Light air edition in Edgartown

Published on July 22nd, 2017

Edgartown Yacht Club’s Race Weekend was dealt a light-air hand during its 79th running over July 20-22 in Edgartown, MA. The event has two parts: two days (Thursday and Friday) of ‘Round-the-Buoy racing and one day (Saturday) dedicated to a traditional and historic ‘Round-the-Island Race.

“Dicey” conditions on Thursday left two of three classes with only two races when they couldn’t meet the time limit for finishing the first of a total of three races held. On Friday, Edgartown Yacht Club’s Principal Race Officer for the buoy races, Ned Brooks, and his team practiced patience, waiting with the sailors on the water for four hours after sailing a morning race that had started in 6-10 knots and ended with almost no wind at all.

At 2:30, zephyrs on the water lightened the hearts of some extremely hot sailors, and the Race Committee started the final race of the ‘Round-the-Buoy series in six knots of westerly breeze that held steady.

“The Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend is always fun to do, but I would not say this was our best year for buoy races,” said Brooks.

Boats in PHRF Non-Spinnaker Class 1 ended up counting four races total for their series, with Chip Hawkins’ C&C 41 Caneel turning in a perfect scoreline. In PHRF Class 2, five races were scored, with Dark ‘n Stormy, the J/105 co-owned by Ned Joyce, Andy Reservitz and Eric Wagner, also turning in a perfect score.

“We’ve competed in the event for ten years in a row on Dark ‘N Stormy and won the buoy races in 2013 as well as the ‘Round-the-Island Race,” said Joyce, adding that the trio of owners is from “off-island” (Plymouth/Easton/N. Falmouth, Mass.) “We’ve been trying to repeat ever since.”

Richard Sides’ Atalanta won the Double-Handed Class 4 series, while dominant in PHRF A’s Class 3 series and obviously fastest on the water here was Steve and Heidi Benjamin’s 52-foot SPOOKIE, which legged out easily in their five races, leaving Temptation Oakcliff and White Rhino to battle it out for second overall. In the end, SPOOKIE’S perfect scoreline gave it five points, while Temptation Oakcliff turned in 13 points to White Rhino 2’s 17.

The most prestigious trophy in the event’s ‘Round-the-Island Race, the Venona Trophy, was won by Heidi and Steve Benjamin’s 52-foot SPOOKIE. The 54.62 mile race around Martha’s Vineyard is one of the classic races of the summer season in New England. It has been running every year since 1938 (except for a few years during World War II), when the first “SPOOKIE” owned by Harold T. White, Jr. was the overall winner, bringing home the coveted Venona Trophy for the first overall finish by a racing yacht with spinnaker.

Ten years later, in 1948, William Ziegler III (Heidi Benjamin’s father) won the Venona Trophy for the first of three times with the same SPOOKIE. He followed up the overall win two more times in 1950 and 1955. SPOOKIE was a Sparkman & Stephens (design #153), with length overall of 45.3 feet, built by Lemos Brothers of Riverside, RI and launched in 1937.

Upon being presented with the Venona Trophy today, Heidi Benjamin said, “It’s an incredible honor to receive the Venona Trophy, especially after my Dad won it three times. Congratulations to the whole SPOOKIE team, and a special thanks to the Edgartown Yacht Club for hosting such a challenging and exciting race.”

SPOOKIE III is a 52’ racing yacht that sails with 9 to 15 crew depending on the conditions. Built new in 2011, and designed by Botin Partners – Heidi and Steve Benjamin have been campaigning it in many major races.

The 2017 ‘Round-the-Island Race was particularly challenging due to the light winds. After a short postponement, the Race Committee got the race underway around 9 AM for the 57 entrants in 9 classes at the start off of Edgartown. The fleet rounded a mark off Cape Poge and proceeded South along Chappaquiddick Island to the turning mark RW “MC,” the red and white Mo(A) marking the shoals South and East of Martha’s Vineyard. From there the faster boats proceeded West toward Devil’s Bridge. Ultimately, the Race was shortened to the first virtual scoring gate, a longitude line on the South side of the island.

