20 miles. One boat. Two teammates. Start in the Stonington Harbor, make your way around Fishers Island Sound. This is the Amazing (Dinghy) Race.
The Dinghy Race is a very unique, annual boating event that takes place on the Connecticut shoreline. With up to 38 boats racing, the goal of the distance course is to make it around Fishers Island as fast as possible.
Racers use their phones as tracking devices to work their way down the sound.
Junior Jack Derry and senior Jonathan Glander both participated, representing their team, The Mudratz, and came in 5th place out of the 38.
“I think the race is something that people around the world don’t have. At my age, sailors and boat racers don’t typically get to experience long course races like professional racers do, so it was a very special experience,” said Derry.
What makes the race so unique is not only the location, but the implementation of cell phones and the use of dinghy boats. A dinghy boat typically boards from 2-4 people, and is used to cover short distances, but the race puts a curve on the use of the boat.
In addition, the use of cell phones is another unique feature to the race. Racers use the tracking devices to point their location and predict which path to take for the safest and fastest route.
Brandon Flack is one of the race managers, and has had much experience with long-course races.
“The opportunity for the kids is great. It’s amazing to see how much potential kids have and how committed they are to the sport,” said Flack.
Derry has been sailing for six years, and seeks a future in continuing the sport. With his sailing club team, The Mudratz, he is very active when it comes to racing.
“Sailing is definitely a sport in my eyes. Saling is a race just as much as running or swimming, but when you’re sailing you use your body and mind to move a boat. Not to mention, it is in the olympics. Sailing is a lifelong sport, but on a larger scale I want to become a professional sailor,” said Derry.
Alongside the experience, racers get to meet and listen to famous sailors after the race, such as Nicole Brault.
The uniqueness of the Dinghy Race was a new and odd experience for majority of racers, but nevertheless an unforgettable experience.
“I love sailing and racing competitively and having the chance to do it on a long course was something I had to do. especially representing my team,” said Glander.