A beautiful weekend for sailing with brisk winds and fair weather was marred briefly on Sunday morning when the captain of a 12-metre sailboat was injured. Dennis Williams, the captain of the Victory 83, was transported to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital for treatment after he was hit in the head by the boom of another sailboat in a congested moment at the leeward mark at the start of a race.
The 12-metre regatta is hosted by the Edgartown Yacht Club.
The captain was taken to the dock by the Edgartown harbor master’s boat and transported to the hospital by ambulance, where he was treated and released. This was the first time that Victory 83 had participated in the annual regatta.
Otherwise it was a perfect sailing weekend, according to Clare Gesualdo, rear commodore and principal race officer, who oversaw the racing. Seven boats from Newport participated, two more than a year ago. The club has hosted the regatta for 17 years.
In the traditional series, Northern Light captained by Kip Curren from the New York Yacht Club beat Gleam in all five races.
Columbia, captained by Alain Hanover of the 12-Metre Club, won all five races against American Eagle.
In the modern series, Captain Ralph Isham’s Courageous took first place, against USA and Victory 83. Victory 83 did well on Saturday, but pulled out of the regatta on Sunday when the captain was injured.
Wind and weather were favorable. “I wasn’t optimistic for Saturday’s racing. The forecast was for light and shifty wind, I thought we were going to have a challenge,” Ms. Gesualdo said. “The breeze came around and we got in three races, when I was optimistically hoping for two,” she said.
On Sunday, there was a stiff, gusty breeze from the south which turned the outer harbor into scattered white caps. Ms. Gesualdo said for the inexperienced sailors, Saturday was an opportunity to learn and prepare for the more heated advanced racing on Sunday.
The mishap Sunday morning happened when Courageous, USA and Victory 83 were all jockeying to make it around the leeward mark at the start. “There was contact between the boats,” Ms. Gesualdo said.
Courageous’s boom got hung up on the running backstay on Victory 83. When Courageous pulled forward and freed its boom from the running back stay, it swung and hit the captain on Victory 83, according to James Gretzky, a crewmember and close friend of the captain.
Mr. Gretzky praised the quick response by assistant harbor masters Wolfie Blair and Will Scharde. “We were all pleased,” he said, adding: “They were out there in a blink.”
And despite the accident, he said Victory 83 enjoyed its first year in the regatta. “The crowd was fantastic, very welcoming, we feel as though we are part of a family. We’d been looking forward to doing this and we weren’t disappointed,” Mr. Gretzky said, concluding:
“We’ll be back.”