Dawn Riley kicks off 76th Vineyard Race

Dawn Riley speaking at Stamford Yacht Club Thursday night. (Photo by Rick Bannerot.)

While the start of the 76th running of the Vineyard Race was delayed, the official kick off wasn’t. Nearly 100 skippers and navigators came to Stamford Yacht Club last night to hear America’s Cup and Whitbread skipper Dawn Riley talk about her sailing experiences over the years.

Riley is well known for her extensive ocean-racing experience and for being a pioneer in the sport of sailing.  She is the first American to sail in three America’s Cups and two Whitbreads.

During her talk she showed film from some of her ocean racing and discussed a wide variety of issues including the current state of the America’s Cup. (She’s against multihulls, thinks it will be sailed overseas and hinted she may be involved again at some point.)

Riley was introduced by Gus Carlson, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Thomson Reuters, the presenting sponsor for this year’s race.

Carlson, skipper of the Reichel Pugh Aurora (nee Blue Yankee), talked about his sailing experiences in the Vineyard and about his recent decision to buy and campaign Aurora.

The evening began with an update from PRO Ray Redniss who announced that there will be a shortened course due to the expected sea state in Block Island Sound after Hurricane Earl passes.

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