Labor Day weekend's Vineyard Race is a classic American yachting event:
a 238-mile course stretching from Shippan Point, through the swirling currents of the Race or Plum Gut, past Block Island, and on to the light tower at the entrance to Buzzard's Bay, to return leaving Block Island to starboard en route to the finish in Stamford Harbor.
Launched in 1932, it has attracted the finest sailors and fastest boats since then, and its intricacies and challenges bring them back time after time. Those who are successful nearly always credit local knowledge of these tricky waters and a good deal of luck.
In 1982 the race was described by Bob Bavier in Yachting as one of the "yachting classics." Here's how he describes it:
"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."
The fastest time to complete the course was set by Blue Yankee in 2007. Skippered by Bob and Farley Towse of Stamford it covered the course in 20 hours, 20 minutes and 15 seconds.
Sailors who have been in 10 Vineyards or more are eligible to be part of the Buzzards Society.
Call SailAhead at (631) 831-8763 for more information on past and future events.
SailAhead was first represented in the 2015 edition by crewing on Hussar a Frers 55 owned by Army Major Jason M. (thank you Jason!).. It is our intention to participate in this event for the years to come and by integrating trained veterans to our team.
To find out more about this race please visit The Vineyard Race Site
SailAhead will be on Hussar (pictured above) a Frers 55 owned by Army Major Jason Mull - Thank you Jason and family!The who's who of our Off-Shore Racing Program:
Owner and Skipper of Hussar (Frers 55 - US32880)
Jason developed a passion for sailing while stationed in Guam with the USAF over twenty years ago. While there, he raced Lasers internationally out of the Marianas Yacht Club and got his first taste of offshore racing. Back on the East Coast, Jason could be found racing on the Long Island Sound and around Rhode Island on his Hobie 33.
Today Jason supports SailAhead’s commitment to Veterans by generously volunteering Hussar and his time.
Outside of sailing, Jason is an IT Security Executive at a foreign exchange bank in Manhattan. Jason is a Veteran of both the Persian Gulf and Iraq Wars.
He continues to serve today as a Combat Engineer Officer in the NJ Army National Guard.
Advisor and SailAhead Race Director
Fran grew up off the shores of Massachusetts and Rhode Island in a family of avid sailors and boaters. He has experience racing sailboats of all classes and sizes from Sunfish and Lasers to offshore vessels. Fran graduated from Boston University in 2003 and subsequently served over 12 years in the United States Army as a Green Beret and Ranger in the Special Forces. He spent extensive time throughout Africa, The Middle East, and Europe serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and multiple overseas contingency operations. He now lives in Manhattan, works in Wealth Management and Financial Services, while earning an MBA from NYU Stern.
"Sailing is one of the few events in life in which all your worries and fears are left on shore allowing one to focus on sailing fast!"
SailAhaid Race Co-Director
Sailing became a lifelong passion for Matt while at University of Rhode Island. While at URI, he sailed everything from Lasers to J24s. Unwilling to go back to New Jersey without a boat, Matt restored a dis-masted Catalina while in college. More recently, he has spent the last few years racing aboard various boats throughout the Hudson River and Long Island Sound. When not out racing, Matt can usually be found fixing and cruising his C&C. He is eager to share his passion for sailing with a great cause.
Outside of sailing, Matt is coastal engineer.