July Days On Buzzards Bay
By TED BURT
Ah, the glorious days of summer! Blue sky, light southeast breeze. Oops, blue sky and no breeze. No, I mean blue sky and south-southwest breeze. Well, you get the picture. By mid-July the faithful southwesterly 10-20 knot Buzzards Bay day can be but a memory. Light variables presented a challenge for the racers as well as for the Race Committee, this past Saturday.
Sailors had to sniff out the zephers, and the Race Committee had to time the S Class’ race so that the H Class could complete two shorter races before the larger (and faster) boats appeared over the horizon to finish. In the end, it wasn’t pretty, but it got done.
First, the S Class. Three very competitive crews duked it out through almost two hours of light and constantly changing wind interspersed with drifting conditions. Just when it looked like you were in last place, you were in the lead, and vice versa. Very exciting stuff, except when you went from first to last in a heartbeat. And then there were the moments when some otherwise savvy skippers entered the Zone of Confusion. This zone is similar to the Bermuda Triangle, but further north. It causes a crew to sail past a turning mark when they are leading and allow the second place boat to slide into first. It causes delusions where the lead boat crew at the finish line believes there is more to the race than the course board displayed, only at the last moment coming to their senses and crossing the line to win.
Then, the H 12 Class. The first race should have been a simple affair, a windward-leeward twice around race featuring two beats and two spinnaker runs. Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, the wind died toward the end of the second leg and then, after teasing everyone for twenty minutes or so, shifted enough to the right that the boats could simply reach both final legs. At least they could have if that change had covered the whole race course, which it didn’t. Amazingly, when the boats finally approached the finish line, there were less than two minutes between the first and last finishers.
The second H 12 race was quicker and simpler. Tom and Tim First settled in to a semi-stable wind pattern, by now coming across Stoney Beach from Woods Hole and led the way wire to wire. Allie Rose and Tigger had had enough fun for the day and opted to sail in rather than race the second race of the day.
July Saturday Series H Class race #4
|1||Found It||Weatherly Dorris and Doug Jones||1:04:15|
|2||Swizzle||Ted Grayson and Erik Egleston||1:04:51|
|3||Olivia||Tom and Tim First||1:05:45|
|4||Phoenix||Mike and Ben Garfield||1:05:47|
|5||Allie Rose||Chuck and Luke First||1:05:54|
|6||Tigger||Langley and Hilary Steinert||DNF|
July Saturday Series H Class Race #5
|1||Olivia||Tom and Tim First||26:39|
|2||Swizzle||Ted Grayon and Erik Egleston||28:16|
|3||Found It||Weatherly Dorris and Doug Jones||29:53|
|4||Phoenix||Mike and Ben Garfield||30:30|
July Saturday Series S Class Race #4
|1||Olive||Josh and Molly Bernstein, and Geo Walters||1:44:44|
|2||Teaticket||Alan Haigh and Sam Ward||1:45:03|
|3||Aeolus||Doug and Kathy Cooper, and Geo Hunnewell||1:52:07|