End of Summer Around Conanicut Island
Published on September 2nd, 2018
Under sunny skies and a building sea breeze, one hundred yachts ranging from 22 to 80 feet competed in the 91st Annual Conanicut Yacht Club Around the Island Race on September 2, 2018.
As one of the oldest continuously run regattas in North America, the 18 mile course around Conanicut Island nestled in the middle of Narragansett Bay marks the end of the summer sailing season in the coastal region.
“Some sailors come out for the trophy or just bragging rights, while others are simply on a family picnic sail,” said Race Chair Alan Baines. “The best part about this race that there is something for everyone and it’s truly a celebration of another summer coming to end.”
William Hubbard and his crew onboard Siren – rated as the fastest boat in the fleet – was able to make up one-hour handicap placed upon her by taking the line honors with a 2:20 lap time. However, it was Alex Watson and his crew onboard, Manic, a 21-foot Shaw 6.5, who took home the overall trophy for a corrected time of 3:16:06 beating Akimitsu Hira, a visiting team from Japan in their brand new J/121 Crescent IV, by just 18 seconds. Brad Hastings’ Mischief from Bristol rounded out the overall podium.
The triple-digit fleet represented 25% of all race boats registered on Narragansett Bay, making it one of the largest CYC Around the Island Races in recent history. Plagued by Hurricane forecasts the last two years, organizers – who have been planning since January – were very happy both the weather and competitors turned out for the event.
“We want to keep it fun above all else,” said Principal Race Officer Mark Grosby of Jamestown. “Fair racing, a scenic course, and a great party afterward are what keeps everyone coming back year after year.”
Separated into 11 divisions and staggering starts by 6 minutes, the slower boats started at 11:00 am in 8 knots from the south. It was around Beavertail Lighthouse on the southern tip on Conanicut that the fleets began to converge as they set their spinnakers for a nine-mile downwind run along the western side of the island.
Source: Kate Wilson