August Wednesday Series 1

August 5, 2015August Wednesday 1

Wild and Wooly Wednesday

By: Alan Haigh

As Cornelia Carey headed out into Buzzards Bay for the first race of the August Wednesday Series the race committee, consisting of Henry Jones, Martha Adams, Peter Franklin and Alan Haigh was met with a strong wind (estimated at 17 to 19 mph) and rollers from the WSW. An Additional dramatic touch was provided by a large, dark grey cloud that was hovering over New Bedford.

In considering the course, the race committee opted for a short first windward leg, and thus dropped a mark (X) 1/3 of a mile upwind from the usual starting area. A subsequent wind shift prompted the race committee to reset the windward mark. Finally settled and anchored at the starting line, a course was posted: X, H, X and finish. While ten H 12’s came out of the harbor to race, the skippers of seven of the boats decided that the better part of valor dictated a return to port. The three remaining boats darted back and forth, as their skippers timed and lined up their starts.

Penguin, sailed by Randy Evans (with Jeffrey Armstrong for crew) hit the line hard on starboard tack with very clean air, and exactly one minute early. He was called over and headed back to restart. Buttercup, sailed by Mike Fenlon (with Bonnie Simon for crew) was at the windward end of the line at the horn, and crossed cleanly on starboard. Emma Garfield in Phoenix (with cousin Andrew Garfield for crew) started midway down the line, also on starboard tack.

The short upwind leg produced some tacking duels between Phoenix and Buttercup, but at the mark the rounding order was Buttercup, followed by Phoenix and then Penguin. A fast downwind leg ensued with Buttercup pulling out all stops and setting a spinnaker. The skippers of Phoenix and Penguin felt they were already going fast enough, and opted not to set. At the leeward mark it was Buttercup first, with Phoenix in pursuit, and then Penguin, not quite close enough to be a threat to either of the other two sailors.

As the racers headed back upwind, Mike Fenlon and Emma Garfield both chose to work the middle of the course. After initially heading well out into the bay, Randy Evans tacked back over to starboard, and headed for the shore. Buttercup’s skipper mistook the starting mark (S) for the windward mark (X), rounded it, and headed back down wind in search of a finish line. By the time he realized his error and turned back upwind, Emma Garfield had rounded the last mark and was heading home to finish. Penguin’s skipper, by this time off of the Quissett light buoy, decided that a warm shower was more in the cards, and thus made a left turn and headed in. Phoenix crossed the finish line first, with skipper and crew in high spirits. Buttercup’s skipper noted that he had an inch thick layer of salt on his glasses.


Boat                                Skipper                                                Time

1. Phoenix                         Emma and Andrew Garfield                      42:04

2. Buttercup                      Mike Fenlon and Bonnie Simon                 50:43

3. Penguin                         Randy Evans and Jeffrey Armstrong          DNF