September 6, 2014:
Saturday September 6th looked like a good day for exciting sailing with a southwest wind gusting to 25 mph and the steep seas that it kicked up. The first Round the Bay Race course in 1952 included the Lone Rock buoy off Quicks Hole and the West Island Bell. Its final mark was the Gunning Point nun which was removed some years ago. The course this year used the same marks that are left from 62 years ago. Participation was down some this year; 14 entries, 12 starters and 11 finishers.
The fleet was a mix of different classes from around Buzzards Bay, Mass Maritime, Hyannis and Plymouth. The rules say the boat with the highest handicap, known as the rabbit, starts at noon. The rest of the fleet start in order of their handicaps to try to overtake the rabbit. The fastest boat, Mass Maritime’s Buffalo, had to wait an hour and twenty-six minutes for its start.
The J-105s dominated again this year. Last year’s race had similar conditions and the first three finishers were J-105s. This year four J-105s started at 12:41. They included last year’s first and third place boats. Last year’s winner had to drop out but the rest finished first (third last year), second and third, having passed the slower boats and kept ahead of the theoretically faster ones chasing them, finishing from 4:11 to 4:16.