Kerry sails to victory 


On Saturday, former Secretary of State John Kerry won the highly competitive Venona Trophy at Edgartown Race Weekend’s 82nd ’Round-the-Island Race, after a noteworthy comeback.

Kerry, a seasonal Chilmark resident, sailed with his team of five on his Alden Cutter 44 Lark, which was originally built in 1932 and recently relaunched after some work. Kerry and his team were squeezed out at the start of the race, and forced to circle back and restart behind the eight other boats in his class division. However, over the course of the 54.7-nautical-mile race, the crew found brief breaths of air to make up for lost time. 

By the race’s completion, Kerry and his team posted the best corrected time from among all entrants in the Spinnaker Division. “Some of it was luck being in the right place; there are all sorts of variables in sailboat racing, and they were all at play here,” Kerry was quoted as saying in the Edgartown Yacht Club press release.

A fleet of 46 boats competing in eight classes participated in this year’s ’Round-the-Island Race. A circumnavigation of Martha’s Vineyard, the race starts along the east beach of Chappaquiddick before heading west along the south coast, rounding the Cliffs of Gay Head and finishing along Vineyard Sound. The annual regatta is one of the country’s oldest distance races, and other than the years of World War II, has been held annually on the Island since 1938. 

During the Virtual Awards Ceremony, Kerry praised the Edgartown Yacht Club for being able to hold the annual regatta during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The club did a brilliant job,” Kerry said. “Thoughtful and well executed, without onerous but, nevertheless, clear restraints.” 

Here’s a full list of 2020 Special Award recipients: 


Martha’s Vineyard Ocean Race, Best Corrected Time among entries by the EYC members. Skipper: Jim Swartz; boat: MoneyPenny


Upbeat Cup, overall winner Best Corrected Time of the non-spinnaker division. 

Skipper: Joshua Dennerlein; boat: Phantom


Eolis Trophy, double-handed overall winner. Skipper: Stephen Besse; boat: Apres


Hobart A.H. Cook, Best Corrected Time among service academy entries. 

Skipper: Kenneth Luczynski; boat: Vamp, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy


Yacht Club Team Trophy, Best Corrected time of a three-boat team from any given yacht club or service academy: Hyannis Yacht Club — Camelot, Robert Labdon; Ruse, Bill Marsh; Slide Rule, Scott Bearse


Ralph D. Osborne Trophy, Lowest elapsed time of the PHRF Spinnaker Division. 

Skipper: Gus Carlson; boat: Aurora


Commodores’ Concord Cup – Lowest elapsed time. Skipper: Sam Hallowell Boat: Midtown Racing


Venona Trophy – Overall winner Best Corrected Time of the Spinnaker Division. Skipper: John Kerry Boat: Lark


  1. Nice to see a true patriot being #1 in a sailing race. Much better than being # 1 leading in deaths from COVID, cases of COVID, and downright idiocy from a world leader. I can handle this kind of winning .

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