Vineyard Race

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The Vineyard Race is an annual sailboat race hosted by the Stamford Yacht Club in Stamford, Connecticut. It is held every Labor Day weekend with the first start scheduled for Friday afternoon. A trophy award party is held on the Stamford Yacht Club lawn on Sunday afternoon.

The 238-mile race was started in 1932 and takes racers from Stamford east to Buzzards Bay and back. The first race had 23 starters with five finishers. The race has been held every year since its founding, except for three years during World War II.

It is also the final race of the Northern Ocean Racing Trophy series, the New England Lighthouse Series and the Doublehanded Ocean Racing Trophy.

In 1982 the race was described by Bob Bavier in Yachting as one of the "yachting classics." and:

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.

In recent years the event expanded to three courses: the 238 nm Vineyard Course, the 143 nm Seaflower Reef Course and the 116nm Cornfield Point Course. The course selection depends on the size and rating of the boat. There are divisions for double-handed boats as well as fully crewed boats.

The fastest time to complete the Vinyard course was set in 2020 by Argo, the MOD 70 owned by Jason Carroll with an elapsed time of 14 hours, 53 minutes, and 55 seconds (14:53:55). The fastest time by a monohull was set by the US Merchant Marine Academy Foundation's Volvo 70, WARRIOR, in 2017. Skippered by Stephen Murray, Jr., WARRIOR covered the course in 17 hours, 42 minutes and 9 seconds.

The Vineyard Race Course is several races in one. Competitors must navigate Long Island Sound before passing into Block Island Sound through one of several narrow passages where there are tough tidal currents. After rounding the tower they must leave Block Island to starboard before heading back into the Sound. A typical race involves a variety of conditions.

In 2022 the Stamford Yacht Club is scheduled to hold the 88th running of The Vineyard Race.

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