Casual and Scenic Overnighter

Published on April 21st, 2017

The 13th edition of the Ida Lewis Distance Race is scheduled to start on Friday, August 18, 2017, promising once again to deliver an exciting late-season topper to a busy summer of competitive racing on Narragansett Bay.

Classes for IRC, PHRF, One Design, Multihull and Double-Handed insure that everyone (with a qualifying boat of 28 feet or longer) has a place to fit in. This race is more about fun than fierce competition; youth teams, collegiate teams, and even low-key teams sailing Cruising Spinnaker are encouraged to compete, and there are special trophies for them to chase.

“I love doing this race,” said last year’s winner of Cruising Spinnaker Class Matthew Pilon of Houston, Texas. “The information was well organized, the updates on what was happening were great, and of course the finish is so fun, with champagne delivered to you on the water when you’ve completed the course.”

Pilon sailed his Oyster 54 Liberty Call with help from his wife Priscilla and son Phil. He felt the course was not too long but still challenging enough. “Going around Block Island makes for an interesting race.”

The Ida Lewis Distance Race organizers choose the course beforehand based on the weather and wind forecast. It can be anywhere between 107 and 169 nautical miles and always requires overnight sailing.

The fleet starts on Friday at 1 p.m. just outside Newport Harbor and a gets a scenic eyeful as it passes by several iconic turning marks, including Castle Hill, Brenton Reef, Montauk Point, Martha’s Vineyard and Buzzards Bay Tower. Some of the faster boats can be home in the early morning hours of Saturday.

Event details:

Source: MPI

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