July 27, 2014
By Henry Jones:
A southerly wind of 8-12 knots greeted the Race Committee of Doug and Henry Jones as they headed out to the start of the Whitely trophy race this past Sunday. A lively conversation ensued as to the likelihood of the wind holding steady or switching either easterly or westerly. The race committee dropped marks for the southerly wind and posted “F” (a course consisting of a triangle, windward, leeward, windward legs with the start and finish in the middle). As the time to the start drew nearer, the wind began to fluctuate and the race committee prepared for a postponement and a course change; fortunately, the breeze held steady in the south and the starting sequence was begun. Because of the shifting wind and the squareness of the line, the fleet was uncertain as to the favored end and position. Mike and Ben Garfield in Phoenix lined up for a port tack start at the pin, while Tom and Olivia First in Olivia were on starboard also at the pin. Meanwhile, Bill and George Armstrong in Penguin timed their start to perfection with great boat speed and clear air right in the middle of the line just inches away from being over the line early. Phoenix was forced to duck behind Olivia and then tacked to avoid the rest of the fleet.
During the first upwind leg, Mort Saunders and Liesel Ferguson in Found it found clear air and had superior boat speed, consequently arriving at the windward mark with a slim lead over Chuck First and Sam Ward in Allie Rose, Weatherly and Rick Dorris in Pani Baba (recently re-seamed and relaunched), and Olivia. On the reach to the gybe mark, the gusty conditions challenged the fleet to reach hull speed with their spinnakers flying full. Found It, Pani Baba, Olivia, Allie Rose, and Phoenix (having taken full advantage of superior spinnaker work) rounded the gybe mark in close succession. Found It drew slightly ahead, while the four others challenged each others for second position. Just as one boat would pull ahead, the trailing boats would blanket her, and she would be passed by the third place boat. This trading of positions allowed Found It to pull away, while Ben and Noah Garfield in Handoah and Penguin caught up with the middle of the pack.
On the second upwind leg, Found It continued to take advantage of her superior boat speed and clear air and increased her lead, with Pani Baba, Phoenix, and Handoah chasing close behind and Allie Rose, Olivia and Penguin following in a pack. The close battle for second continued throughout the upwind leg, allowing Found It to pull even farther ahead. The positions remained relatively the same at the mark rounding, with Found It far ahead and the other racers constantly grappling for position. On the second downwind leg, Found It maintained her lead with great spinnaker work, while a few boats began to emerge from the pack: Allie Rose, Phoenix, and Penguin. Positions were still vague at the downwind mark and into the beginning of the upwind, however at the finish Found It came flying in for a first by over a minute, followed by Allie Rose with Phoenix hot on her tail. The fleet finished off with Penguin, Pani Baba, Olivia, and Handoah finishing respectively.
- Found It Mort Saunders and Liesel Ferguson 1:07:13
- Allie Rose Chuck First and Sam Ward 1:08:32
- Phoenix Mike and Ben Garfield 1:08:39
- Penguin Bill and George Armstrong 1:08:46
- Pani Baba Weatherly and Rick Dorris 1:08:50
- Olivia Tom and Olivia First 1:09:26
- Handoah Ben and Noah Garfield 1:09:44