By Doug Jones:
Oh, what a beautiful evening!
A spectacular June evening greeted the Race Committee of Ed Jackson, Henry Jones, and Doug Jones as they steamed the Cornelia Carey out for the first Wednesday series race of the summer. In this evening series, skippers may sail single-handed but are restricted from using spinnakers if they sail alone. Six boats sailed out of the harbor eager for a great evening of sailing competition. A glorious SW wind of 15-18 knots provided for excellent sailing conditions for that stalwart 12 ½’s. The RC dropped a temporary mark “X” 6/10ths of mile directly upwind of the starting mark and posted a course of XQSX.
Despite the port -favored line, all boats started on starboard and were spaced out evenly along the line. Found It, sailed by Mort Saunders and Anna Olsen, was the first to try a tack offshore looking for a favorable wind shift, however, this was a night that boat speed was at a premium. Mike and Ben Garfield sailed Phoenix quickly to the windward mark by navigating around the larger swells and maintaining superior boat speed. Dory Too, with Nina Hocker and first timer Peter Franklin, were in close pursuit with Swizzle sailed by Ted Grayson and Steve Chalmers only seconds behind. Found It, Mike Fenlon in Buttercup, and Chuck First in Allie Rose followed with all six boats rounding the windward mark within one minute of each other.
Excellent spinnaker work aboard Phoenix allowed her to build a substantial lead over Dory Too and Swizzle by the time the boats arrived at the entrance to Quissett Harbor. Now the fleet had to decide whether to fly their spinnakers on a very tight reach back to the starting buoy. While Phoenix and Swizzle chose to drop their chutes, Dory Too welcomed her first time H-12 crew by challenging him to gybe the spinnaker and keep it filled on the tight reach. While the relative positions did not change, Dory Too closed the gap on Phoenix and pulled away from Swizzle. The single handers were freed from having to make this decision. Allie Rose and Buttercup avoided the challenges and risks and slipped past Found It.
On the second beat to the windward mark, Swizzle found a favorable wind shift and grabbed a slight advantage over Phoenix and Dory Too. After rounding the windward mark, Phoenix quickly gybed in hopes of taking advantage of a starboard tack approach and blanket at the finish; however, great spinnaker work aboard Swizzle allowed her to maintain her slim lead all the way to the finish.
- Swizzle Ted Grayson and Steve Chalmers 47:48
- Phoenix Mike Garfield and Ben Garfield 47:50
- Dory Too Nina Hocker and Peter Franklin 48:20
- Allie Rose Chuck First 49:40
- Buttercup Mike Fenlon 49:59
- Found It Mort Saunders and Anna Olsen 51:42