Gearing up for Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend 

Raceboats Beau Geste and Fling 16 to match up in the IRC class in the ’Round the Buoy and ’Round the Island Races.

Beau Geste and Fling 16, shown here, will sail in IRC Division at Edgartown Race Weekend. — Stephen R. Coultier

This year’s Edgartown Race Weekend is shaping up to be a fierce one. Facing off in the IRC (International Rating Certificate) are the IRC 52 Beau Geste, skippered by Karl Kwok, and a Botin 56, Fling 16, skippered by Irvine Laidlaw. The skippers have come all the way across their respective ponds for the ’Round the Island and ’Round the Buoy races, with Kwok hailing from Hong Kong and Laidlaw from the U.K.

Though Kwok has never sailed on the Vineyard, his boat will be crewed by a team of seasoned regatta veterans, many of whom sailed with Vineyard resident and regatta champion Jim Swartz aboard his IRC 52 Vesper. 

“He has heard all of the great stories,”Jim Brady, a current Beau Geste crewmember who sailed the ‘Round the Island Race with Jim Swartz, said about Kwok. “The Vineyard is an awesome destination, and the club has a great feel to it, with loads of history. The ’Round-the-Island Race is a very tactical race, with tides and plenty of passing opportunities — always enjoyable, and never the same. This will be as much a great adventure as a race.”

This won’t be the first time Beau Geste and Fling 16 have matched wits — they had close racing at the 165th aAnnual New York Yacht Club Regatta in Newport last month, proving that this year’s IRC results will be ones to watch. 

Edgartown Race Weekend divisions are for IRC, ORC, ORR, PHRF-NE (including spinnaker and non-spinnaker), Classic, One-Design, Multihull, and Doublehanded boats. ’RTI/’RTS and ’RTB are scored separately, with top-three prizes awarded in each class.

The Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekends is comprised of three events spread out over three days. July 25 and 26 is the ’Round the Buoy Races, which are a series of short-course races near the club. July 27 is the ’Round the Island Race, which, like the name says, is an approximately 56-mile race around Martha’s Vineyard. Also on July 27 is the ’Round the Sound race, which is a 20-mile race around government markers in Vineyard and Nantucket sounds. 

More information about the regatta, including a schedule of events, list of registrants, and results can be found on the Edgartown Yacht Club website.