Wednesday, September 14, 2016

J/Crews Dominate Vineyard Offshore Races

J/109 sailing Vineyard Race off StamfordJ/44s Top IRC Overall, J/92 & J/120 Win Class
(Stamford, CT)- Labor Day weekend's Vineyard Race is a classic American yachting event: a 238-mile course stretching from Shippan Point, through the swirling currents of the Race or Plum Gut, past Block Island, and on to the light tower at the entrance to Buzzard's Bay, to return leaving Block Island to starboard en route to the finish in Stamford Harbor. Begun in 1932, it has attracted the finest sailors and fastest boats for nearly 80 years, and its intricacies and challenges bring them back time after time. Those who are successful nearly always credit local knowledge of these tricky waters and a good deal of luck.

In 1982 the race was described by Bob Bavier in Yachting as one of the "yachting classics." Here's how he describes it:  "The greatest distance races of the world have several things in common - a challenging course, competitive fleets and an interesting array of famous yachts. By those standards, the Stamford Yacht Club's Vineyard Race rates close to the top. Like a miniature Fastnet, the Vineyard has a combination of coastal cruising, where currents play a big role, a stretch of ocean sailing, and a mark to round - the Buzzards Bay tower - before returning."  And, what a challenge it was for the various J/teams sailing the three races- the classic Vineyard Race, the Seaflower Reef Race and the Cornfield Point Race.

J/44 sailing Vineyard Race- winnerChris Lewis’ crew from Houston, Texas were the big winners on their J/44 KENAI!  They not only won class, but won the coveted Vineyard Race Trophy overall against the fastest IRC custom boats on Long Island Sound!  Yet another J/44, Len Sitar’s VAMP, took 2nd in class and 2nd overall!  Third in the Class 11 IRC was Bob & June Kendrick’s J/44 PALANTIR 5, completing an unprecedented sweep of the podium for J/44s!  As for the rest of the Vineyard Race teams, Gardner Grant’s J/120 ALIBI took third in Class 5- IRC Doublehanded.  The J/109s sailed en-masse in Class 9 PHRF, with John Greifzu’s GROWTH SPURT grabbing the silver with Cao Deambrosio & Chris Nicholls’ RHIANNON III placing 4th and Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY taking 5th place.  Greg Leonard’s J/120 HERON continued her winning ways, winning Class 10 PHRF, with three more J/120s rounding out the top six- Brian Spears’ MADISON in 4th, Steve Levy’s EAGLE in 5th and Rick Oricchio’s ROCKET SCIENCE in 6th.

J/92 Thin Man wins Vineyard Race/ Seaflower Reef divisionIn the Seaflower Reef Race, Greg Imbruce’s J/109 JOYRIDE placed second in Class 3 PHRF Doublehanded.  Meanwhile, an entire armada of J/teams swept the podium in Class 4 PHRF.  Leading the charge was Todd Aven’s J/92 THIN MAN, followed by John Pearson’s J/88 RED SKY in 2nd, Marc Berkowitz’s J/105 CLEAN SLATE in 3rd, David Spence’s J/105 SYNERGY in 4th, Steve Chronert’s J/109 ZUMA was 6th and Mark Parry’s J/35 BLUE MOUSE was 8th.  In the shorter Cornfield Point Race, John Krediet’s J/97 PARTICIPANT II won the silver in Class 2 PHRF.   For more Vineyard Race sailing information