August 2, 2014
By Doug Jones
New Wind, New Skippers, New Boats, Same Result
A northeasterly wind of 10-12 knots and the S-boat regatta provided the backdrop for a whole new set of circumstances for the Quissett H-12 racers; however, the results continued to follow the patterns of the summer.
Shortly after the S boats finished their second race in a drenching downpour, the race committee of Wendy Martyna, Mike Garfield, Sarah Meigs, and Doug Jones were pleasantly surprised to see that eleven boats had ventured out for the second race of the Quissett August Saturday series. This day had all the makings of some major changes: Emma Garfield was skippering Phoenix with dad Mike as crew, three wooden boats were competing, Moxie was sporting a new rig, bottom, and sail (having switched away from a Marconi rig), and the wind was from the northeast instead of the traditional southwest.
The Race Committee chose to take advantage of the steady but unfamiliar breeze and sent the fleet on a starboard triangle to Racing Beach, Knob Cove Beach, and then Penzance Point. The port favored line challenged the fleet, but Steve Chalmers and Sheila Gordon in Sea Breeze timed their start perfectly at the pin, while Emma and Mike Garfield in Phoenix starting a few seconds late. Phoenix’s starting position allowed her to tack immediately after the start and find clear air and excellent boat speed. By the windward mark, Phoenix has stretched out her lead over Mort Saunders and Liesel Ferguson in Found It. Charlotte and Weatherly Dorris in Pani Baba were not far behind, while Tom and Tommy Tullius in Moxie were showing off Moxie’s superior boat speed. A few unfortunately timed tacks pushed her back into the fleet, but the rest of the competitors were put on notice. On the reach to Knob Cove Beach, Phoenix continued to pull away while Pani Baba displayed some wonderful spinnaker work to pull ahead of Found It. At the gybe mark, rookie crew Mike Garfield aboard Phoenix struggled to complete the perfect spinnaker gybes often performed by his veteran crews, but skipper Emma was still able to maintain her lead. The final beat to windward had many boats discovering the frustration of sailing in a shifty northeasterly where tacking away from one header often sent you into another header.
Phoenix effectively covered the fleet and sailed home with the most decisive victory of the season, continuing her excellent season and showing great preparation for next week’s H-12 regatta at Buzzards Yacht Club. The wooden boats made an impressive showing capturing three of the top six positions.
- Phoenix Emma and Mike Garfield 1:10:50
- Pani Baba Charlotte and Weatherly Dorris 1:12:49
- Found It Mort Saunders and Liesel Ferguson 1:13:03
- Will O’ the Wisp Bob Suitor and Ben Garfield 1:15:37
- Buttercup Mike Fenlon and Noah Garfield 1:16:08
- Moxie Tommy and Tom Tullius 1:16:16
- Olivia Tom and Olivia First 1:16:35
- Sea Breeze Steve Chalmers and Sheila Gordon 1:17:10
- Penguin Betsy Evans and Halley Allen 1:17:24
- Allie Rose Chuck First and Tor Holck 1:17:40
- Handoah Hannah and Ben Garfield 1:21:40