Over the course of its 80-year history, the overall win in the Edgartown Yacht Club’s ‘Round-the-Island Race has gone to any number of fully-crewed grand prix speed machines. This summer, however, the Verona Trophy for the boat logging the fastest correct time around Martha’s Vineyard went to the doublehanded team of Zachary Lee and Leif Counter aboard the Morris 36 Yankee Girl.
“I really haven’t ever done traditional racing on big boats with full crews,” said Lee, who has sailed 10,000 miles on Yankee Girl and has won the doublehanded division in the Newport-to-Bermuda Race twice, most recently in the 2018 edition, with Counter as his crew. “We had picked up our trophy for winning the doublehanded class…and then they called us up a second time. We had no idea. It took us by surprise.”
A total of 45 boats in six classes took part in this year’s 56-mile event, which for the first time was also paired with a shorter ‘Round-the-Sound race for smaller boats.
“We were busy keeping track of the other boats in our class,” said Lee. “I thought the windier conditions would better suit [our competition].”
Lee added that the breeze gusted up to 20 knots on the far side of the island, and by the time they’d rounded West Chop to head back to the finish off Edgartown, they found themselves fighting wind against current with their 145 percent genoa up. “We were definitely overpowered, but it was better to have more power than less power in the steep chop,” he said.
Other boats posting class wins included Ed Dailey’s J/109 Raptor in PHRF B, which along with the J/35 Riva and Peterson 34 Kanga also won this year’s team trophy; Douglas Curtiss’s J/111 Wicked 2.0, which won PHRF A; Francis Sutula’s Soma Holiday, which tied with Kanga for first in PHRF C; Ron Zarrella’s Blackfish, which won the classics division; and Chip Hawkins’s C&C 41 Caneel, which won the PHRF non-spinnaker class.
Among those taking part in the ‘Round-the-Sound Race, which sailed seven miles toward Hyannis then four miles west and six miles back, was the Edgartown YC’s Commodore Paul Mitchell sailing his Shields Amusing.
“We would have normally been sailing the Shields summer series on Saturday, and some of [the crew] asked ‘why are we doing this instead?’” Mitchell said. “It was something completely different from around-the-buoys racing. It was just the right length, and all the crew got into plotting the course. We’ll definitely do it again next year and recruit more boats to sail against us.”
For complete results, visit edgartownyc.org.
Photos courtesy of Cate Brown