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Vineyard Race “Fireballed”!

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From J/Boats Newsletter | Sept 10th, 2023 

J/Teams wins record SIX divisions!

(Stamford, CT)- Labor Day weekend's Vineyard Race is a classic American yachting event. The 238.0nm course stretches from Shippan Point to the Buzzards Bay Light tower at the entrance to Buzzard's Bay, and then a return to the finish in Stamford Harbor. However, this year the course was shortened to an "around Seaflower Reef mark and return" for a 143.0nm race track.

The race has proven popular with J/sailors over time, with many returning yearly as part of their end-of-summer sailing ritual to complete their summer sailing season. In the end, J/Teams faired remarkably well in their offshore adventures going east-west on that skinny body of water known as "the Sound".

The "tale of the tape" in this race was quite simple. In the huge PHRF Division, the largest in the fleet, it was Bill & Jackie Baxter's J/111 FIREBALL that won overall PHRF honors... winning by the slimmest of margins- like 102 minutes on handicap time! Apparently, a fast mainsheet trimmer named Tucker Edmundson (3x 505 World Champion and 2x Fireball World Champion) made sure the crew stayed up all night and day for the race, wired on coconuts, toffee, and coffee to take class and overall honors. Here is how it all went down for everyone else.

ORC 13 Class
Winning this five-boat class was Andrew Clark's J/122 ZIG ZAG with Ove Haxthausen's J/133 RUMBA taking the bronze medal.
J/111 Fireball sailing team
PHRF 12 Class
With eight of the nine boats being J/Boats, there was a good chance of a class sweep. Led by Baxter's fleet-dominating J/111 FIREBALL team, the J's swept the top five places. Behind FIREBALL, it was Steve Brownlie's J/133 ASSARAIN IV in second, John Storck and family on their J/130 BLITZEN in third, the US Merchant Marine Academy's J/44 COMET in fourth, and Constantine Baris's J/122 DIRE WOLF in fifth place.

PHRF 11 Class
This eleven-boat fleet featured five J/Teams and they nearly swept the podium! Winning was Richard West's J/120 CHARLOTTE, with Bill Ingraham's J/124 TENEBRAE in second, Brian Spears's J/120 MADISON in fourth, and Bill Klein's J/120 SPECK in sixth position.

PHRF 9 Class
This eight-boat fleet featured five J/crews, with four of them leading a sweep of the podium. Winning was Kurt Locher's J/42 ATALANTA, with Dan Nash's J/109 MISTRAL in second, Greg Kotzas's J/35 OSPREY in third, and Adam Hayden's J/109 SMILE in fourth place.

PHRF DH 7 Class
Five J/Teams sailed in the ten-boat Doublehanded class. In the end, it was David Rosow's J/109 LOKI winning the class by a half-hour corrected time over Todd Aven & Basia Karpinska's J/99 THIN MAN. Perennial offshore veterans Peter Becker & Annika Kaielin's J/105 YOUNG AMERICAN ended up in fifth place.

PHRF 3 Class

In the five-boat class, Ryan Malloy and Pierce Crosbie's J/92 SILENT PARTNER from Larchmont Yacht Club won their class by over a half hour on handicap time.  For more Vineyard Race sailing information 

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