The Sea Cliff Yacht Club is pleased to announce that this year’s race is titled Daniel Gale Sotheby’s Around Long Island Regatta. This is the 46th running of this classic and is scheduled to start in New York Harbor on Thursday, July 27. First run in 1977, the “ALIR” covers a 205-nautical mile course combining ocean, harbor and open sound racing. The race’s 10+ divisions include sailboats 24 feet or longer and sailors at all levels who typically finish in one to three days. This unique race is for everyone – weekend cruisers, serious blue-water competitors, double-handers, academy sailing teams, even junior sailors. Racing yachtsmen earn points for the Northern Ocean Racing Trophy and other IRC distance trophies.

Unique in the Northeast, the annual ALIR is indeed almost a complete circumnavigation of Long Island with very distinct legs. It starts just off Ellis Island in New York Harbor. The challenging harbor start, robust tides and prevailing southerlies set the boats tacking towards the Narrows and out into the Atlantic. This escape from New York Harbor provides great spectating opportunities for the public. Once clear, the fleet turns left to sail the ocean leg paralleling Long Island’s South Shore along Long Beach, Jones Beach, Fire Island, the Hamptons and on to Montauk. Some boats choose the shortest distance hugging the shore, while others opt for deeper water in search of better wind.

After rounding Montauk Point, the tides and current become huge tactical factors as they head northwest to Plum Gut to enter Long Island Sound. The final westerly leg, familiar to all who sail the Block Island Race or the Vineyard Race, is all about reading wind shifts and working currents to their advantage along Long Island’s North Shore or the southern shore of Connecticut. The big difference from the other two regional classics is that the ALIR is sailed at the height of summertime, when the waters of the Sound are warmest. The race ends in beautiful Hempstead Harbor at the Glen Cove breakwater.

The weekend concludes with the ALIR Awards Ceremony and a Beach Party hosted by Sea Cliff YC on Sunday afternoon. Trophies are awarded for the first three finishers in each division, with many additional awards for various categories. The entry deadline is July 24th. To enter, spectate, join the party or support the event sponsors, visit ■

Previous Article