Photo by Doug Jones Caption:  Swizzle (888) off to a great start to windward of Tag Along (128) and ahead of Buttercup and Sea Breeze.

Photo by Doug Jones
Caption: Swizzle (888) off to a great start to windward of Tag Along (128) and ahead of Buttercup and Sea Breeze.

Swizzle Sizzles

By DOUG JONES

With a steady 8-10 knot breeze oscillating between the west and the southwest, the QYC Race Committee consisting of Alan Haigh and Doug Jones set up a Gold Cup course with a 4/10 mile windward leg.  A respectable fleet of seven competed in this early-in-the-season-race, but we are hoping for a larger fleet on future Wednesday evenings.  A few minutes before the start, the line was favored at the port end with the pin closer to the windward mark; seeing this, Mike and Ben Garfield in Phoenix set up for a port tack start.  Unfortunately for them, the wind shifted a few degrees and the port favor disappeared.  Mike Fenlon and Sebastian Laye in Buttercup started a few seconds late at the committee boat but had clear air and windward position.  Ted and Isabelle Grayson were a few boat lengths ahead but to leeward.  Phoenix chose to duck the fleet and headed offshore, while Swizzle and Buttercup chose an inshore route.

By the time the boats crossed again, Phoenix had taken advantage of a fresher breeze away from the coast and slipped into the lead; however, Swizzle and Buttercup soon reclaimed the top positions.  As the fleet approached the mark, Phoenix tacked inside of Swizzle and Buttercup, and Mort Saunders and Bonnie Simon in Found It followed close behind in their wake.

Phoenix rounded the windward mark first with Found It and Buttercup just seconds behind, closely followed by Swizzle.  For reasons unknown to this RC, Found It and Buttercup gybed immediately, allowing Phoenix to extend her lead.  After they gybed back to starboard, Swizzle was able to grab an inside position at the gybe mark and move up to second.  During the second reach, Swizzle demonstrated great boat speed and moved even closer to Phoenix.

During the final beat, Phoenix worked hard to cover the fleet while paying attention to the varying wind speeds and directions.  While she held on to the top spot, Swizzle had worked her way closer to a threatening position for the final run to the finish.  Beautiful spinnaker work and a dead run indicated that this race would come down to the wire.  Unfortunately with a ¼ mile to go, Phoenix’s spinnaker halyard parted and her spinnaker dropped suddenly.  Swizzle slid by and Phoenix’s new-found sea anchor stopped her dead in the water.  Quick crew work aboard Phoenix allowed her to save her spinnaker from damage and maintain her second place position.

Results

1 Swizzle Ted and Isabelle Grayson 33:53
2 Phoenix Mike and Ben Garfield 34:06
3 Found It Mort Saunders and Bonnie Simon 34:25
4 Buttercup Mike Fenlon and Sebastian Laye 34:28
5 Tag Along Jon and Katy Burt 34:51
6 Sea Breeze Steve Chalmers and Jancy Grayson 35:33
7 Allie Rose Chuck First and Sue Conlin 36:23