Summer sailboat racing is at its height right now. Here are a few of the highlights and biggest races so far and a few more to come - including some race winners, scores and updates from around the country and world.

Sailboat Racing - Sailing Yacht Underway

Sailboat Racing - Sailing Yacht Underway. Photo by Steffus/Pond5.

2021 Mentuck Memorial Ocean Race

On July 8th, 2021 the Mentuck Memorial Ocean race took place. This is a coastal run to Maine and back to Marblehead honoring Michael A Mentuck for his contributions to sailing and the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race. The course is about 250 miles and will stay closer to shore to make it more accessible than races further offshore. Racers finish back at the Boston Yacht Club where they held the awards.

The winner at this year inaugural race was "Africa",a 41-foot Tripp out of Gloucester. Despite the a late start due to weather caused by Tropical storm Elsa and inconsistent wind throughout the race, the first year of the race was a success, although the course was modified to 144 nautical miles, with a turnaround at Boon Island Ledge instead. The regatta was rapidly organized following unfortunate cancellation of the biennial Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Race due to Covid-19 and the closing of the International Border. The memorial regatta will be held again next year and then every other year opposite the Marblehead-to-Halifax race.

Transpacific Yacht Race 2021

On July 13th 2021, the Transpacific Yacht Race took place. This is 2,225-mile offshore yacht race starting off the Pt. Fermin buoy in San Pedro, California and ending off Diamond Head in Hawaii. Roy Disney’s turbo Volvo 70 "Pyewacket" won this year's Transpac Race. It is a route and race that holds an allure that drew Roy Disney and many others over the years to attempt to break the record (currently set at 5 days and 2 hours).

Edgartown Race Weekend Preview

Hosted by Edgartown Yacht Club in Edgartown, MA on Martha's Vineyard, the annual Edgartown Race Weekend came roaring back for a 2021 edition with 78 entries. Held on Thursday and Friday afternoons (July 22 and 23, 2021) the three-day Edgartown Race Weekend featured the smaller but beloved "Round-the-Buoy Racing" event with the marquee racing event held on Saturday, July 23 where 78 boats circumnavigated Martha’s Vineyard in the 56-nautical-mile "Round-the-Island Race" (RTI). The RTI is one of America’s oldest distance sailing races having been an annual tradition on Martha’s Vineyard for 83 years.

Bayview Mackinac Race

On July 24th, somewhere around 180 sailboats glided up the St. Clair River for the 97th annual Bayview Mackinac Race from Port Huron to Mackinac Island. This year's race was a return to more normalcy following the 2020 race and the traditional bagpipes could be heard eminating over the water through the drizzle and rain.

Chicago to Mackinac Race

The 112th annual 2021 Chicago to Mackinac Race organized by the Chicago Yacht Club was a bit slower than usual but was still a great success. Taking place on July 21, 2021 this year, the weather produced "primarily upwind wind angles that saw the breeze going from decent at the starts to completely dead at some points near the Manitou Islands, offering windless holes that stranded some of the fleet’s 231 boats longer than others" . This is a 289.4 nautical mile course that makes up one of the most iconic races in the country (and world) and is also the oldest annual freshwater distance race in the world. It begins at the Chicago Lighthouse and ends at Round Island Lighthouse near Mackinac Island.

2021 Olympic Sailing Regatta (Tokyo 2020 Games)

Team USA has so far finished in the top 10 overall during the Tokyo 2021 Olympic sailing regatta. Big surf and high winds have made the races challenging but Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wis.) and Maggie Shea (Wilmette, Ill.) have been putting up great scores in the 49erFX, as has RS:X board sailor Pedro Pascual who hails from Miami, Florida to represent the USA in the games.

2021 Eggemoggin Reach Regatta

Saturday, August 7, 2021 "The Eggemoggin Reach Regatta began humbly in 1985 with thirteen wooden boats and a dream. Organizer Steve White along with Frank Hull of Brooklin Boatyard first envisioned the race as an opportunity for wooden boat owners to get to together and enjoy each others company as well as to compete. The race quickly grew to 125 boats and is now co-hosted by Brooklin Boatyard and Rockport Marine. The Regatta's 15-mile course has remained the same over the years and only once was the race cancelled due to fog. The Camden Feeder Regatta and the Castine Classic Yacht Race soon joined the ERR to create a truly spectacular three-day event."

2021 One Design Regatta Race in Newport, RI

The NYYC One-Design Regatta was first run in 2017 and is focused on one-design keelboat classes in which NYYC members actively participate. This year the race takes place on August 21-22, 2021. Since its inception, the race has evolved into a premiere one-design regatta event and continues to grow in both fleet size as well as number of interested fleets.

2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

On the horizon for September is the 2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. This year the race will take place between September 11-18, 2021, marking its 7th edition. The race will be run with a fleet of 20 IC37 boats that are the perfect vessels for this type of or amateur racing and provude a level platform for all. The Rolex Awards Dinner will be held September 18 on the lawn of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court.

2021 Melges IC37 North American Championship

Between October 1-3, 2021 in Newport, RI the inaugural Melges IC37 North American Championship will be held. This event will cap an intensive summer of racing and showcase one of the most competitive and finely tuned fleets around. The regatta will include both NYYC-owned charter boats as well as privately owned boats.

Written by: Ryan McVinney
C. Ryan McVinney is a film director, writer and producer. As an experienced boater he regularly produces and directs on-the-water video shoots for major boat manufacturers, yacht brokers and dealers, as well as independent film and media companies. He is president of the National Soho House Film Club with chapters in Miami, FL, Manhattan, NY and Los Angeles, CA and regularly contributes content to YachtWorld, and Boat Trader.