New England Sailing Events: Edgartown Race Weekend

Post by - Published on 03/02/20 16:00 PM

edgartown race weekend

The 2020 Edgartown Race Weekend will take place July 30 through August 1, with dozens of yachts set to compete in 'Round-the-Buoy racing and a scenic 20NM and 56NM 'Round the Sound and 'Round-the-Island (‘RTI) courses through Edgartown's Outer Harbor, Edgartown Outer Harbor, Vineyard, and Nantucket Sound.  

Edgartown Race Weekend 2020 At-A-Glance

  • Where: Edgartown, Massachusetts on Martha's Vineyard

  • When: Thursday, July 30 through Saturday August 1, 2020


Jump to: 

Overview  |  Partnering with the Harbor  |  More about ERW  |  Learn more about the 'Round the Buoy Races  |  'Round the Island'Round the Sound  |  Links to Register and Reserve Moorings

Edgartown Race Weekend Overview

One of the nation’s oldest distance races, Edgartown Yacht Club’s three-day race weekend includes competitive buoy racing on Thursday and Friday, July 30 and 31, and concludes with two independently scored distance races on Saturday, August 1: the 56 nautical-mile ’Round-the-Island Race, or the 20 nautical-mile ’Round-the-Sound Race for those preferring a shorter course, all at one of the best venues on the East Coast. Divisional scoring will include IRC, ORReZ,  PHRF, and Multi-hull, and potentially One-Design class scoring depending on fleet numbers. Spinnaker, Non-Spinnaker, and Double-Handed classes will also be featured.


Partnering with the Harbor

New this year, the first 50 boats to register for the 'RTI receive complimentary moorage for the nights of Friday 7/31 and Saturday 8/1, courtesy of Edgartown Yacht Club and their partnership with Edgartown Harbor. For more information, visit or contact Margaret Passafiume at / (508) 627-4364 x18. 


More about Edgartown Race Weekend

The 'Round-the-Island Race is a long-standing tradition and unique in so many ways. The ’Round-the-Buoy Races provide a just-right combination of competition for dozens of teams competing. New two year ago, ‘Round-the-Sound Race was added for those boats that do not qualify to participate in the ‘RTI Race or that wish to have a shorter race.

Competition is as friendly as it is fierce: ‘RTB & ‘RTI promotes fun, and competitive racing for boats at least 28 feet in classes for IRC, ORC, ORR, PHRF-NE, Classic, One Design, Multihull, and Double-Handed. For ‘RTS, boats qualify that are at least 22 feet in PHRF, and one design classes. 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-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 on Saturday, August 1 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.

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