MARTHA’S VINEYARD, MASS. (July 5, 2018) – One of America’s oldest distance races – Edgartown Yacht Club’s ‘Round-the-Island Race (’RTI) – got a new little sister this year. The classic 56 nautical mile romp around Martha’s Vineyard started in 1938, and except for the years of the Second World War, has been an annual event since then. For 2018, the year of the venerable ’RTI’s 80th running, Edgartown Yacht Club (EYC) has introduced a shorter race (20 nm around government marks in Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds) to give sailors an alternative distance to sail on Saturday, July 21, when the third day of the club’s Edgartown Race Weekend ensues on the heels of ’Round-the-Buoys racing held Thursday and Friday, July 19-20.
“We’re calling it ’Round-the-Sound (’RTS), and it’s in effect an ‘ocean race’ within a mile of shore at all times,” said EYC Big Boat Racing Committee Co-Chair, Hal Findlay. “Like the ’RTI, it can be combined with the opportunity to compete in inshore buoy racing over the three days of Edgartown Race Weekend.”
Sailors can compete in the two days of ’Round-the-Buoys’ racing and follow it with Saturday’s distance racing (which is scored separately) or choose to sail just one or the other of the segments. Of course, they will have to make a choice of how far they want to go on Saturday, since the start for the ’Round-the-Sound race is directly after the 0800 start of the ’RTI.
That choice was easy for Bradley Campbell, who signed up for the ’Round-the-Sound race with his Bristol 36 Terroir. A resident of Boston, he frequently sails to Martha’s Vineyard but only last year entered the Edgartown Race Weekend’s ‘RTI for the first time. Unfortunately (and unusual for the race), it ended up windless and he ended up not finishing.
“One of the challenges of longer races is you have to find crew,” said Campbell, who has sailed everything from 10 milers to 100 milers on the Chesapeake, where he used to live. “It’s easier to use less experienced crew if it’s a shorter race, and after signing up for last year’s ’RTI, I thought I would try this, since I could also use less people. A couple of the crew are new to racing, and I want to make it cool. We want to have a weekend in Martha’s Vineyard: get a race in and still have time to meet friends for dinner.”
Normally, it is possible for both cruising and racing boats to finish the ’RTI course by late afternoon or early evening on Saturday. (If the tidal currents or wind conditions make going slow, the Race Committee finishes the race just north of Menemsha.) For the ’Round-the-Sound race, organizers expect a finish by early Saturday afternoon.
More About Edgartown Race Weekend
Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend traditionally attracts entrants from the Eastern Seaboard and beyond, delivering superb racing action in classes for PHRF (spinnaker and non-spinnaker divisions), ORR, ORC, IRC, Double-Handed, and Classic yachts. Professional teams as well as amateurs enter, and the mix is what keeps the atmosphere upbeat and adventurous.
Registration deadline for the ’Round-the-Island or ’Round-the Sound is Wednesday, July 18, 2018. The registration fee for ’RTS is $125 before July 6 and $175 after that date. The registration fee for the ’RTI has been decreased to $250.00 before July 6 and $325 thereafter.
The ’Round-the-Buoy Races registration fee for all classes will be $50 each day. The deadline for each of the two days that those races are held is Tuesday, July 17, 2018. The distance races for each day of ’RTB are scored separately. Prizes will be awarded for all qualifying classes, including one-design, for those boats that participate in both Thursday and Friday races.
A Mount Gay-sponsored “Jump-Up” party on Friday night (July 20); and prize givings on both Friday and Sunday (July 22) round out the schedule for competitors entered in one or the other, or both, of the racing sessions.