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New England Sailing Events: Edgartown Race Weekend

Post by Becky Pineo - Published on 3/16/18 9:00 AM
Edgartown Yacht Club invites sailors to their 80th Annual Edgartown Race Weekend! 

Hosted by Edgartown Yacht Club, the 2018 Edgartown Race Weekend will take place the third weekend in July in historic Edgartown, MA on the island of Martha's Vineyard. More than 70 yachts attend each year, competing in two days of 'Round-the-Buoy (‘RTB) racing, a scenic 56NM 'Round-the-Island (‘RTI) course starting in Edgartown's Outer Harbor, and, new this year, a 'Round-the-Sound race option! 

The Edgartown Yacht Club 'Round-the-Island Race is a long-standing tradition and unique in so many ways. The ’Round-the-Buoy Races were added in 2012 to provide a just-right combination of competition for dozens of teams. Said competition is as friendly as it is fierce: ERW promotes fun, competitive racing for boats 28 feet and longer in classes for IRC, ORC, ORR, PHRF-NE, Classic, One Design, Multihull, and Double-Handed. Entries include top-performance yacht racing programs as well as boats of families grilling hot dogs on their sterns as they round the island.


'Round-the-Buoy Races

Now in its 7th year, the EYC's 'Round-the-Buoy two-day series starts on Thursday and Friday. The ’RTB Races were added several years ago to add diversity to its format and extend the fun of Race Weekend on its front end.

The ‘RTB skipper's meeting takes place at Edgartown Yacht Club on Wednesday at 1700 hours, then racing commences the following morning with the first warning signal at 1000 hours.  After Friday's races, participants and families are invited to Edgartown Yacht Club for a Mount Gay sponsored award ceremony and Jump-Up party on Friday evening!


'Round-the-Island Race

The Round-the-Island race has been held annually since 1938, except for the years of WWII. The race was inspired by the race around the Isle of Wight which began in Cowes, England in 1931.

The course is reminiscent of the race around the Isle of Wight in England, which was the course of the first America’s Cup. As with the Isle of Wight, tidal currents and wind effects play a large factor.

The race passes over Nantucket Sound, the Atlantic Ocean and Vineyard Sound, and by the seven lighthouses of Cape Poge, Gay Head, Tarpaulin Cove, Nobska, West Chop, East Chop and Edgartown as it circumnavigates the 100 square miles that make up Martha’s Vineyard.

With a first warning signal at 0800 hours, both cruising and racing boats typically finish by late afternoon or early evening.  In the morning the fleet sails between Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket along the east beach of Chappaquiddick. At midday they are in the open Atlantic Ocean with views of the south coast of the Vineyard.  In the afternoon, rounding the cliffs of Gay Head, the fleet sails up Vineyard Sound. If the tidal currents or wind conditions make going slow, the Race Committee may shorten course to finish just north of Menemsha.


New in 2018: 'Round the Sound

Although this Vineyard tradition has long been anchored by its ’Round-the-Island Race (’RTI) of eight decades, credit to the club for innovating on its schedule.  is adding a new ’Round-the-Sound Race (‘RTS) option for teams wanting to sail a shorter course of approximately 20 miles around government marks on Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds. The ’RTS adds yet another dimension to Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend and is an attractive alternative for those wanting to go a bit easier on Saturday or just even try short-distance racing for the first time.

The ’RTS will start at 0900 on Saturday, soon after the final start for all classes entered in the 56 nm ’RTI, which never ceases to challenge even the best of sailors while simultaneously wowing them with “The Vineyard’s” scenic splendor.

Sign up for Edgartown Race Week 2018!

Click here to register for the ‘Round-the-Buoy Races, and here to register for the Round-the-Island Race. To read the Notices of Race, click here.  A registration fee is required for the ‘Round-the-Island Race; the ‘Round-the-Buoy Races are free. 


Post by Becky Pineo

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