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A New England Tradition Continues: Edgartown Race Weekend 2018

Post by Becky at Dockwa - Published on 7/17/17 12:32 PM
Now in it's 80th year, the Edgartown Yacht Club's annual 56NM Round the Island is one of New England's most popular sailing traditions.

With summer almost in full swing, your favorite annual boating and sailing events are around the corner! Edgartown Race Week 2018 looks to be another one for the record books – see what they've added to keep things moving this year. 

New in 2018: Round the Sound at Edgartown Race Week


Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend, a Martha’s Vineyard tradition anchored by its Round-the-Island Race (RTI) of eight decades, is adding a new Round-the-Sound Race (‘RTS) 20NM course option for teams interested in sailing a shorter course as opposed to the 65NM RTI. The course will round government marks on Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds, an attractive alternative for those wanting to go a bit easier on Saturday after a Friday of Round the Buoy racing.

The RTS will start at 0900 on Saturday, July 21, 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.



The Saturday of short-distance racing follows two days of popular ’Round-the-Buoy Races (’RTB) in Edgartown’s Outer Harbor, which were added several years ago to add diversity to its format and extend the fun of Race Weekend on its front end.

Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend traditionally attracts entrants from the Eastern Seaboard and beyond, delivering superb racing action for boats 28 feet and longer in classes for IRC, ORC, ORR, PHRF (spinnaker and non-spinnaker divisions), Double-Handed, and Classic yachts. Professional teams as well as amateurs enter, and the mix is what keeps the atmosphere upbeat and adventurous.

The deadline for signing up for the ’Round-the-Island or Round-the Sound is Wednesday, July 18, 2018. The registration fee for RTS is $125 before July 6 and $175 after that date. The registration fee for the RTI has been decreased to $250.00 before July 6 and $325 thereafter.

The Round-the-Buoy Races registration fee for all classes will be $50 each day. The deadline for each of the two days that those races are held is Tuesday, July 17, 2018. The distance races for each day of ‘RTB are scored separately. Prizes will be awarded for all qualifying classes, including one-design, for those boats that participate in both Thursday and Friday races.

A Mount Gay-sponsored “Jump-Up” party on Friday night (July 20); and prize givings on both Friday and Sunday (July 22) round out the schedule for competitors entered in one or the other, or both, of the racing sessions.

For more information http://www.rtirace.org or contact racer@edgartownyc.org . On Facebook follow Edgartown Yacht Club Racing.

Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend Quicklinks:

Event website Facebook Page Race News


Tradition Staying in Tack

Set for Thursday through Saturday (July 20-22), more than 70 teams – including many veterans and 16 new teams – had early access to moorings through a collaboration of Edgartown Yacht Club, Dockwa, and Edgartown Harbor. “We put extra effort into helping people with mooring reservations this year and getting them signed up early,” said Event Chair Hal Findlay. “It’s really an event where people have so much fun, and they spread the word to others about it and how wonderful the Vineyard is to visit.” 


Captain Bob Snyder knows the event well. An Edgartown local who has participated in Edgartown Race Weekend close to 20 times, this year he's switching to a cruising spinnaker class after having sailed his Little Harbor 53 Resolute for 14 years in non-spinnaker for the 'Round the Island Race. 

With a first warning signal at 8AM Saturday morning, both the cruising and racing yachts typically finish by late afternoon or early Saturday  evening. In the morning, the fleet sails between Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket along the east beach of Chappaquiddick and by 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.



“Just going along the south shore is a real treat that not many people get to enjoy, because cruising sailors usually stick to the Sounds and Cape Cod Bay," said Snyder. 

While Snyder is a local diehard, more teams come from off-island. Arthur Santry, of Arlington, Va. and Newport, will be one to beat in both the ‘Round-the-Buoy races and the ‘Round-the-Island Race. Santry has skippered his Ker 50 Temptation Oakcliff in the last three Edgartown Race Weekends, and with its team of 15 sailors – close to half of whom were “Saplings” and “Acorns” from the Oakcliff Sailing program in Oyster Bay, N.Y. – won his class and finished second overall at Block Island Race Week earlier this summer.

Santry competed in the ‘Round-the-Island Race back in the 80s with his father, whose boats also bore the name Temptation. “This race committee runs a really good regatta, and the yacht club is extremely welcoming, so it’s a ton of fun.”

There's still time to register! 

  • Round-the-Buoy Races deadline: Wednesday, July 19 (click here to register) 

  • ’Round-the-Island Race deadline: Friday, July 21 (click here to register)

A registration fee is required for the ‘Round-the-Island Race; the ‘Round-the-Buoy Races are free. For more information, visit http://www.RTIrace.org.

Post by Becky Pineo

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