’s (Tokyo, Japan/Montvale, N.J.) Sled settled in for third.

'It’s great to get such a good fleet of big boats here,' said Swartz on Friday afternoon while his crew was busy switching the boat into 'coastal racing gear' for the ‘Round-the-Island Race. 'Vesper, Hooligan, Sled, Interlodge…we’re all very evenly matched. It’s very competitive on the water, but on shore it’s a very friendly, good group of people.'

The 10-boat PHRF Spinnaker class also completed three races on day two for a five-race series, and it was the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron’s Farr 40 Ranger that held all the cards in that class. 'Sailing in light wind is stressful,' said Andy Bonn (Camden, N.C.), Ranger’s 20-year-old helmsman, after Friday’s racing. 'He who has the most patience makes the best gains; that’s what we found today.' Bonn said his team’s closest competition came from the Naval Academy’s second entry here, the J/122 Dolphin, which wound up tied on point score for second with John Schimenti’s ID35 Zefiro Torna but having to settle for third place because of tie breaker rules. 'With the way the (PHRF) rating system works, Ranger and Dolphin were close in time,' said Bonn.

Chip Hawkins’ (Barrington, R.I.) Pearson 10 Metre Caneel and Richard Egan’s (Hyannis, Mass.) J/44 Wings won the eight-boat PHRF Non-Spinnaker and six-boat Double-Handed classes, respectively, counting four races total for their series.

'We have everything else, we just don’t have a chute (spinnaker),' laughed Hawkins, a champion in his home waters of Narragansett Bay who would go on to be the only competitor with a victory 'two-fer' after he won his PHRF Non-Spinnaker Class C in the ‘Round-the-Island Race and claimed the Upbeat Cup for best performance among all non-spinnaker classes. 'This is our first time for this event, and we’re still feeling it out, but it’s very good competition and great fun.'

Sailing with his 18-year-old son Joe, Richard Egan said he was a bit overpowered on Thursday: 'With a big boat like ours and just the two of us, it’s hard to change sails.' Joe still liked the bigger wind, however, calling Friday’s races 'painfully slow' and was looking forward to the projected heavy air in the ‘Round-the-Island Race where his brother and two cousins were due to join him for a fully crewed attempt at victory there.

'What’s happening is we’re seeing an evolution, which is really healthy, of a shift to the next generation,' said the elder Egan, who has been sailing this event since he was his son’s age. 'They know how to make the boat go, and I have total confidence in them to run the boat.'

Sailors had to tuck in early on Friday night to be ready for 6:30 a.m. boat calls Saturday morning--before the 8a.m. start of the ‘Round-the-Island Race. And that hadn’t been easy with the now-traditional Mt. Gay Jump-up Party dutifully following Friday evening’s awards for the Big Boat Buoy Racing. A building 10-12 knot breeze for the start made it all worth the effort, however, and the memory of a dreaded alarm clock going off was replaced with adrenalin-infused concentration on the next task at hand: to hit the starting line right on the money and, if you had them, immediately hoist a spinnaker for harnessing as much downwind power as possible.

Even Dean Barker, best known internationally as Emirates Team New Zealand’s skipper in the last America’s Cup, got in on the dramatic starting line action, serving as back-up driver and strategist for Interlodge, but it was Sled that would rule at the end of the day in IRC class, taking home a class victory and the Commodores’ Concord Cup for shortest elapsed time around the island (5:49:22) and Dave Alexander’s Arcona 430 Pressure Drop that would win the coveted Venona Trophy for best overall performance among all spinnaker classes.

Defending champion Douglas Curtiss (New Bedford, Mass.), who won PHRF A class with his J/111 Wicked 2.0, said the 8-10 knot breeze, a south/southwesterly, kept filling in after the start, and by the time his team got to East Chop it was gusting to 18. 'It was a beautiful, beautiful day out there,' he said, adding that victory was not easy. 'First and second place (won by Vanish) was decided by three minutes over 7½ hours of racing, so if you boil that down to percentages, that’s a 3% difference in speed. The Naval Academy, too, was toe-to-toe with us, and they held two out of the top five finish positions, so I’d say that they have a very competitive program for sailing, and it is making a difference.'

