DARIEN, Conn. Geoff Beringer looks forward to competing in the Stamford Yacht Club's Vineyard Race every year. He has raced in the event, which begins Friday, for nine years and is looking forward to the 238-mile race from Stamford to Buzzards Bay, Mass.
"I enjoy the distance races,'' said Beringer, a Darien resident who sails out of the Norwalk Yacht Club. "I like the races in the Stamford series."
Beringer has raced different courses in Marthas Vineyard, including the 116-mile Cornfield Race and the 142-mile Seaflower race. He won the Cornfield race one year, and comes into this year's event with a victory in June in the C Class of the 640-mile race from Marion, Mass. to Bermuda.
Beringer sails a 1977 C&C 38, making it one of the older boats in the race. Friends from Darien, Stamford and Rowayton are in his crew and, he says, they are usually one of the keys to success.
"That makes a big difference if you have an experienced crew, Beringer said. "You want as much experience as possible. I try to recruit people who could do well in a race like this."
Beringer has been a sailor since he was a teenager. "I did it growing up on smaller boats,'' he said. "I raced with bigger boats and found that I really enjoyed it. I do a lot of the Wednesday races out of the Norwalk Yacht Club."
Weather can derail any sailing race. Marthas Vineyard has had some races with difficult conditions, but this weekend looks favorable. It also dodged Hurricane Irene, which would have canceled the race.
The Vineyard Race began in 1932 and 93 crews, including boats from Fairfield and Westchester counties, will compete this year. More information is available on the Stamford Yacht Club website .
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