Last winter, Around Long Island Regatta Co-Chairmen Jim Aikman and Doug Wefer got to thinking about how to make the 40-year-old race even more spectacular, more accessible and dynamic. Their solution? To relocate the start to New York Harbor. For the first 40 years the Around Long Island Regatta (ALIR) has started well south of the Verrazano Bridge, out of sight of those on land. In 2017, the ALIR will start very much within sight of the New York City shoreline.
John Kedzierski’s Maxi 82 Fazisi, representing the Polish Yachting Association in the 2015 Around Long Island Regatta, was built for the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race. © ALIR.org
The Sea Cliff Yacht Club is proud to announce that this year, with Lady Liberty as the dramatic background, the start of the 41st Annual Around Long Island Regatta will be right at the base of lower Manhattan, visible to spectators for the first time. Surrounded by the towers of Wall Street, the shorelines of both Brooklyn and New Jersey, an expected 100 plus boats in various divisions will start their 205-mile journey circumnavigating Long Island on Thursday, July 27.
Starting the ALIR in New York Harbor requires a whole new group of resources. Aikman and Wefer knew they needed some local support in the harbor and reached out to the Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City, NJ. The General Manager of Liberty Landing Marina, Jason Dalli, loved the idea.
Spectators aboard the Honorable William Wall, the Manhattan Yacht Club’s floating clubhouse, will have a great view for the start of the 41st Around Long Island Regatta. © ALIR.org
“We have always had competitors stopover on the way to the start of the ALIR,” said Dalli. “We are delighted to have the start in New York Harbor and to be a more integral part of the event.” Boats can dock overnight and be ready for start Thursday. There is even a marine supply store at Liberty Landing Marina for those last minute supplies. The pre-race Captains’ Meeting will be held at Liberty Landing Marina the night before.
Also getting involved, by providing the Starting Committee support and support boats, will be the Manhattan Yacht Club. Sponsors and invited guests may watch the start from the deck of the club’s floating clubhouse, the Honorable William Wall. “Being aboard the Willy Wall for the start offers a terrific up-close opportunity to be part of the event,” said Aikman. The starting sequence for the First Division will begin at 2:00 PM. Subsequent divisions will start at ten minute intervals. Private boats, charters, passing ferries and shore spectators can view each start as the competitors jockey for position.
From the start, the boats will head out through lower New York Harbor, under the Verrazano Bridge and turn east along Long Island’s south shore to Montauk. From Montauk, competitors will head across to the north shore’s Orient Point and then make their way back west to the finish in Hempstead Harbor off of Sea Cliff. The Awards Ceremony and Post Race Party will be held at the Sea Cliff Yacht Club on Sunday afternoon, July 30.
Registration for the 41st ALIR is underway, with boats from the U. S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy already committed. Early indications are for a great fleet with a huge variety of boats ranging from 24 to 100+ feet, monohull and multihull, double-handed and fully crewed.
Multihulls, like Steve Gross’ Explorer 44 Falcor, are always strong contenders for line honors in the ALIR. © ALIR.org
More information, including the Notice of Race and how to get a rating, is available on the ALIR website. There is also a “Crew Board” looking to match up skippers and crew for the race.
The ALIR would like thank the following companies for their support of the 41st Regatta: Goslings Rum, Samuel Adams, New Jersey Beer Co., Brewer Yacht Yards & Marinas, Golden Eye Construction, Harken, Maui Jim, North Sails, vineyard vines, Liberty Landing Marina, Custom Boat Prints, and WBAB 102.3. Sponsorship opportunities are also still available for companies interested in supporting the greater New York metropolitan sailing community and the Around Long Island Regatta. For more information, please contact Co-Chairman Jim Aikman at 516-509-4079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.