A United States businessman from Japan, Takashi Okura piloting Sled, was the winner of Saturday’s Edgartown Yacht Club ‘Round the Island race. The sailboat slipped into first place by completing the race in five hours and 49 minutes. There was a near photo finish for three of the fastest boats.
Second place went to James Swartz, of Edgartown, who completed the race close to a minute later.
“All three boats finished the race within three minutes,” said Bill Roman, Edgartown Yacht Club manager. “It was a glorious race.” There was a good southwest breeze, with changing wind conditions throughout.
Third place went to Interlodge, captained by Austin and Gwen Fragomen of the New York Yacht Club.
Sixty seven boats competed. The start of the race began shortly after 8 a.m. with a variety of different class starts. With a down wind start, many of the spinnaker class vessels pulled out all their sail as they headed into Nantucket Sound. The race began within sight of the Cape Pogue Lighthouse. The boats rounded the Island clockwise, with the first of the boats returning mid-afternoon.
Being There, finishing last, sailed into Edgartown harbor around sunset, 12 hours into the race.
For the 77-year-old ‘Round the Island Race, sailboats came from all over southeastern New England bringing crews from around the world. Mr. Roman said that the sailors were international, and many of the tacticians sail in America’s Cup. They came from as far away as New Zealand.
The ‘Round the Island Race was preceded by two days of big boat racing. Mr. Roman said that the configuration of three days of racing was in part designed to be more attractive to the competing sailing community. While the ‘Round the Island Race is by itself a draw, adding two days of racing before, gives the sailors plenty of opportunity to fine tune their sailing skills in time for the big race.
“We wanted to make it more rewarding,” Mr. Roman said.
Thirty-three sailboats competed in five races on Thursday and Friday.