By DOUG JONES
A few hours after hearing that his daughter Olivia had taken first place in one of the Gill Trophy races (the Southeastern Mass Championship for junior women), Tom First demonstrated his own sailing skills aboard his H 12, Olivia in the Janet Burt Chalmers Trophy race. The conditions could not have been more perfect with a consistent SSW wind of 10 knots, slight seas, beautiful sky, and the cooling effect of the water on a hot day. In a wonderful tribute to Janet’s love of sailing and racing, twelve boats (including four with her relatives aboard) sailed out of the harbor for this evening’s race; however, three boats were singlehanded and ineligible to compete for this precious trophy. Nevertheless, as Janet would have wished, they were encouraged to hold their own race, starting a minute after the official start.
The Quissett Race Committee of Commodore Alan Haigh, Martha Adams, Ed Jackson, and Doug Jones dropped a mark ½ mile SSW of the starting line and posted W2 sending the fleet on a windward, leeward course twice around. Katy Burt and Katy Tynan (nee Burt) in Tagalong (128) approached the port favored line first and with clear air. In fact, they were so early that there were on the course side of the line and were forced to re-start. Ted and Belle Grayson in Swizzle (888) heard part of the hail of “128” as a premature starter but thought that “888” had been called and also returned to the start. Steve Chalmers and Jancy Grayson in Sea Breeze had a near perfect start near the pin with clear air and excellent boat speed with Tom First and Max Steinert in Olivia close behind. Nina and Andy Hocker in Dory Too sailed beautifully on the first upwind leg and looked prepared to round in first; however, as they tacked onto the layline, the wind shifted and died slightly and the boats who had taken an inshore route found a helpful lift. Mort Saunders and Paul Farrell in Found It rode this favorable lift to the mark and rounded first with Olivia fifteen seconds behind. Found It carefully and cautiously began her preparations for flying her spinnaker while Olivia had her chute flying and full within five seconds of rounding the windward mark. Olivia took full advantage of her greater sail area and quickly closed the gap and eventually took over first place before reaching the leeward mark. Excellent spinnaker work and downwind sailing allowed Sea Breeze to slide into third just ahead of a tight bunch of Dory Too, Chuck First and Doug Cooper in Allie Rose, and Mike Fenlon and David Burt in Buttercup.
On the beat back to the windward mark, Olivia carefully and effectively covered her nearest competitors as those in the back of the fleet took flyers hoping for helpful wind shifts and puffs. Sea Breeze was able to move into second place when the fleet rounded the windward mark and chose to gybe away from the fleet, while Found It tried to catch Olivia by chasing her from behind and attempting to steal her wind. On this day, Olivia was up to all challenges as she flew her spinnaker beautifully, found the favored side of the course, avoided the blanket of the fast charging Found It, and wrapped up a great day full of firsts for the First family.
|1.||Olivia||Tom First and Max Steinert||37:25|
|2.||Found It||Mort Saunders and Paul Farrell||37:37|
|3.||Sea Breeze||Steve Chalmers and Jancy Grayson||37:58|
|4.||Allie Rose||Chuck First and Doug Cooper||38:25|
|5.||Dory Too||Nina and Andy Hocker||38:56|
|6.||Buttercup||Mike Fenlon and David Burt||39:06|
|7.||Phoenix||Mike and Emma Garfield||39:16|
|8.||Tag Along||Katy Burt and Katy Tynan||39:47|
|9.||Swizzle||Ted and Belle Grayson||42:18|
|Pani Baba||Weatherly Dorris||-----|