Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

Edgartown Race Weekend - Let the sailing (and good times) begin

by Barby MacGowan on 23 Jul 2014
The ‘Round-the-Island Race is now a 77-year-old tradition Michael Berwind
It’s time again for Edgartown Yacht Club to host its annual Edgartown Race Weekend on Martha’s Vineyard. The event, for IRC, PHRF (racing spinnaker, cruising non-spinnaker) and Double-Handed sailboats, takes place this Thursday through Saturday (July 24-26), and by the looks of the entry list and schedule there will be no shortage of talent participating or fun to be had.

The first two days are devoted to Big Boat Buoy Races (BBBR), which currently have 34 entries and were inaugurated in 2012 as a one-day partner event to the club’s renowned and now 77-year-old ’Round-the-Island Race, which has 66 entries to date. Last year, the BBBR expanded to two days, and there has been no looking back.

While a growing group of the nation’s hottest grand prix circuit sailors join the action, race organizers remain committed to keeping things charmingly 'down home' and accessible to racing sailors of all levels. The whole spectrum can enjoy the Friday night Mount Gay 'jump-up' party, a Welcome Reception on Wednesday, and Awards Ceremonies on both Friday and Sunday, all at Edgartown Yacht Club’s 1927 clubhouse that sits famously at the foot of Main Street, perched out over the waters of Edgartown Harbor.

Hal Findlay is one of those sail-for-fun kind of guys who lives in Cos Cob in the winter and in Edgartown during the summer. He first competed in Edgartown Race Weekend two years ago, skipped last year, and will be on the starting line this year with his 32-foot Aphrodite 101 named Arrow, which he will sail double-handed with his old college buddy Bart Partington (Cos Cob, Conn./Edgartown) on all three days.


'We sail a lot together, but we don’t race, with the exception of this,' said Findlay. 'Our typical Saturday afternoon is to sail out of Edgartown Harbor and beat or run back; we would never think of sailing 56 miles around the island, so the ‘Round-the-Island Race is an opportunity to spread our wings a little.' As for the around-the-buoys racing, where Findlay and Bench will be up against BBBR defending champion Richard Egan (Osterville, Mass.) aboard his J/46 Wings, Findlay joked that with just the two of them, things 'might get messy,' but they would be sure to take it lightly. 'Now Vesper vs. Sled, that’s where it gets serious!'

Jim Swartz’s (Salt Lake City, Utah/Edgartown) IRC 52 Vesper and Takashi Okura’s (Alpine N.J./Tokyo, Japan) IRC 52 Sled are two of nine boats signed up in the ultra-competitive IRC class. They have just competed in the New York Yacht Club’s Race Week at Newport, where Vesper won IRC overall and Sled took third in class. Also coming straight from Newport is Steve and Heidi Benjamin’s Carkeek 40 Spookie, another proven thoroughbred that won its IRC class in Newport as well.

Gunther Buerman (Newport, R.I.), who will skipper his 12 Metre here later this summer at the annual Edgartown Yacht Club-hosted 12 Metre Regatta, has added a second boat – the IRC 52 Hooligan – to his stable and hopes to make an impressive showing at Edgartown Race Weekend, but he is still getting used to the change of pace that one feels after trading a classic chariot for a fast car.


'It has been great fun,' said Buerman about sailing Hooligan at Key West Race Week, the IRC Super Series in Miami, and then Race Week at Newport last week, 'but I feel like I’m in my second semester of kindergarten. We’ve learned quickly that the boat is unique and modern in terms of how it has to be sailed.'

For Bermuda Race veteran and Edgartown Race Weekend Chairman Charles Hodge (Edgartown) it took three tries for his team to take home a trophy (for third place among Edgartown boats) in the ‘Round-the-Island Race, and they’ll be back at it this year, sailing his Little Harbor 44 Surprise in the next-to-largest (22 entries) PHRF non-spinnaker class. 'It’s a fun race, and we don’t take it terribly serious, but it felt good to take home the silver. It has been a learning experience, and we enjoy improving our sailing each time.' He added that sometimes crews have to 'let it all hang out,' especially in 15-20 knots, which were the conditions for last year, but that’s what Hodge’s boat, a heavy-displacement design, likes best. 'Some of the lighter displacement boats will beat us if it’s blowing 10-12 knots; if it’s 20-25, they won’t.'

