Hot time in the Vineyard Cup

Steve Myrick

A hazy gray morning gave way to a blistering hot, sultry afternoon on the second day of the Vineyard Cup, but the usually steady afternoon breeze from the southwest once again failed to provide much reliable power for the fleet. Racing was a long, hot slog around buoys in Nantucket Sound, with conditions that changed in a heartbeat.

“We had zero, and we had 21 knots,” said Tom Drechsler, who was among the first to cross the line in Africa, a fast Taylor 45 from Marblehead. “We had it all. We were becalmed, then turning for Vineyard Haven, we had pretty large waves and 21 knots of wind.

Mr. Drechsler, an attorney, owns Africa along with boat broker Bump Wilcox, and sailmaker Jud Smith.

“We heard it was a great regatta, and it has been,” Mr. Dreschler said. “It’s been fun.”

Many competitors were not so lucky. Light winds left a large part of the fleet still on the race course when the allotted time for the race was up. There was some grumbling about the long, hot day of sailing that ended with a “did not finish” in the scorebook.

The day began with a parade of sail, first with the tiny catboats, then with the grand classic yachts sailing around Vineyard Haven Harbor. Spectators scattered themselves along the Beach Road seawall, on Eastville Beach, and on docks in the inner harbor. Others watched from boats anchored outside the mooring areas.

Sponsors Oris Watches, Alerion Express boats, and Morris Yachts plied their wares and offered free stuff to competitors gathered under a big tent in front of the Black Dog Tavern.

Entrain, the popular Island born band, entertained the sailors and guests, with Vineyard Haven Harbor serving as a picturesque backdrop to the bandstand.

Larry Bedell and George Callahan didn’t race, they just came for the post-race party. They were among a group of 33 sailors from the New Bedford Yacht Club who made Vineyard Haven the first stop of an eight day cruise.

“We heard this was the place to be,” Mr. Bedell said.

Mr. Bedell sailed Hobbit, a Val trimaran, across Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound to reach the festivities. He was hoping to see Dick Newick, the Martha’s Vineyard based designer who drew up the plans for Hobbit and for many other multi-hull boats that have acquitted themselves well in competition around the world.