Martha’s Vineyard: Where competition and casual ambience meet

Published on February 19th, 2014

Though it’s known as an alluring summer vacation destination, the island retreat of Martha’s Vineyard (Mass.) also is a second-to-none racing venue for sailors.

Edgartown Yacht Club’s Edgartown Race Weekend – this year scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, July 24-26 – is the island’s most highly regarded sailing contest and once again looks to deliver on some exceptional racing for IRC, PHRF, Double-Handed, Classic and Cruising divisions.

“There really is nothing else like Edgartown Race Week,” notes Jim Swartz (Park City, Utah), who races his 52-foot Vesper at grand-prix events around the world. “Where it’s held, on short courses in the outer Edgartown Harbor and then on a challenging race track around a beautiful island; good wind that always seems to oblige; and the casual and welcoming ambience of the yacht club itself, which opens up to the waterfront at the foot of Main Street in downtown Edgartown. If there is a better sailing venue in the world I have yet to find it.”

Edgartown Race Weekend blends both standard windward/leeward and/or triangle courses with their infamous ‘Round-the-Island Race. The schedule starts with buoy races on Thursday and Friday before the fleet begins the 54.7 mile route on Saturday around the 100 square miles that make up Martha’s Vineyard.

First held in the summer of 1938, the Edgartown Yacht Club’s ‘Round-the-Island Race was inspired by a similar race around the Isle of Wight that has been held in Cowes, England every year since 1931. The race passes over Nantucket Sound, the Atlantic Ocean and Vineyard Sound and by seven lighthouses during its clockwise circumnavigation. The race around the Isle of Wight covers 50 miles and has become the fourth largest sporting event in the United Kingdom.

Click here for the Notice of Race for both events; deadline for entry is July 23 for the BBBR and July 25 for the RTI. No registration fee is required for the BBBR.

Edgartown Yacht Club has a long history of providing exceptional yacht racing in the waters around Martha’s Vineyard. With roots going back to the turn of the 20th Century, the club was officially founded in 1905 by racing members of the original “Home Club,” to which many prominent summer and permanent residents – both racing and non-racing – belonged. The current clubhouse was completed in 1927.

Click here for more information and to register for Edgartown Yacht Club sailing events.

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