The mid-summer gem for the Boston Yacht Club is the Beringer Overnight Race to Provincetown, a big draw each year. This year, the Beringer start takes place on July 14. In 2005, more than 40 boats took part in the 45.70-nautical mile race from Marblehead Harbor to Provincetown Harbor. Not only is this a competitive race, but it also makes for quite a fun weekend, as the Boston Yacht Club throws a big BBQ party with live entertainment for the competitors at the finish line each year.
This year, Smith said he expects “between 50-60 boats.” There are a few reasons for this increased number prediction.
First off is the fact that the team is allowing a separate daytime start for cruising boats that don’t use spinnakers.
“We give them a gun start at noon, and then we’ll have the regular race fleet going from the first gun start at 7:30 p.m.,” Smith said. The fleet usually comes into the Provincetown harbor between 1-5 a.m.
The team has added a competition in conjunction with the Marblehead Predicted Log Association (MPLA), allowing powerboats to take part. The powerboats will have to predict when they will reach certain marks and buoys between Marblehead and Provincetown, but will not be allowed to have any timepieces or other such aids on board. An MPLA official will be on board those boats with a timepiece and will let each boat know at the end how they did.
The BYC is adding a double-handed competition with an award going to the two-man crew to get a boat to Provincetown with the best corrected time based on PHRF rules and handicaps.
More than just practice
Boston Yacht Club race committee chairman Geoff Smith says that, while the Memorial Day Regatta is an official race with trophies to be won, it’s also meant as a tune-up. This year’s Memorial Day Regatta takes place on Saturday, May 27.
“It’s like a shakedown regatta for the year,” said Smith, of the one-day regatta utilizing Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) rules, taking place on Saturday.
“Not a lot of people come out, but you can get your boat in the water, do a couple of races and make sure the gear’s working,” Smith said. “We can also make sure the Race Committee on the water knows what it’s doing.”
With races running anywhere from three to six miles, generally around government buoys, the 2005 races attracted seven boats, with Vern Polidoro’s J-105, Vigilante, and John Devine’s Beneteau 235, Rascal, both sweeping their respective classes in the two-race regatta.
Sailing for the children
Labor Day Monday, Sept. 4, will once again be the calendar setting for the Wednesday’s Child Benefit Regatta.
The Regatta is run as a pursuit race with some of the best sailing weather Marblehead has to offer coming in September.
The proceeds from the Regatta and follow-up Chowder party go towards CBS Channel 4 newscaster Jack Williams’ charity, which supports the Massachusetts Adoptive Resource Exchange.
The regatta is also a tribute to Charles Quigley, Jr., whose love of sailing and support of children in need is still fondly remembered by those who knew him.
Also combined with the regatta and after-party are an auction and a golf tournament.
The yacht club runs the Wednesday’s Child race as a pursuit. Different boats get different ratings and are started at different times, so that there will be a logjam of boats trying to get across the line first as the winner.
“We start the boats that have an hour handicap an hour before boats that have no handicaps. So, the slower boats start first and the fastest boat starts last,” Smith said.
Most years, the course is a six-to nine-mile course off of Marblehead Harbor around either government buoys or race committee markers, depending on weather and wind conditions.
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