August 14, 2015
A Most Entertaining and Educational Race!
By: Doug Jones
Last Friday evening, the Quissett Yacht Club held races for the Harrington Junior Sailing and Woodriff Memorial trophies. The Harrington trophy race is for junior skippers and crews (under age 16) where spinnakers are not allowed, while the Woodriff trophy race is for Corinthian skippers (aged 16 – 21) where spinnakers may be flown. These two races are given a simultaneous start in order to enhance the competition (and perhaps to give bragging rights to either the older or younger skippers).
The Race Committee of Annie Dean, Claire Bowin, Adria Bowin, Gary Cline, and Doug Jones set an X mark ½ mile upwind of the starting pin and posted a course of XQSX (a Gold cup course using standard Quissett marks). For many of the young racers, racing in the traditional Quissett boats was a relatively new experience and the start demonstrated a perfect example of their unfamiliarity with displacement boats. They lined up luffing on the line hoping that they would be able to accelerate the H12s as quickly as they can speed up a 420 or an Opti. Tim First and Max Steinert aboard Allie Rose could be heard directing the other boats as to where they could or could not go. Meanwhile older sister Olivia First and Nicolas Steinert in Olivia chose to sail straight for the starting line with optimum boat speed and had the best start of the fleet. On the first upwind leg, Olivia deftly covered Ben Garfield and Tor Holck in Phoenix matching them tack for tack; however, Allie Rose and Anna Olsen, Ethan Burt, and Luke Ventola in Found It made this strategy challenging and risky since they sailed to the other side of the course searching for puffs and lifts. As the boats approached the windward mark, Olivia maintained her lead over Phoenix and was approaching on starboard, but Allie Rose had found some nice wind in-shore and was sailing to the mark on port. Allie Rose was able to tack just inside and in front of Olivia and rounded the windward mark first, closely followed by Olivia, Phoenix, and Found It. On the reach to the Quissett light buoy, despite numerous attempts to pass, the order remained the same and the four boats rounded the gybe mark within four seconds of each other. During the reach back to the starting mark, Olivia was able to pass Allie Rose to windward and both boats pulled away from Phoenix and Found It. Heading back to the windward mark, Olivia did her best to cover her nearest competitor, but in perfect trophy racing fashion, once the first two boats were heading in one direction, the following two went in the other direction making it impossible for the lead boat to cover the fleet (if only the senior Quissett sailors were watching and learning from these fine young racers). At the windward mark for the last time, Allie Rose again found the best puffs and lifts and rounded in first, with Found It, Olivia, and Phoenix following behind. Despite everyone’s best efforts on the run to the finish, they stayed in this order to the end to conclude one of the most exciting races of the season.
- Allie Rose Tim First and Max Steinart 42:40
- Found It Anna Olsen, Ethan Burt, and Luke Ventola 43:00
- Olivia Olivia First and Nicolas Steinart 43:07
- Phoenix Ben Garfiled and Tor Holck 43:15
- Handoah Noah Garfield and Jeremy Kunen 47:40
In a match race for the Woodriff Trophy, Jessica Hunnewell and Andreya Zvonar in Tumbleweed streaked out to an early lead over Christos Karplus and Peter Ventola in Sea Glass. By the first windward mark, Tumbleweed had stretched her lead to over two minutes; however, Sea Glass was not discouraged by this situation and used expert spinnaker work to reduce the margin significantly. At the leeward mark, Tumbleweed’s advantage was down to ten seconds and Christos had used the first upwind leg to learn how to sail his H12 upwind. Sea Glass found the best wind and boat speed and took over the lead by the windward mark and then extended this lead flying a full spinnaker on the run to the finish.
- Sea Glass Christos Karplus and Peter Ventola 45:19
- Tumbleweed Jessica Hunnewell and Andreya Zvonar 46:30