Tuesday morning brought some considerably adverse conditions, including heavy rain and winds, to the Long Island Sound area. While people on their way to work ran through the raindrops trying to stay as dry as possible, junior big boat sailors were preparing for the annual Beach Point Overnight Race.
The race, which was scheduled to start at 3:20pm but postponed to 5:20pm in an effort to avoid the wet weather, began at the Beach Point Club in Mamaroneck, NY. From there, sailors raced to Stratford Shoal Lighthouse and then back to the Beach Point Club. Around 4am on Wednesday, sailors began to cross the finish line.
One aspect of this race that differentiates it from other regattas is that it takes place at night. Since most sailors are accustomed to practicing and racing during the day, they were not exactly sure what to expect once the sun set.
“It’s going to be dark out there and if something goes wrong, we’re not going to be able to see what’s going on around us,” explained Blair Caccam, a sailor from Noroton Yacht Club in Darien, CT. “We have to stay on our toes and be ready for the unexpected.”
“Staying up all night will be tiring and cold,” described Ryan James, a sailor from Noroton Yacht Club. “It will test our knowledge of sailing as well as our endurance.”
“Since we’re going to be sailing together longer than any other regatta, we’re going to learn each others’ strengths and weaknesses,” shared Caccam. “As a team, I think we’ll bond during this race.”Because the sailors competing in the overnight race are the most experienced juniors from their teams, it would seem to make sense that they would compete in more extreme races. A good number of the sailors in this regatta seemed to appreciate the level of intensity of this race, especially given that it was a junior-only regatta.
“Even though we’re so young, it’s really thrilling to be able to compete in such a large race,” explained Catherine Cooke, a sailor from Indian Harbor Yacht Club who also competed in the last year’s race.
Once the race started, sailors experienced strong breezes of about 15-20 knots, with gusts up to around 25 knots.
In first place in the A1 class was the J/122 Patriot from American Yacht Club. In class A2, Pequot Yacht Club’s J/109 Strategery took home first place. And in the B class, Larchmont Yacht Club’s J/105 Morning Glory won first place in both its class and for the whole regatta.