Wednesday, July 23 is the entry deadline for Thursday and Friday’s Big Boat Buoy Races, which are sailed just beyond the mouth of Edgartown Harbor and sanctioned as part of the prestigious U.S. IRC Gulf Stream Series. Friday, July 25 is the entry deadline for Saturday’s Round-the-Island Race, part of the New England Lighthouse Series for PHRF yachts. The Big Boat Buoy Races and the ‘Round-the-Island Race are scored separately and each have their own Notices of Race and entry forms; however, there is no additional entry fee to compete in the buoy races.

For more information, go to RTI Race.

Zhik ZKG 660x82North Technology - Southern SparsNaiad

Related Articles

Le Cléac'h and Thomson revel in the Vendée Globe glory
Armel Le Cléac'h and Alex Thomson were basking in the glory of becoming the solo round the world race's fastest sailors. Armel Le Cléac'h and second-placed Alex Thomson were today basking in the glory of becoming the solo round the world race's fastest ever sailors. Le Cléac'h and Thomson arrived in the race's home port of Les Sables d'Olonne in France just 16 hours apart after more than 27,000 nautical miles of racing over 74 days to claim the top two podium places.
Posted on 20 Jan
Quantum Key West Race Week – Day 4 images and videos by Nic Douglass
Nic Douglass has provided these images and videos from day four Nic Douglass has provided these images and videos from day four
Posted on 20 Jan
Jules Verne Trophy – New equator record for IDEC Sport
Francis Joyon, Sébastien Audigane, Clément Surtel, Gwénolé Gahinet, Alex and Bernard achieved the best performance ever Francis Joyon, Sébastien Audigane, Clément Surtel, Gwénolé Gahinet, Alex Pella and Bernard Stamm achieved the best performance ever for the stretch betweenUshant and the Equator after rounding the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn) with a time of 35 days, four hours and 45 minutes.
Posted on 20 Jan
Alex Thomson takes the runner-up spot in the Vendée Globe
Thomson set out to become the first Brit ever to win the Vendée Globe but following an epic battle with French skipper. Thomson, 42, set out to become the first Brit ever to win the Vendée Globe but following an epic battle with French skipper Armel Le Cléac'h missed out on the top spot by just shy of 16 hours. The skipper of Hugo Boss crossed the finish line at 0737 UTC in a time of 74 days, 19 hours, 35 minutes and 15 seconds in one of the closest finishes ever in the race's 27-year history.
Posted on 20 Jan
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta – Tweaks and changes
Paul Miller, Racing Director for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta spoke about the tweaks and changes to the 37th edition Paul Miller, Racing Director for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, spoke about the tweaks and changes to the 37th edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, including free entry for the Gill Commodore's Cup, sensational Beach Cat packages including very attractive shipping costs from Europe and a novel finale to the Caribbean's most popular regatta.
Posted on 20 Jan
Alex Thomson finishes second in the Vendée Globe
Thomson, 42, crossed the finish line of the race in Les Sables d'Olonne, today on his 60ft racing yacht Hugo Boss. Thomson, 42, crossed the finish line of the race in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, at 0737hrs UTC today on his 60ft racing yacht Hugo Boss.
Posted on 20 Jan
Alex Thomson defies the odds to finish second in the Vendée Globe
After 74 days, 19 hours and 35 minutes at sea, British sailor Alex Thomson reached the finish line on his boat Hugo Boss After 74 days, 19 hours and 35 minutes at sea, British sailor Alex Thomson reached the finish line on his boat Hugo Boss at 7:37 UTC Friday 20th January 2017, and in doing so broke his own British record of 80 days for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe in a monohull.
Posted on 20 Jan
Quantum Key West Race Week heads down to the wire in four classes
Four classes are up for grabs with one race remaining. Tomorrow's lone race for all classes will decide the winner Four classes are up for grabs with one race remaining at the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week. Tomorrow's lone race for all classes will decide the winner in the 52 Super Series, J/111 Class, J/70 Class and the ORC Class.
Posted on 20 Jan
Mount Gay Round Barbados Series - Another glorious day on racecourse
The final day of the Coastal Series at the 81st Mount Gay Round Barbados Regatta concluded in spectacular style today The final day of the Coastal Series at the 81st Mount Gay Round Barbados Regatta, organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay, concluded in spectacular style today with sunshine, a good working breeze up to 17-18kts, and a relatively flat sea.
Posted on 20 Jan
Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 4 action-shots by Nico Martinez
Nico Martinez was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images Photographer Nico Martinez was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images from Day 3 action.
Posted on 20 Jan