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Edgartown Race Weekend: A manageable alternative

by Barby MacGowan 28 Feb 11:04 PST June 20 - 22, 2024
Hal Findlay's (Edgartown, Mass.) Oyster 66 Serendipity will compete in this year's Edgartown Race Weekend, scheduled for June 20-22. The yacht completed a circumnavigation of the world last year © Tomas Moya/Oyster World Rally

It's not the Newport to Bermuda Race but a great alternative for competitive sailors who want an adventurous offshore experience in June.

Edgartown Race Weekend, scheduled for June 20-22, includes a Thursday and Friday of 'Round-the-Sound ('RTS) racing followed on Saturday by the centerpiece 'Round-the-Island ('RTI) Race, a circumnavigation of Martha's Vineyard that is one of yacht racing's oldest (87 this year) and most venerable distance races.

"At approximately 55 miles, our race is simpler, with no technical rigamarole to deal with," said Event Chair Hal Findlay in comparing the 'RTI to the 635-mile Newport to Bermuda Race, which starts June 21 from Newport, R.I. "Instead of a commitment of two weeks, you start in the morning and you're finished by late afternoon or early evening, and for warm up, the 'RTS races (scored separately from the 'RTI) take teams on coastal sprints of between 13 and 22 miles around government buoys in Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds."

Findlay's words about manageability can be taken as gospel, as he has not only competed in Edgartown Race Weekend many times (and plans to do so again in 2024) but also just returned from a 28,000-mile circumnavigation on his Oyster 66 Serendipity as part of the Oyster World Rally.

"After a few 2000-mile passages, 55 miles around beautiful Martha's Vineyard seems very doable, even for those who might be trying distance racing for the first time," said Findlay, adding that off-season on Martha's Vineyard means better winds, less crowds, and more moorings and accommodations. "And Edgartown Yacht Club gets an A+ from competitors for its curated assistance in making every team's experience exceptional."

Both the 'RTS and 'RTI races are open to PHRF-NE (including Spinnaker, Non-Spinnaker, and Doublehanded), and Multihulls.

The first 50 paid registrants for 'RTI are provided two nights of free moorings. Entry fees for 'RTS include a night of moorage for each day that participants register for 'RTS. Later registrants will be provided moorage on a space-available basis.

Sponsors of Edgartown Race Weekend are Mount Gay Rum and J Boats.

Registered entries available here.

For more information on Edgartown Race Weekend, including the NOR, go to www.rtirace.org or contact Margaret Passafiume, , (508) 627-4364 x18.

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