August 16, 2015Long Distance

A Long but Wonderful Afternoon on the Water

By Doug Jones

Thanks to the efforts of Jon and Katy Burt, Kristan First, and the Quissett Yacht club sailing instructors, the Quissett Long Distance race (known as the Founder’s Trophy) this past Sunday had its largest number of competitors (both in terms of boats and sailors) in years. Owners of three cruising and racing boats invited some of the yacht club’s young sailors to join them for an afternoon of racing big boats on the waters of Buzzards Bay, and they all challenged the Quissett S class for the honors of winning a handicapped Long Distance Race. (The fact that the start of the race was postponed to allow some runners in the Falmouth Road Race to participate attests to the endurance and enthusiasm of these young sailors). Confronted with a true Southwest wind of 10-12 knots, the Race Committee of Rob Wells, Sarah Meigs, and Doug Jones posted the multi-leg course of CVZYHDQJ which consisted of four beats, four reaches, and a run to the finish and tested the boats on all points of sailing.

While separate starts were given to the S Class and to the handicap fleet, total elapsed time was measured and the race was scored as one race. The S class had an exciting start with Radiant timing her starboard tack leeward end of the line start perfectly. Teaticket chose to take advantage of the port favor and started on port tack ducking right behind Radiant but with superior boat speed. Olive, being sailed by George Walters, Nick Hunnewell and Peter Ventola, chose a more conservative approach and was a few seconds behind the lead boats.

In the handicap start, the tactics were much more conservative as the young sailors were still learning their ways around the large boats. All three boats started on starboard more than ten seconds after the starting gun. David Burt aboard Cade, Joel White on Ibis, and Jon Burt on Lola often ceded steering privileges to their young charges as every sailor had a chance to sail part of the course. The differences among the boats became quite obvious at the start as Lola was able to sail ten degrees higher than the other competitors.

On the long first upwind leg to the government buoy off of Weepecket Rock, Teaticket established an early lead over Radiant and Olive. By the time the S boats rounded the windward mark, Lola was fast on their sterns and soon passed them on the broad reach to the middle of the bay much to the delight of the young sailors aboard this speedy racing boat; however, since this was a handicapped race, they could not be sure if they were going fast enough to make up for the corrected time. Cade and Ibis fought back and forth for the lead with Ibis pulling away on the first reach by flying her gorgeous pied spinnaker. On the second long reach, however, Cade shortened the gap between the two boats, and she then passed Ibis on the beat from Racing Beach.

Meanwhile Radiant and Teaticket were battling it our for top position with Teaticket more often having the upper hand, while Olive patiently worked her way closer and closer to the leaders. As the boats came closer to the finish, the wind began to drop and it became more difficult to work their way through the remaining Buzzards Bay chop and in the lead, Lola tacked her way downwind flying her beautiful genniker to the finish and took first place on elapsed time. By now the planned for three hour race was dragging into the fourth hour as Radiant and Teaticket sailed downwind to the finish. Although Teaticket had held the lead as the boats rounded the last mark, Radiant was able to blanket the lead boat and held on for a seven second victory – an incredibly close margin for over 200 minutes of sailing. As all the boats crossed the finish line, the crews cheered with excitement and delight over their fantastic time on the water, and they eagerly awaited the results of the calculations that would determine the ultimate winner of the Founder’s Trophy.

Elapsed           corrected

time                 time

  1. Radiant           Doug Cooper, Kathy Cooper,           3:27:43           2:26:07

and George Hunnewell

  1. Teaticket        Alan Haigh and Alex Lord                3:27:50           2:26:17


  1. Olive                George Walters, Nick Hunnewell,    3:29:30           2:27:54

and Peter Ventola


  1. Lola                 Jon Burt, Anna Olsen, Alden Burt    2:51::50          2:33:02

Ethan Burt, Katy Burt, Ted Burt,

Luke Ventola, Cole Freedlander,

Christos Karplus, and Camilla Bowin


  1. Cade                David Burt, Jessica Hunnewell,        3:52:50           2:54:45

Theodora Karplus, Olivia Johnson,

Luke First, and Max Steinert


  1. Ibis                  Joel White, Olivia First, Tim First     4:06:30           3:14:35

Hadley Smith, Alex Steinert, Noah

Garfield, and Mitchell White