The party doesn’t start ‘till the sun goes down, especially for Junior Big Boat Sailors.
Sailors who have attended the Larchmont Junior Race Week dance already have a taste of how awesome nautical nightlife on Long Island Sound is, but fewer take the opportunity to actually sail after dark.
15 teams of junior big boat sailors, however, did just that on Tuesday at the 56th Annual Overnight Race for the Junior Distance Sailing Championship of Long Island Sound, hosted by the Beach Point Club in Mamaroneck, NY.
“I’m looking forward to the overnight part of it,” expressed Tyler Paige, a sailor from Cedar Point Yacht Club. “It’s a whole different world once the sun goes down.”
“The nighttime portion is when it gets serious,” explained Russell Clarida, a competitor from Pequot Yacht Club. “After 5 or 6 hours you can lose focus, and it becomes a true test of how well you’ve trained.”
The race, which consists of an approximately 65 mile course starting at Beach Point, extending to Stratford Shoal, and ending back at Beach Point, is widely considered the zenith of the junior big boat sailing season in western Long Island Sound.
“We’ve had practice every day the last week, and have been prepping since the beginning of the summer,” Hadley Lane, a sailor from Indian Harbor Yacht Club, said Tuesday morning.
After the Tuesday afternoon start, sailors headed east with a solid Southeasterly breeze, which stayed more or less constant throughout the race allowing boats to finish relatively quickly, as they did not need to zig-zag upwind going either way.
"The race was a beam reach, with true wind angle from 90 to 115 degrees for the entire way out and back," Patrick Croke, an adult advisor on the Indian Harbor boat, recalled in an email Friday.
However, some boats did encounter storms around midnight.
"We witnessed great light shows, rain, and some wind in the 15-20 knot range as the storms passed," explained Croke.
"For some boats that were close to Long Island, where the storm was, the lightning was so bright that it looked like daytime at 1AM.” said Alexa DiIorio, a sailor from Huguenot Yacht Club. "It was crazy."
High-resolution team portraits are also avalable on Snapfish here so you can order prints (if you don't have an account already, you get 20 free prints just for signing up). Remember, a nice framed team portrait makes an excellent thank-you gift for your boat's owner!