Vineyard Race postponed until Saturday

Paladin (I sailed against her, never on her)

Between the time I was roughly 25 to 45-years old, I considered the Martha’s Vineyard Race, held on Labor Day weekend – scoot up from Stamford to Gay Head, then back again – kind of fun. Gradually, the event lost its allure: 2:00 am sail changes, long periods of becalmed, flat water, and so forth, so news today that Earl has forced a 12-hour postponement in the race leaves me untouched – I wasn’t going anyway.

My pal Eric Kreuter, a far-wiser (and larger; the son of a bitch is something like 6’7″) friend, once told me that you should have a foot of racing sailboat for every year of age, and I now recognize his wisdom. A 57′ foot sailboat would accommodate me nicely this year but otherwise, I’m staying put.


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4 responses to “Vineyard Race postponed until Saturday

  1. Cobra

    I recall a Vineyard race in the late ’70’s during which the wind on the return leg became so faint that the outgoing tide was winning the battle vs. forward motion. We considered dropping a small anchor to slow down our drifting, but decided to wait out the tide. Hot as hell that day, as well. Not a fun race.

    • Cobra, we spent 12 hours anchored off Faulkner’s Island one race waiting for a breeze. The rest of our competitors had caught the last of the night’s breeze and continued on to finish but our skipper was determined not to start his engines and call it quits. So we watched the sun rise on the island and set on the island, and then I led a mutiny. I was never invited back on that particular boat but, six hours later, we were home under power.

  2. Anonymous

    CF, if you have it in you to do one more ocean race, try a Transpac, or the Hawai’i race which starts in SF.

    25-30 knot tradewinds, kite up, surfing down 30 foot rollers for the last 800 – 1000 miles or more to Hawaii, with the wake shooting up as high as the first set of spreaders, the non-stop roar of the hull ripping through the water at 17, 18, 19, 20+ knots.

    good times.

    having said that, there is a lot of ocean racing and passage-making which is nothing but a chore.

    • Anon, I’m a cruiser these days. Still adventurous – there’s a post over on the right hand side of this blog about losing a rudder 200 miles out – but when it goes well, bliss! I was fortunate to be invited aboard a 60′, decked-out cruiser sailing from St. Thomas to Trinidad (in fact, the owner circumnavigated) and it was the best 600 mile sail I’ve ever done. Make a cup of coffee for the midnight watch, sit in the cockpit, watch the stars, push a button on the power winch to adjust the jib and enjoy the night. A beautiful, wonderful experience. I was married then, with three children to support, so I couldn’t complete the journey, but at least I had a taste of it. Racing, for me, belongs to a younger self.