By Buttons Padin
Follow this weekend’s Vineyard Race
Long Island Sound’s big boat racing season has two major bookend regattas: The Block Island Race that starts the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, and the Vineyard Race starting the Friday of Labor Day Weekend. Beginning with the first start at 1200 this Friday when the first division gets their gun, you can follow the 90 boats entered.
© Rick Bannerot
The primary 238-mile Vineyard course starts at R 32 (“The Cows”) off Stamford Harbor, exits the sound, rounds nun “2” off Martha’s Vineyard, and returns to a finish line inside Stamford Harbor. There are also the 143-mile Seaflower Reef Course and the 116-mile Cornfield Point Course that can be used by smaller classes. Of interest, however, is that for the 2022 Vineyard Race, SI 7.2.1 was enacted whereby, due to a very light wind forecast, all boats sailed the shorter, Seaflower Reef Course. You can imagine how thankful the fleet was when they saw the short course indicated last September.
Part of winning (or losing) the Vineyard Race is when and where you exit and reenter the Sound. Depending on where the tides and the significant currents generated at the eastern end of the Sound, boats can opt for either The Race or Plum Gut. And, they may choose one for going out and another for return depending on their position and tide conditions. Further, going up and down the Sound itself can be a tactical and navigational challenge. With prevailing southerly seabreezes, various gradient winds, and passing frontal systems, picking wisely and then playing either the Long Island or Connecticut shorelines can make or break a boat’s performance.
© Rick Bannerot
Expect most of the boats to be finished by Saturday night and then stand-by for the epic awards party Stamford Yacht Club always throws Sunday evening.
One more thing, the Vineyard Race is part of the Northern Ocean Racing Trophy (NORT) and Double-Handed Ocean Racing Trophy (DHORT) qualifications and the winner will be announced Sunday evening, too.
Read more about Stamford Yacht Club’s Vineyard Race