July 3, 2013

Another blustery evening!

So much for the notion that the Quissett Wednesday evening series is a light-hearted and leisurely event as the Race Committee and racers were presented with a second week in a row of 18-20 knot SW winds with even heavier seas built up from a full day of gusting winds. Heavy fog had engulfed Vineyard Sound as was threatening to do the same in Buzzards Bay. The Race Committee of Doug Jones, Ed Jackson, and Martha Adams chose to set a drop mark (X) ½ mile SW of the starting pin and posted a course sending the fleet windward to X, a broad reach to the light buoy off Quissett Harbor (Q), another broad reach to the mark off Racing Beach with a final beat to the finish. Seeing only three boats heading out to the bay, the RC set a starting line suitable for five boats just in case there were a few stragglers; however, nine boats presented themselves for the race and prepared to fight for the few openings in the starting line.

These kinds of conditions are the favorite of the old salt, David Burt in Tagalong, and he showed why as he and his crew Charlie Chalmers arrived at the windward mark with a substantial lead having battled through the heavy seas. Most of the fleet struggled to see the windward mark so the Cornelia Carey anchored just upwind of the mark in order to give the fleet a target. Tom and Luke First in Olivia rounded second and were closely followed by Nina and Andy Hocker in Dory Too. As they approached the mark Chuck First and Doug Cooper in Allie Rose and Mike and Ben Garfield in Phoenix had some very close tacking that prompted Phoenix to perform two penalty turns and dropped her back into ninth position. The Race Committee was surprised on the ensuing broad reach to see almost the entire fleet fly their spinnakers with Allie Rose the first to have her chute fill.

As they rounded the light buoy, Tagalong surprisingly without a spinnaker was maintaining a slight lead over Olivia, Allie Rose, and Dory Too. After the gybe, Olivia quickly reflew her spinnaker and easily sailed past Tagalong who was still working to fix some rigging issues. By the time Tagalong raised her spinnaker, Olivia had pulled away and Tagalong was left to fight for second with Allie Rose and a fast approaching Phoenix who had moved into fifth place.

On the final beat to the finish, Olivia increased her lead but the old salt was constantly threatening to pass. Meanwhile, a dense fog was also threatening to engulf the fleet and the RC had difficulty maintaining visual contact with all the boats. Seemingly out of nowhere, Phoenix once again arose from the ashes of her 720 turns to finish closely behind Tagalong and grab third position (to date Phoenix has only recorded seconds and thirds all season – the Quissett fleet better watch out – this could be Mike’s year!).

Kudos to the Race Committee for battling the heavy seas and frequent tossings aboard the Cornelia Carey – let’s hope for a few tranquil evenings to come.

  1. Olivia • Tom and Luke First 46:38
  2. Tagalong • David Burt and Charlie Chalmers 47:05
  3. Phoenix • Mike and Ben Garfield 47:59
  4. Due Diligence • Alec Clowes and Jo Khamrie 48:15
  5. Buttercup • Mike Fenlon and Larry Stam 48:26
  6. Sea Breeze • Steve and Jeremy Chalmers 48:327
  7. Dory Too • Nina and Andy Hocker 48:54
  8. Allie Rose • Chuck First and Doug Cooper 49:04
  9. Chopstick • Gary Hadaberg and Ken Morse 50:03

View July 2013 Wednesday Series Results