Dolphin won the Hobart A.H. Cook Maritime Award for best performance by a Naval, Coast Guard or Maritime Academy boat, while Buzzards Yacht Club (Pocasset, Mass.) won the Yacht Club Team Trophy with the performances of Bruce Robinson’s Morris 51 Eider Down, Matthew Schmitt’s J/105 Hard Tack and Allen Eddy’s Pearson P36-2 Kinsale. Eider Down was, additionally, a class winner (PHRF Non-Spinnaker A), as was Stephen McManus’s J/120 Saykadoo (PHRF B) and James Swent’s Alerion Express 38 Osprey (PHRF Non-Spinnaker B).

For more information, go to RTI Race

Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Barz Optics - Kids rangeInSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

Maltese success in the Rolex Middle Sea Race
With the ultimate prize going to Italy, this year’s success is defined by some impressive class wins With the ultimate prize going to Italy, this year’s success is defined by some impressive class wins and then of course the all-important bragging rights within the local fleet.
Posted today at 4:20 pm
The Countdown on to the 33rd Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race
In 100 days you could be sailing out of Biscayne Bay and heading out towards the Gulf Stream with the competitors' fleet Have you planned your 2017 Winter Escape yet? In just 100 days, you could be sailing out of Biscayne Bay and heading out towards the Gulf Stream with the fleet of competitors in the 33rd edition
Posted today at 12:53 pm
Top Chinese solo sailor missing on record attempt to cross Pacific
Top Chinese solo sailor Guo Chuan has gone missing while trying to break the record for crossing the Pacific alone The first Chinese sailor to sail single handed around the world alone, Guo Chuan has gone missing while trying to break the record for crossing the Pacific alone. He was a few days into a voyage from San Francisco to Shanghai sailing alone on a large transoceanic trimaran.
Posted today at 10:35 am
Exit interview with Josh Adams, US Sailing's Olympic boss, part one
I caught up with Josh Adams, Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing at US Sailing, for a two-part job-exit interview. While the USA is a historically strong sailing nation, the team suffered a medal-ceremony shutout at the London 2012 Olympics. A planned leadership change transpired and Josh Adams was named Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing. Unfortunately, the job requires constant travel, which doesn’t mix with raising kids and Adams recently resigned. I talked with him for a two-part job-exit interview.
Posted on 26 Oct
Vendée Globe – Master of the School of Hard Knocks
Jérémie Beyou ranks as one of the favourites to win this eighth edition. His two last attempts ended in early abandons. Triumphant in the summer's warm up New York – Vendée Transatlantic Race and three times winner of La Solitaire du Figaro, the incredibly competitive solo one design classic stage offshore race which is sailed each summer in 32-foot one design Bénéteau Figaro 2s, Jérémie Beyou on Maître CoQ ranks as one of the favourites to win this eighth edition
Posted on 26 Oct
Rolex Middle Sea Race – Overall winner announced
The Royal Malta Yacht Club announced that Vincenzo Onorato's Cookson 50 Mascalzone Latino is the overall winner This race crew was a mix of Italians and British sailors who have raced all over the world under the Mascalzone Latino banner and with great success.
Posted on 26 Oct
The Gitana Team Series – Awakening the senses – Smell
This week, Sébastien Josse has left the Vendée to hook up with his Breton way of life, at home, not far from Lorient. It is just eleven days until the start of the eighth Vendée Globe. In Port Olona, the public is out in force, the village and the pontoons are always full and the pressure mounts a little more each day for the twenty-nine solo sailors, who will set sail on 6 November 2016.
Posted on 26 Oct
Melges 24 World Championship in Miami – 30 days to go
This championship is anticipated to be the most crowded event of the international one-design sailing scene this year. With the day of the first start quickly approaching, the organizing machine is working in full swing: for an event of such importance, everything from race management to the on-shore activities must be organized down to the smallest detail.
Posted on 26 Oct
Rolex Middle Sea Race – Will they, won't they?
Tension was heightened as the door opened by Rambler 88’s finish in the early hours was widened further by more arrivals It was a trickle of finishers rather than a flood, but there was drama all the same, where the battle to secure class wins and post a claim to the overall title raged throughout the day. With the forecast suggesting a period of fading breeze on the course area, the race pendulum was swinging in favour of the bigger, faster yachts. The incentive to keep pushing to the finish was evident.
Posted on 26 Oct
2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race - The big picture
107 yachts started 2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race with 94 yachts racing for the overall prize of the Rolex Middle Sea Trophy 107 yachts started the 2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race with 94 yachts racing for the overall prize of the Rolex Middle Sea Trophy, awarded to the best yacht racing under the IRC Rating system.
Posted on 26 Oct