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Edgartown Race Weekend 2023 - Preview

by Barby MacGowan 14 Jun 2023 17:10 PDT June 15-17, 2023
The JV 66 Denali, skippered by Michael D'Amelio (Boston, Mass.), returns to Edgartown Race Weekend, sailing in both ‘RTS and ‘RTI race segments © Stephen Cloutier

Edgartown Race Weekend officially starts Thursday, June 15th with 17 teams sailing their first day of 'Round-the-Sound ('RTS) races.

All but six of those teams will move on to Saturday's 'Round-the-Island ('RTI) Race, where 51 teams are entered, and are certain to benefit from the lively 'RTS tune-up.

New last year, the 'RTS races (one scheduled for each day) are scored separately from the 'RTI with separate prizes given. They comprise coastal sprints of between 11 and 19 nautical miles around various government buoys within Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds, while the 'RTI, in its 86th year, is a 55 nautical mile circumnavigation of the island of Martha's Vineyard. Starting just outside Edgartown Harbor on Saturday morning at 8 a.m., it is one of America's oldest distance races and a marquee event for its host Edgartown Yacht Club.

Teams competing hail from across Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and New Hampshire, and from as far away as Maryland, Florida, California and the British Virgin Islands. There are two classes for 'RTS: PHRF Spinnaker and PHRF Non-Spinnaker. There are seven for 'RTI: Spinnaker A, B, C, and D, Non-Spinnaker, Double-Handed Spinnaker, and Multihull.

Spectators will be able to view the 'RTI action from the island's coastal vantage points as the fleet sails clockwise around the island, first between Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket along the east beach of Chappaquiddick, and then in the open Atlantic Ocean around midday with views of the south coast of the Vineyard. In the afternoon, it will round the gorgeous cliffs of Gay Head before sailing up Vineyard Sound to the finish near the mouth of Edgartown Harbor (if not shortened due to weather conditions).

Competitors will enjoy magnificent views of cliffs, headlands, towns and open water as they play the tidal currents, manage wind effects, and pass within sight of seven lighthouses: Cape Poge, Gay Head, Tarpaulin Cove, Nobska, West Chop, East Chop and Edgartown.

Sponsors of Edgartown Race Weekend are Mount Gay Rum, North Sails, J Boats, Regatta Craft Mixers, and Team One Newport.

For more information on Edgartown Race Weekend, go to www.rtirace.org or contact Margaret Passafiume, , (508) 627-4364 x18. Follow the regatta on Facebook and Instagram.

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