‘Best weather in years’ highlights Vineyard Cup

Apres takes home the top prize in weekend of racing.

Arpes (center boat) won several divisions. — Louisa Gould

The wind and weather cooperated, and SailMV hosted a spectacular weekend of sailing for the 16th annual Vineyard Cup Regatta, sailing out of Vineyard Haven Harbor.

“I’m told it was the best weather conditions we’ve had in years,” John Kettlewell, executive director of SailMV, told The Times. The consistent northerly breeze is something that isn’t seen too much on the Vineyard, which allowed for longer courses (some going as far as the Lucas Shoal buoy), and plenty of beautiful use of spinnakers by the competing vessels.

“They had a great time out there,” Kettlewell said. 

There were 51 boats registered for the regatta, and 35 competed. “That’s kind of par for the course. Some sail, some don’t,” he said.

A highlight was a race for Herreshoff 12.5s, Kettlewell said, which competed right in Vineyard Haven Harbor, with many local racers joining the fun. 

The weekend’s festivities kicked off with the seafood buffet and auction. Kettlewell said there was a full house of 350 people for the event. SailMV served 330 lobsters, there was live music, and “a very enthusiastic crowd” for the event. “We had good support, and a lot of donations for our program.”

The regatta and the buffet and auction support the nonprofit, which provides free beginner sailing lessons to the youth of Martha’s Vineyard. Upwards of 400 to 500 young sailors take advantage of the lessons. If they were to charge for them, that’s $120,000 worth of sailing lessons from the staff of college-age instructors, who are all highly qualified to teach the sport, Kettlewell said. 

All in all, another successful weekend for the annual event. “That’s what M.V. is all about  — our connection to the sea,” Kettlewell said of the sight of sailboats entering the harbor with their colorful spinnakers filled by the wind. “It’s nice to have sailing right here in Vineyard Haven. It’s not just a working waterfront, it’s a sailing waterfront as well.”

Here are the results:

Classic division, the Dana Family Cup

A perpetual trophy for the boat with the best cumulative, corrected, finishing place.

  1. Onawa, Chris Culver
  2. Gentian, Ben Sperry
  3. Santana, Wendy Schmidt


PHRF, non-spinnaker division, the Vineyard Cup Trophy

The boat with the best cumulative, corrected, finishing places for Saturday’s and Sunday’s races.

Winner: Après, Stephen Besse


PHRF, non-spinnaker Class 1

  1. Tamu, Thomas Wescott
  2. Penelope, Mo & Pam Flam
  3. Miss Marilyn, Ehren Federowicz

PHRF, non-spinnaker Class 2

  1. Après, Stephen Besse
  2. Ruffian, Bob Cunningham
  3. Silhouette, Wendell Colson

PHRF spinnaker division, the Vineyard Challenge Trophy

For the boat with the best cumulative, corrected, finishing places based on corrected times for Saturday’s and Sunday’s races.

  1. Truckin’, Alex Meleny
  2. Morpheus, Peter Schwebach
  3. Quantum, Samuel Adelman

Herreshoff 12.5 division (Vineyard Haven)

  1. Leap of Faith, Tom Hale
  2. Providence, Stuart Halpert
  3. Whirlwind, Phil Hale

PHRF, non-spinnaker division, the Donald S. Cohan Trophy

For the boat with the oldest skipper with the best combined, corrected finishing places.

Winner: Après, Stephen Besse

The SailMV Trophy

For the boat best exemplifying the spirit of Island sailing.

Winner: Corban, Tristan Lodge