Celebrating 100 years of rejuvenation
Published on March 12th, 2023
Edgartown Yacht Club will celebrate a full century of competitive sailing this year with its 100th Annual Regatta on July 12-16 in Edgartown, MA.
The regatta first took place in 1924 and was run from a rented cottage on the waterfront at the Harborside Inn. More than 100 vessels – mainly small gaff-rigged Catboats – took part in a festival of sail that delighted participants and spectators alike. Over the decades since, the event has met with continued success, morphing into a nine-class event that, for 2023, will host 170 or more boats.
“This is an extraordinary milestone in sailing and for the Edgartown Yacht Club, which was founded in 1905 to perpetuate the maritime traditions of Edgartown and Martha’s Vineyard,” said Event and Race Committee Chair Elizabeth Balay.
A quote from the Annual Regatta’s 1924 race circular still resonates all these many years later:
“This regatta day was given for the express purpose of rejuvenating the Edgartown spirit for yacht racing, water sports, and everything that pertains to seamanship…for there are no better sailors, old and young, than those who were brought up and have had their training in this Harbor.”
The Edgartown Yacht Club 100th Annual Regatta will see its sailors racing in three sessions:
• The first, on Wednesday, July 12 and Thursday, July 13, is for junior sailors who will compete on one of three racing circles set up to accommodate three classes: C420, Optimist Dinghy Champs, and Optimist Dinghy Green.
• The second session, from Friday, July 14 through Sunday, July 16, is for keelboat sailors who will compete on either of two racing circles set up for five classes: Shields, Wianno Seniors, J/70s, Rhodes 19s, and Herreshoff 12 1/2s. (The three-day Shields event also serves as the New England Shields Championship.)
• The third session, on Saturday, July 15 overlaps the keelboat racing and is reminiscent of the regatta’s roots; it is a single race around government marks for traditional Catboats.
To mark the Edgartown Yacht Club Annual Regatta’s 100-year milestone, a full schedule of activities has been planned. As part of a separately organized Edgartown Catboat Rendezvous, a Catboat Parade of Sail will start at noon on Saturday and make its way through Edgartown Harbor.
After racing that day, a retrospective film will premiere at the EYC’s main clubhouse, followed by Saturday evening’s Regatta Ball.