Sailers circle Martha's Vineyard in annual race
Photo by Louisa Gould
Each year since 1938, except during World War II, the Edgartown Yacht Club has organized the 'Round the Island Race.
This year, 74 boats from across the northeast competed in eight classes in the 54.8 nautical mile course on a cloudy Saturday with variable breezes between 8-15 knots.
First to complete the trip around the Island and win line honors was Interlodge of the New York Yacht Club, skippered by Austin and Gwen Fragomen. The winning elapsed time was 6:36:32. As the RTIR is a handicapped event, the corrected time of 9:11:11 put Interlodge in fourth place in Class 1 IRC.
The fastest corrected time belonged to Seefest and skipper Ira Ferry, who guided the boat from the New Bedford Yacht Club around the Vineyard in 6:35:41 to finish first in Class 4 PHRF (Performance Handicapped Racing Formula).
Several Vineyard boats placed well in the event.
In the Class 7 Double Handed division, the Edgartown Yacht Club took places two through four. Sal Giordano skippered Big Bird to second place in 7:00:42, followed by Good Fortune, skippered by Bill Brine in 7:00:57, and Arrow with skipper Jim Binch in 7:09:08. Atalanta from the Eastern Yacht Club, skippered by Richard Sides, was first, in 6:53:35.
In Class 2 PHRF, Stephen Besse guided Apre's of the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club to second place in 7:01:09, just 19 seconds behind Wings, with Richard Egan at the helm, of the Hynannis Yacht Club.
Edgartown Y.C. scored another top five finish in Class 5 PHRF Non-spinnaker (N-S). Frank Partel skippered Flame into fourth place with a time of 7:52:35.
Isobar and Andrew Berry gave the Vineyard Haven Y.C. another second place showing with a time of 6:55:44 in Class 6 PHRF N-S.
In Class 1, where the hot-rods of the race competed, E.Y.C. put two boats in the top five behind Dreamcatcher, skippered by Stephen Kylander of the New Bedford and Hingham Yacht Clubs (8:01:59). Pugwash and skipper David Murphy were second in 8:05:27. Jim Swartz steered Vesper into fifth in 9:16:23.
Other class winners were: Class 3 PHRF, Raptor, skipper Ed Dailey, Beverly Y.C., 7:00:50; Class 5 PHRF N-S, Eider Down, skipper Bruce Robinson, Buzzards Y.C., 7:04:43; Class 6 PHRF N-S, In Deep, skipper Bob Warren, Mattapoisett, 6:45:09; Class 8 PHRF N-S, Experience, skipper Harvey Howait, New York Y.C., 6:51:08.
Big Boat races
Prior to the RTIR, the Edgartown Yacht Club hosted the Big Boat fleet racing event on Friday.
Island boats swept the top three spots in Class 4 Double Handed. First was Arrow and skipper Jim Binch, from E.Y.C., who placed second in the first race and first in the final race. Next was Big Bird, skippered by Sal Giordano, who won the first race and took third in the second. Third place belonged to Soma Holiday and skipper Frank Sutula of the Vineyard Haven Y.C.
In Class 1 IRC, Pugwash and David Murphy were tops with wins in the first and third races and a fourth place showing in the second race. Coming in third was Vesper, with skipper Jim Swartz (4th, 2nd, 4th).