From the archives — the first Vineyard Race

nyt-1932The first Vineyard Race was held in 1932. Twenty three boats started July 4 weekend of that year and encountered grueling conditions.

In the July 3, 1932 edition of the New York Times James Robbins reported that 14 of the original 23 were still in the race. Here’s how the Times reported the race that day:

The yachts left for the Vineyard Lightship at 9 P.M. on Friday in a stiff southwester, with a thunderstorm tossed in, and had a northwest gale yesterday.

They plunged into bucking, boiling water under the lashing blow. Now word came from them until afternoon, when telephone and telegraph messages from scattered points along the coast told of torn and lost sails, parted rigging and broken steering gear. Some of the craft could not make any headway at all, they were so buried in the sea.

Many of the updates the Stamford YC race committee were received via telegraph. The same edition of The Times printed some of the telegraphs verbatim.

HYANNIS, Mass — Forced to withdraw due to weather conditions — Yacht Tenovus.

NEWPORT, R.I. — Delight forced out of race on account of broken steering gear.

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Deserted race Vineyard Sound — Richard F. Cooper.

In the July 4, 1932 issue The Times reported that Wild Goose had won on corrected time ahead of Lark. In the end, only four boats managed to finish within the time limit.



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