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Dou­ble­handed ‘Round Is­land win; the slow­est Mac in years; an openo­cean tur­tle res­cue; kite­board­ing dom­i­nance

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. s

Yan­kee Girl (at right) en route to win­ning the Edgar­town Yacht Club’s 2018 ‘Roundthe-Is­land Race

The Shields Amus­ing bat­tles a pair of J/70s in the ‘Roundthe-Sound Race

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