SPOOKIE’s corrected time was 5 hours 47 minutes and 48 seconds, over 2 hours ahead of second place finisher Wahoo, from the United States Naval Academy. Fourteen boats completed the shortened course, including one multihull in Class 0, two IRC racing yachts in Class 8, two doublehanded yachts in Class 4, 2 non-spinnaker yachts in Classes 2 and 3, and 7 PHRF spinnaker racing yachts in Classes 5, 6, and 7.

Event detailsResultsFacebook

‘Round-the-Buoy Race Results
Class 1 – PHRF N/S
1. CANEEL, Chip Hawkins, Barrington YC
2. FIDELIS, Brian Crowley, Megansett YC
3. FIRST LIGHT, Robert Ryan, Mattapoisett YC

Class 2 – PHRF B
1. DARK ‘N STORMY, Joyce/Reservitz/Wagner, Plymouth YC/Buzzards Bay YC
2. BLUE NOTE, Gary Nacikman, Raritan YC

Class 3 – PHRF A
1. SPOOKIE, Steve & Heidi Benjamin, Seawanhaka/Corinthian/Noroton YCs
2. TEMPTATION OAKCLIFF, Arthur Santry, Oakcliff Sailing/NYYC/Ida Lewis YC
3. WHITE RHINO 2, Todd Stuart, NYYC

Class 4 – Double-Handed
1. Atalanta, Richard Sides, Eastern YC

‘Round-the-Island Race Results
Class 2 – PHRF N/S B
1. BREEZING UP, Roy Catignani, Hyannis YC

Class 3 – PHRF N/S A
1. PANASEA, Kent Nicholas, Red Brook Harbor

Class 4 – Double-Handed
1. INIKI, Paul Stafford, Edgartown Yacht Club
2. ATALANTA, Richard Sides, Eastern YC

Class 5 – PHRF C
1. SPARKLE PONY, Francis Shiman-Hackett, Bill Finn, Savin Hill YC

Class 6 – PHRF B
1. HAFAADAI, Eliot Shanabrook, Marblehead YC
2. PRESSURE DROP, David Alexander, Constituion YC

Class 7 – PHRF A
1. SPOOKIE, Steve & Heidi Benjamin, Seawanhaka/Corinthian/Noroton YCs
2. WAHOO, William Johnson, Naval Academy
3. WHITE RHINO 2, Todd Stuart, NYYC

Class 8- IRC
1. AURORA, Gus Carlson, NYYC & Larchmont YC, Sail #50085
2. AZURA, Jamie Walker, Ryal Bermuda YC, Sail #60454

‘Round-the-Island Special Awards
J Boats – Overall Best Corrected Time
1st HAFA ADAI, Eliot Shanabrook, Marblehead YC
2nd PANASEA, Kent Nicholas, Red Brook Harbor YC

Yacht Club Team Trophy – Best Corrected time of a 3-boat team from a given yacht club with entries in more than one division
Savin Hill YC – SPARKLE PONY, Francis Shiman-Hacket, Bill Finn; TONGA, Mark Fitzgerald; PRESSURE DROP, David Alexander

Martha’s Vineyard Ocean Race – Best Corrected Time among entries by EYC members
Paul Stafford/INIKI

Hobart A. H. Cook – Best Corrected Time among Service Academy entries
William Johnson/WAHOO

Commodores’ Concord Cup – Lowest Elapsed Time
Steve & Heidi Benjamin/SPOOKIE

UPBEAT CUP – Overall winner Best Corrected Time, Non-Spinnaker
Paul Stafford/INIKI

Venona Trophy – Overall Winner Best Corrected Time Spinnaker
Steve & Heidi Benjamin/SPOOKIE

Source: MPI

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