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Stamford Yacht Club's Vineyard Race

The Vineyard Race was established in 1932 and is one of the premier distance races on Long Island Sound.  The Race now has three courses – Vineyard (238 nautical miles), Seaflower Reef (143 nautical miles) and Cornfield Point (116 nautical miles).  All courses start and finish off Stamford, Connecticut.  The traditional Vineyard Course starts from Shippan Point around the Buzzard Bay Light Tower then leave Block Island to starboard on the return trip back to Stamford. Currents play a role in exiting and entering Long Island Sound as well as in Block Island Sound.  The Race is held Labor Day weekend with the start of the race beginning Friday afternoon.  The Race always attracts a competitive fleet and experienced sailors.

Bob Bavier of Yachting magazine described the race as a miniature Fastnet Race, as the Vineyard has a combination of a coastal cruising, where currents pay a big role, a stretch of ocean sailing and a mark to round – the Buzzard Bay Tower – before returning.

Adirondack Canoe Classic

The Adirondack Canoe Classic is commonly known as the 90-Miler, a 3-day canoe/kayak race starting in Old Forge, New York and finishing in Saranac Lake, New York.  The course is the first 90 miles of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. The event is held in September and registrations are limited, so if you are interested sign-up early.  There are different divisions, but there is a limit to a total of 250 teams.  


The Northern Forest Canoe Trail stretches 740 miles, across rivers, streams and lakes, following Native American travel routes from Old Forge, New York through Vermont, Quebec and New Hampshire to Fort Kent, Maine.  

Geneva, NY Lake Trout Capital of the World

Geneva, New York is located on the northern end of Seneca Lake and annually hosts the National Lake Trout Derby since 1964, during Memorial Day Weekend.  Seneca Lake is a member of the Finger Lakes, a group of eleven lakes, narrow, roughly north-to-south located in New York.  Seneca Lake is the second longest of the Finger Lakes at 38 miles, but has the largest volume of water, as the average depth is 291 feet and maximum depth is 618 feet.  Seneca Lake was a training base for the U.S. Navy during World War II due to its deep waters.  Underground springs feed the lake, which keeps the water moving in a circular motion, giving it little chance of freezing over during the winter and since the lake is so deep, the water temperature remains relatively stable at 39-degrees Fahrenheit, but during the summer the top 10 to 15 feet warm to temperatures in the 70 – 80 F range.  The warm and cold layers of water can be thought as oil and vinegar.  Since the water temperature is relatively cold throughout the year, Seneca Lake is home to coldwater fish, such as lake trout and Landlocked Atlantic salmon making it a great location for an annual lake trout derby.

Jib Sheet Controls to Shape Sail

The shape of the headsail, jib/genoa, should be similar to the shape of the mainsail for boat balance and speed, which are determined by wind speed and sea conditions.  For his blog, the headsail will be referred to as the jib.  

A Hidden Cruising Gem in Eastern Long Island; Coecles Harbor

Coecles Harbor is located on Shelter Island and is a hidden cruising gem in eastern Long Island, since it is difficult to find and the entrance is extremely narrow, but if you are looking for a secluded harbor to relax then this is a must location.  The entrance is located on the eastern side of Shelter Island in Gardiners Bay and while the entrance is extremely narrow, it is relatively short.  I was on a 40-foot sailboat going through the narrow channel and a man was fishing about 8-feet from the boat in hip-high water.  I was unsure if we had enough water, but the captain ensured me there was enough water as he had been there several times.

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