Genuine Risk first to finish Vineyard Race 2008


Genuine Risk, after finishing first in the 2008 Chicago-Mac race.

Stamford, Conn., August 30, 2008 – Genuine Risk, the 90-foot maxi with a canting keel, took line honors in the 74th running of the Vineyard Race.

Genuine Risk, sailed by the United States Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point) crossed the finish line at 23:03:37 tonight off Stamford.

Expected to finish behind Genuine Risk are Blue Yankee, the Reichel Pugh 66 sailed by Bob and Farley Towse of the host Stamford Yacht Club and Donnybrook, the Santa Cruz 72 sailed by James Muldoon of Washington, D.C. As of 2130 Saturday night Blue Yankee was off New Haven traveling about a knot.

Genuine Risk also took line honors last month in the 100th running of the Chicago-Mackinac Race, the 333-mile annual trek up Lake Michigan. Recently her ownership transferred from Randall Pittman to the Merchant Marine Academy.

Genuine Risk finished the race in a little over 24 hours, an impressive feat considering the light conditions. Racers throughout the day reported winds of less than 5 knots on Block Island Sound. As of 1700 Saturday at least five boats had dropped out: Crescendo, Martin Jacobson’s Swan 44; Siren Song, Tom Carroll’s J 133; Second Wind, Michael and Ray Sullivan’s 44’ sloop; Orion, Michael Sullivan’s Tartan 33; and Toothface, sailed by Mike Dreese. When Siren Song retired they reported that “there is just no wind.”

The race is hosted by the Stamford Yacht Club and sponsored by Vineyard Vines.

“This has been a challenging race,” said Don Wyllie, fleet captain for Stamford Yacht Club and a chairman of the race. “Three years ago we had a course record with Titan. Two years ago we had the storm that forced all but three of the competitors out of the race. Last year we had another course record, this time by Blue Yankee,” he said. “A year like this was bound to happen after all we’ve had recently.

Of the 56 boats that crossed the starting line Friday evening at Bell 32 off Stamford, nine were racing the shorter Cornfield Point Race which takes racers to the mouth of the Connecticut River and back to Stamford. The longer Vineyard course takes racers out the Buzzards Bay tower off Martha’s Vineyard and back.

As of 1800 Saturday four boats had completed the Cornfield Point course. They are: Thin Man, Todd Aven’s J 92; Fin II, Thomas O’Connell’s Olson 30; Wave Dancer, Benoit Ansart’s Olson 30; and Gadzooks, Geoff Beringer’s C&C 38 Mk II.

Some boats in the Vineyard Race reported their rounding times at the Buzzards Bay tower. (Note – these times are unofficial and not required under the Sailing Instructions.)

Vineyard Race

Genuine Risk, 02:55 Saturday

Blue Yankee, 03:48

Donnybrook, 04:49

Dragon, 13:39:05

Crescendo, 15:24:05

Vamp, 16:02:05

Lora Ann 17:02

Cornfield Point Race

Fin II, 01:25

Music, 01:36

Wave Dancer, 01:53

Orion, 03:54

The Vineyard Race was started in 1932 and is one of the top ocean-racing events of the season. It is the final qualifying race of the Northern Ocean Racing Trophy and the New England Lighthouse Series.

Winners will be honored at a special ceremony Monday at Stamford Yacht Club.


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