Vineyard Cup promises large fleet, hearty parties

More than 80 boats of every size and class have been registered for this weekend’s Vineyard Cup, and organizer Sail Martha’s Vineyard expects more by the time registration closes.

The annual regatta will feature three days of racing in Island waters, beginning with the first race on Friday, July 15, at 1 pm. The main race on Saturday starts at 10 am. At about the same time, many of the classic wooden boats competing will form a parade of sail around the harbor, and then begin their own race at 11 am. Sunday’s race begins at 10:30 am.

“The race courses have been designed to both test the skills of the skippers and crews and to provide great shore-side viewing of boats on the race course from a variety of Island perspectives,” said Brock Callen of Sail MV. He said the East Chop Lighthouse, Eastville Beach, and State Beach should provide good vantage points. The start and finish of each race is near the Eastville Beach jetty.

The public is invited to the after-race celebrations each day beginning at 4:30 pm. The cost is $30 for each night, or $75 for all three nights.

This year party headquarters has moved from Owen Park to a tent near the Black Dog Tavern. The Black Dog and Men’s Journal magazine are major corporate sponsors of the event.

Mr. Callen says that because of the sponsors’ generosity, all of the proceeds from the event go to support Sail MV programs for year-round and seasonal residents, as well as vacationers.