First time’s a charm for junior sailing team

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Many sailors compete a lifetime without winning a Vineyard Race, despite countless tries. But for eight junior sailors from American Yacht Club the first time was a charm as they captured the Vineyard Lighthouse trophy given annually to the boat with the best corrected IRC time.

The junior crew, sailing the J 122 Patriot, received the loudest cheers Sunday night at the awards ceremony on the front lawn of host Stamford Yacht Club for accomplishing something many in the crowd can only hope to do. They were also the first winner of the Corinthian Challenge trophy created last year by the SYC’s Vineyard Race to encourage young sailors to participate.

“I’ve never won a Vineyard Race, so this is a pretty magical moment,” said Peter Becker, head of the junior big boat program at American Y.C. who was one of two adults on the boat. “And to do it with our young sailors makes it even better.” Doug McKeige, father of one of the junior sailors aboard, was the other adult.

This was the 79th running of the Vineyard Race. This year 98 boats entered and 89 started on Friday of Labor Day weekend.

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