Once Again Phoenix Rises From The Ashes


For the second race of the Quissett Yacht Club Wednesday series, the Race Committee of Alan Haigh, Anne Dyer, Martha Adams, and Doug Jones were delighted to be faced with a steady 10-12 knot breeze from the southwest.  With eight boats presenting themselves to compete, the RC dropped a temporary mark “X”, 1/3 mile southwest of the starting pin and posted a course of XEH sending the fleet on a short upwind leg, followed by a spinnaker reach to the Knob Cove beach, another reach to the mark off of Racing Beach, with a final long beat to the finish.

Ted Grayson and Lizzie Bohan in Swizzle timed their start perfectly with full boat speed at the boat end and only ½ a second off the starting line.  At the other end were Mike and Emma Garfield in Phoenix, with no boat speed, to leeward of the fleet, and struggling to avoid hitting the starting buoy.  But clearly, Phoenix had the fleet right where she wanted them for after five minutes, she had moved to the front of the fleet by finding the fresher wind offshore.  As the fleet approached the windward mark, the wind dropped slightly and shifted more to the south, forcing all boats to pinch to get around the mark.  Mike Fenlon and Sebastian Laye in Buttercup, and Mort and Randy Saunders in Found It had overstood the mark and were able to take advantage of this header and sailed past Phoenix.

On the close reach to mark “E” there were a range of spinnaker issues and tactical decisions as the fleet spread far off from the layline.  Phoenix took a more direct approach and used her superior spinnaker work to establish a solid lead by the gybe mark.  Randy Evans sailing solo in Penguin did not have the option of flying a spinnaker; therefore, he avoided all the trouble of hoisting and taking down an extra sail and rounded in second place with Buttercup and Swizzle close behind with spinnakers flying.

During the reach to “H”, Buttercup and Swizzle were able to move past Penguin but at the leeward mark Swizzle took the inside position and despite spinnaker troubles rounded ahead of Buttercup and Swizzle.  Although Phoenix had rounded “H” in first, she sailed into a dead spot and Penguin found a puff and a great angle of wind and sailed past.  As the fleet continued windward to the finish, the lead changed hands many times, and the boats in the back of the fleet worked their way to the top, ultimately with Phoenix rising from the ashes of her poor start.



1 Phoenix Emma and Mike Garfield 50:11
2 Penguin Randy Evans 51:12
3 Dory Too Nina Hocker and crew 52:15
4 Butter Cup Mike Fenlon and Sebastian Laye 53:06
5 Allie Rose Chuck First and Sue Conlin 53:25
6 Found It Mort and Randy Saunders 53:44
7 Sea Breeze Steve Chalmers 54:06
8 Swizzle Isabelle Grayson 56:25