Light Winds Challenges Small Fleet

 By DOUG JONES

Three days after the H Class Championship Regatta, only four boats competed in the first of the Quissett Yacht Club’s August Wednesday series races.  A pleasant 4-6 knot wind was blowing from the SE, and four boats coasted out to the starting area as the Race Committee of Ed Jackson, Martha Adams, and Doug Jones repositioned the racing marks that had been moved for the weekend regatta.  Perhaps the light winds, beautiful skies, and exhaustion from the weekend races reduced the size of the fleet, but those racing had an eventful and pleasant evening.  The Race Committee posted a course of ESE with the verbal instructions of finishing at E.

Carol Reinisch and Bob Suitor in Will O’ the Wisp were the first to approach the line, but they were early enough that they had to sail towards the pin end, while Chuck First and Sue Conlin in Allie Rose had a near perfect start at the boat end of the line – a remarkable feat given the flightly nature of the wind.  Five minutes after the start, the wind slipped away into light breezes from myriad directions.  While Allie Rose, Will O’ the Wisp, and Emma and Mike Garfield in Phoenix headed south in the hopes of a southwest wind filling in, Nina Hocker and Steve Chalmers in Dory Too headed inshore relying on the dying southeast breeze.  Dory Too rounded the windward mark sailing a close hauled course, while Phoenix rode in from the west with her spinnaker drawing.  After rounding this “windward” mark, Dory Too sailed on a beam reach thanks to the freshening southwest wind while Phoenix opted to try her spinnaker on this leg too.  Phoenix quickly abandoned this plan and opted to test her straight line boat speed.  By constantly adjusting and resetting her sails, Phoenix sailed to windward and passed Dory Too.

After rounding the starting pin, all four boats raised their spinnakers and enjoyed a quick reach to the finish.  Phoenix continued her winning ways as she finished with almost a thirty second margin of victory.

Results

 1. Phoenix Emma and Mike Garfield 36:09
 2. Dory Too Nina Hocker and Steve Chalmers 36:37
 3. Allie Rose Chuck First and Sue Conlin 36:04
 4. Will o’ the Wisp Carol Suitor and Bob Suitor 39:43