August 12, 2015Wednesday August 2

August Wednesday Series

The Windy Wednesdays continue!

By: Doug Jones


Before leaving the harbor last Wednesday, the Quissett Race Committee of Alan Haigh, Peter Franklin, Martha Adams, and Doug Jones had been warned how bumpy the conditions were out on Buzzards Bay; therefore, each member of the committee made a guess on the wind speed while still in the lee of the harbor.   Alan (who had checked out the seas from the beach) guessed 19 mph, Peter and Doug said 16 mph, while Martha chose 15 – 17. After Alan had steamed the Cornelia Carey to the starting area, a measurement was taken on the anemometer with a range of 15 to 17 with a high gust of 17.3. Because of the heavy seas, the Race Committee chose to move the starting line inside Penzance Point cove and dropped a starting mark downwind of the Stoney Beach mark and a gybe mark off Gansett Beach. An Olympic course (windward, reach, reach, windward, run, and finish to windward) was posted with a predicted length of 30 minutes.

While the fleet struggled to adapt to a rare starboard favor, Nina Hocker and Sheila Gordon in Dory Too had a near perfect start in the middle of the line just seconds away from being over early. Mike and Ben Garfield in Phoenix were close behind, while Mort Saunders and Teresa Deroucher in Found It were thirty seconds behind the fleet with sails luffing and minimal boat speed (clearly part of Mort’s strategy). On the short upwind leg (about six minutes), Weatherly Dorris and Emerson Barnard in Pani Baba found the right lifts and puffs and claimed a slight lead over Phoenix. After lulling the opposition into a false sense of security, Found It found her stride and moved into third. Many boats failed to anticipate the standard header on the starboard approach to this mark and had to pinch to clear or tack two extra times. On the short broad reaches, only Phoenix and Randi Ferrero and Chuck First in Allie Rose chose to fly spinnakers. During the first reach, Pani Baba was able to maintain her lead, but an excellent gybe and subsequent sail handling aboard Phoenix significantly narrowed the margin.

On the second upwind leg, Pani Baba worked hard to maintain her cover on Phoenix as the two boats tacked back and forth searching out puffs and lifts. Just at the windward mark, Phoenix was able to gain a slight lead on starboard and Pani Baba was forced to duck behind her. On the ensuing run, Phoenix flew her spinnaker beautifully and extended her lead enough that Mike and Ben were able to cover Pani Baba effectively on the final beat to the finish. This task became even more challenging since Found It was in hot pursuit and could not be ignored. With a second place finish last week and first place this week, Phoenix will be hard to beat in the August, Wednesday series.

Boat                           Skipper and Crew                                       Time


1.         Phoenix                      Mike Garfield and Ben Garfield                               25:48

  1. Pani Baba                   Weatherly Dorris and Emerson Barnard  26:26
  2. Found It                     Mort Saunders and Teresa Deroucher      27:06
  3. Sea Breeze                 Steve Chalmers, Alden and Ethan Burt       28:09
  4. Buttercup                   Mike Fenlon and Bonnie Simon                  28:54
  5. Dory Too                   Nina Hocker and Sheila Gordon                  29:03
  6. Allie Rose                   Randi Ferrero and Chuck First                   29:11
  7. Penguin                      Randy Evans                                                  30:32
  8. Coccochellie               Craig Hattabaugh                                          31:28