This year’s ’Round the Island and ’Round the Sound races got off to a slow start. Light winds prevailed in the morning, with readings around 5 knots at 8 am, when the first gun was sounded. Winds were so light, in fact, it forced the race committee to shorten the course on the south side of the Island for two-thirds of the fleet. Those boats completed a 25-mile course, while the nine boats ahead sailed a 45-mile course that ended near West Chop. Only the three largest boats were able to complete the full circumnavigation.
One of these three, Brian Cunha’s Ker 55 Irie 2, hailing from Newport, R.I., won the Venona Trophy for best overall corrected time among all yachts sailing in the ’Round the Island’s spinnaker divisions.
“We were super-fortunate that the tides at all the gates [virtual marks of the course] worked to our advantage, starting with Mutton Shoal, then Squibnocket Point, Devil’s Bridge, West Chop, and East Chop,” Irie 2’s tactician, Steve Benjamin, told Edgartown Yacht Club. “On the backside of the Island, we caught a favorable current, and then we were swept up Vineyard Sound in a big flood tide. It was the advantage we had by being one of the faster boats to go around.”
For this year’s ’Round the Island race, there were 42 boats in eight classes, two of which were non-spinnaker. Twelve boats opted for the ’Round the Sound race, an option for those wanting a shorter course. While last year this group’s course was 18 miles, this year it was 11.
Even with the shortening of courses, a number of boats did not finish the race within the time limit, and were scored as having no time.
Division winners for the ‘Round the Island race were:
Class 7 PHRF A: Brian Cunha, Irie 2
Class 6 PHRF B: Douglas Curtiss, Wicked 2.0
Class 5 PHRF C: Steve Dahill, Riva
Class 4 PHRF D: Luke Tougas, Kanga
Class 1 PHRF N/S B: Paul Duffy, Domino
Class 2 PHRF N/S A: Chip Hawkins, Caneel
Class 3 Double-Handed: William Marsh, RUSE
Class 8 IRC: Karl Kwok, Beau Geste
Division winners for the ‘Round the Sound race were:
Class 3 J70: Veronica Lundgren, Ghost
Class 2 PHRF: Daniel Heun, Moxiee
Class 1 PHRF N/S: Jan Trousilek, Mad Czech
Class 1 Double-Handed: Howie Powers, Indigo
Division winners for the ‘Round the Buoy race were:
Class 2 PHRF A: Karl Kwok, Beau Geste
Class 3 PHRF B: Daniel Heun, Moxiee
Class 4 PHRF C: Peter Johnstone, HONEY
Class 5 PHRF N/S: Chip Hawkins, Caneel