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2015 Edgartown Race Weekend - Preview

by Kirsten Ferguson 22 Mar 2015 03:21 PDT 23-24 July 2015
IRC 52s at Edgartown Race Weekend's Round-the-Buoy Races in 2014 © Michael Berwind

'Round-the-Buoys, 'Round-the-Island

It really can't get any better – two days of 'Round-the-Buoy Races in dependable breezes on outer Edgartown Harbor followed by a legendary 'Round-the-Island Race that circumnavigates the breathtaking 100-square-mile island retreat of Martha's Vineyard.

The three-day Edgartown Race Weekend, hosted by Edgartown Yacht Club, starts on Thursday, July 23, with multiple short-course races that continue through Friday, July 24, but are scored separately for each day. That means competitors can participate on one day, the other or both and collect silver for their performances either way. Registration for the 'Round-the-Buoy Races is free of charge, so while many teams are all-in and full-on for the two-day series, some still choose to just sail Friday in tune-up for the 'Round-the-Island Race on Saturday, July 25, or simply indulge in the 'Round-the-Island Race alone. (A registration fee is required for the 'Round-the-Island Race.)

No doubt about it, the 'Round-the-Island Race is the pièce de résistance of Edgartown Race Weekend. First held in the summer of 1938, it was inspired by a similar race around the Isle of Wight in Cowes, England and covers 56 nautical miles as it passes over Nantucket Sound, the Atlantic Ocean and Vineyard Sound and by seven lighthouses.

The open-air Edgartown Yacht Club, built in 1927, sits welcomingly on the waterfront at the foot of Main Street in downtown Edgartown. For Edgartown Race Weekend, it hosts a Welcome Reception on Wednesday, July 22; the Mount Gay "Jump-Up" Party on Friday, after the award ceremony for the 'Round-the Buoy-Races; and an award ceremony for the 'Round-the-Island Race on Sunday morning.

The 'Round-the-Buoy Races until this year were called the Big Boat Buoy Races and were inaugurated in 2012 as a one-day partner event to the 'Round-the-Island Race. It expanded to two days in 2013 and like the 'Round-the-Island Race promotes fun, competitive racing for boats 28 feet and longer in divisions for IRC, PHRF (Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker) and HPR. Specific classes for Double-Handed, One Design, and Classic yachts are added when at least three entries are entered for each discipline. The 'Round-the-Buoy Races are sanctioned as part of the U.S. IRC Gulf Stream Series, and the 'Round-the-Island Race is part of the New England Lighthouse Series for PHRF yachts.

The 'Round-the-Buoy Races and the 'Round-the-Island Race each have their own Notices of Race and entry forms. For more information and to register, go to www.rtirace.org or contact . Follow Edgartown Yacht Club Racing Facebook page.

In 2015, Edgartown Yacht Club also will host a J/70 Spring Tune Up (June 20), the 92nd Annual Regatta for one-design boats (July 16-18), and the 22nd running of the Annual 12 Metre Regatta (August 7-9). For more information and to register for Edgartown Yacht Club sailing events, visit www.edgartownyc.org and click on the racing tab.

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