Fair winds and 74 sailboats with more than 300 sailors on board made for a spectacular sight at Saturday’s Round the Island Race. Beginning with its early morning start, the Edgartown Yacht Club race was quite a spectacle as the boats positioned themselves for eight starts. Winds prevailed for most of the race and all but two boats completed the 56-mile mile course.
The fastest, a 52-foot sailboat called Interlodge, a TP 52, was captained by Austin and Gwen Fragomen of the New York Yacht Club. It finished the race in six hours and 36 minutes. Though it was the first to cross the line in the overall race, being handicapped, Interlodge came in fourth in her class.
Bill Roman, yacht club manager, said it was an especially successful weekend event. “The wind was more than was forecasted,” Mr. Roman said. For several years, wind has been precious little. Not this year. Though there was a moment midway in the contest when the wind dropped and old memories became fresh, all the boats did well in completing the race, using favorable currents and a good breeze.
The Round the Island Race is one of the biggest of events of the summer for the yacht club. Sailboats range in size from 28 to 65 feet in length. Sailors and their boats come from all over southeastern New England. A core crowd of Island competitive sailors flock to this race, but there were also sailors from Nantucket and elsewhere who come back every year.
On Friday, nearly 30 boats competed in a day of racing around government marks in Nantucket Sound. The day, called Big Boat Event, was labeled as tune-up racing for the big race. But it proved to be a success on its own, with good fellowship and competitive sailing. There were two races on Friday.
At Saturday morning’s race, the wind started out light but filled in a half hour before the 8 a.m. start. Three miles north of the Edgartown Lighthouse, and with the Cape Pogue lighthouse not too far away, all eight classes had their own separate starts and each went without a hitch. The slowest boats started early, with the faster boats following.
Mr. Roman said the wind seemed to die in one specific spot midway through the race, between Aquinnah and Noman’s Land. “The fastest boats stalled,” Mr. Roman said, right at one spot.
Meanwhile the slower boats caught up, so when the wind filled in again, nearly all the boats in the fleet were in close proximity to each other.
“It was like there was a second start to the race,” Mr. Roman said. “It gave the boats with the higher handicap the greater advantage,” he said.
Accounting for the handicap, Interlodge came fourth in its class, behind a boat known well in these waters. Dreamcatcher, captained by Stephen Kylander of the New Bedford Yacht Club and the Hingham Yacht Club, came in first place, in class one, IRC.
Mr. Roman said many of boats were able to get back to Edgartown before dinner time. “It was a great sailing day,” Mr. Roman said.
The winners were: Class 7; double-handed. 1, Atalanta, Richard Sides; 2, Big Bird, Sal Giordano; 3, Good Fortune, Bill Brine. Class 2 PHRF. 1, Wings, Richard Egan; 2, Apre’s, Stephen Besse; 3, Kinship, Tom Selldorff. Class 3 PHRF. 1, Raptor, Ed Dailey; 2, Flying Cloud II, Gordon McNabb; 3, Hafa Adai, Eliot Shanabrook. Class 4 PHRF. 1, Seafest, Ira Perry; 2, Sophie, Paul Ulyatt; 3, Riva, Steve Dahill. Class 5 PHRF N/S. 1, Eider Down, Bruce Robinson; 2, Windigo, George Brown; 3, Panasea, Kent Nicholas. Class 6 PHRF N/S. 1, In Deep, Bob Warren; 2, Isobar, Andrew Berry; 3, Sheila III, David Manischewitz. Class 8 PHRF N/S. 1, Experience, Harvey Howailt; 2, Camelot, Robert Labdon; 3, Saylavee, Peter Soule.
The winners of the Big Boat Event are as follows: Class 4 double-handed: 1, Arrow, Jim Binch; 2, Big Bird, Sal Giordano; 3, Soma Holiday, Frank Sutula. Class 2 PHRF. 1, Wild Horses, Donald Tovias; 2, Dark ‘n Stormy, Ned Joyce; 3, Cygne, Norman Lewis. Class 3 PHRF N/S. 1, Flying Cloud, Gordon McNabb; 2, Ruse, William Marsh; 3, Kinsale, Allen Eddy. Class 1 IRC. 1, Pugwash, David Murphy; 2, Defiance, Clay Deutch; 3, Vesper, Jim Swartz.