Round Martha’s Vineyard Race now part of New England Lighthouse Series

The Edgartown Yacht Club (EYC) and Stamford Yacht Club jointly announced today that the annual Round Martha’s Vineyard Island Race (RTI) organized by the Edgartown Yacht Club for PHRF and IRC sailboats will now be part of the New England Lighthouse Series (NELS). In addition the race date is being moved to later in the month, to July 28, 2012, to obtain stronger wind velocities. 49 boats entered last year’s race.

Conceived by the Stamford Yacht Club, the NELS sanctioning authority, competitors must score in two mandatory races–the SYC Stamford-Vineyard Race, and the Storm Trysail Block Island Race. Competitors must also score in one of several races of their choice of which the EYC RTI is one. Others include the Monhegan Island Race, the Ida Lewis Distance Race, and the Around Long Island Race.

Ray Redniss, Principal Race Officer, Stamford Yacht Club and Chairman of the Lighthouse Series, said, “This is another great step in revitalizing Corinthian coastal racing. Every sailor on the East Coast is aware of  the Edgartown Yacht Club and the beauty ofMartha’s Vineyardsailing waters. This exciting race challenges competitors in the sounds of Block Island, the Vineyard and Nantucket, and we are pleased to include it as an optional race in the New England Lighthouse Series.”

EYC Commodore Ned Brooks declared, “We are delighted that the Stamford Yacht Club, the sanctioning authority, found our race with five lighthouses and the only NELS race run in Massachusetts waters, to be an appealing fit for the Series. Inclusion in the Lighthouse Series is a very nice compliment to our race, our Race Committee, and our Club.”

Mount Gay® Rum will once again be the sole sponsor of the 2012 circumnavigation of  scenicMartha’s Vineyard. Synonymous with sailing regattas around the world, Mount Gay will be featured at a ‘jump up’ party and Caribbean-inspired buffet for skippers, crew and EYC members on the Friday night before the race.

To further support the event, EYC is also adding “strictly optional,” buoy races on Friday, July 27th, the day before the RTI. This will provide participants a chance to get crews out on the water, make last minute tune-ups, and take home prizes that will be awarded at the Mount Gay Jump Up Party on Friday night. A separate Notice of Race will be prepared for the buoy races, but there is no additional fee for the Friday races. Participants are the guests of the Edgartown Yacht Club and are free to use the Clubhouse facilities from Thursday night through Sunday for refreshments, dining and relaxation.

Past notable winners of this 52.8 mile race include RAMBLER, SCHERAZADE and MONEYPENNY to name but a few. The RTI is open to PHRF, both spinnaker and non-spinnaker classes, and IRC sailboats. The race is a highly-competitive and fun for all participants.

Edgartown Yacht Club held its first race around Martha’s Vineyard Island in the summer of 1938, and except for the years of the Second World War the race has been an annual event ever since. The course itself is a splendid sail. It is reminiscent of the race around the Isle of Wight in England, which was the course of the first America’s Cup.  The distance around Martha’s Vineyard is similar (only a few miles longer); both courses have views of cliffs, headlands, villages and open water; and the tidal currents and wind effects are important in both.

The course includes three sounds—Block Island, the Vineyard and Nantucket—and the possibility of sighting seven lighthouses off Cape Poge, Gay Head, Tarpaulin Cove, Nobska, West Chop, East Chop and Edgartown.  In the morning the fleet sails between Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket along the east beach of Chappaquiddick. At midday they are in the openAtlantic Oceanwith views of  Noman’s Land and the south coast of the Vineyard.  In the afternoon, rounding the gorgeous cliffs of Gay Head, the fleet sails up Vineyard Sound which was the second busiest body of water in the world during the age of sail. Prizes will be awarded for all classes Sunday morning, July 29. In addition to traditional trophies for placement within each class, Venona Trophies will be awarded to the top finishers in each class and The Commodore’s Concord Cup will be awarded for Line Honors.

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