As you know, there was no twilight racing Thursday night due to Race Week. Instead we were treated to Jennifer & Steve Uhl’s gracious hospitality, and by gracious, I mean completely over-the-top. How many sailing parties have you been to that had a champagne table? Jennifer defines graciousness – nobody does it better. Though now that I think of it, Steve ain’t so bad either and Thornton Uhl also served a drink or two, so I guess graciousness is a Uhl family tradition. Many thanks to all of them for again opening their home to us, and also to Elise Mazareas & Mike Nash for making sure we all got enough to drink.
So let’s start with Junior Race Week, which as you probably know, ran Monday through Wednesday. The weather gods smiled on the juniors this year with three very nice, storm free days. Day 1 finished a little early when the fog rolled in and we suffered through an early AP waiting for the wind to fill on day 2, but aside from that, conditions were perfect. JRW consists of four separate lines. Three of the four PROs for those lines are card carrying members of Fleet 5, including Peter Frisch on the 420 line, Conway Felton on the Laser line and yours truly on the Opti Champ line. How about that? Other Fleet 5 RC contributors included Alex Felton, Christina Pandapas, JP Zonnenberg, Kent Hallawell, Barbara Hallawell, Karen Lubeck, Jerry Blouin, John Casler, Rob Ferro, Fleet 5 alum Joann Mayerand a few other volunteers I’m probably forgetting. Add to that Katie Bloxham on registration and several other folks helping out onshore and on safety boats and it’s pretty clear that Fleet 5 members stepped up in a meaningful way. Thanks to all. I should add that JRW with its zillion moving parts (housing, food, trailers, safety, logistic, scoring, coaching, etc.), is a spectacularly organized and well-run event. I don’t go to a lot of these junior regattas, but I have to believe that this one is among the best. And while it’s a team effort for sure, I feel compelled to throw kudos to event co-chairs Rick Myersand Mike Costello and their core team of Russ Chapman, Tam Reisbach, Patrick Andreasen and long-time contributor Susie Schneider. Just a spectacular job!
Several Fleet 5 spawn competed in this event and I won’t try to name them all, but a few bear mentioning. First is Grace Honos, who took 2nd of 31 in the Opti Green (odds) fleet with 38 points in 12 races. Finishing 3rd in that same fleet with 55 points was Jack Raisides – a chip off the ole block! Hannah Frisch took 19th in the 48-boat 420 champ fleet, and Hunter Zonnenberg finished 12th in the 80-boat Opti Champ fleet (and then by the way, came out and raced with his dad on the Rhodes). He’s a gamer, that one!Congratulations to them and to all of our kids who participated.
So let’s get straight to the bottom line. Congratulations to our new Race Week champ Dave Nelson, who finished our ten races with a miserly 35 points. He sailed an outstanding regatta, with two different crews, through frustratingly unpredictable conditions and importantly, with a gentlemanly demeanor, which makes him all the more deserving. It’s not just winning, but how you win, and he won well. This one was hard-fought and well-earned and Fleet 5 congratulates him. In addition to winning the coveted Spittoon, Dave also took home the Cressy Trophy, one of the regatta’s two perpetual awards. And if that wasn’t enough, he was declared the overall regatta champ and awarded the NOOD trip to the BVI in late October. Well done. Congratulations also to his longtime crew Frank Hart, who sailed the first two days, and to Dave’s son and his friend who sailed the final two days. Finishing 2nd just two points back with 37 points was Team Pendleton / Raisides who sailed a beautifully consistent regatta. Every time I looked up, they were out in front, sometimes fighting through bad starts and unfavorable shifts to get there. They threw out an 11, which was the lowest discard of the fleet – these guys were just outstanding. And finishing 3rd with 42 points was the family Team Holley, including Jamie sailing with either wife Janice or son Cameron. These guys were fast, no doubt, but they also sailed smart and with poise. Jamie has an exceptional feel for tactics and how to position himself on the course. Really great job. Honorable mentions go to Team Hourihan / Frisch who finished 4th with 47 points and Pete & the Kid – Evan Cooke and Pete Kaznoski, who took 5th with 51 points including three bullets, the most of the regatta. Congratulations to all.
Race Week Recap – Day 1
This was a rare day where the forecasters nailed it. They called for a 10-15 knot northwesterly in the morning following a weak system exiting the area, giving way to clearing skies, diminishing pressure and a trend to the northeast. And that’s exactly what we got. Anyone who took out the beef in anticipation of a heavy air day was bumming by race 2. Susie Schneider and the EYC RC did a great job of rotating the line and course as it became necessary, and also successfully kept the Etchells and IODs out of our hair. This day belonged to Pete & the Kid, who came out swinging and collected a 1-1-6 for 8 points to win the day and take an early regatta lead. These guys had themselves a great first day. Evan Cooke is a great starter and big-picture sailor who keeps his eye on the ball and has the sense to avoid getting caught up in local skirmishes. I like the way they sail. Finishing 2nd with a consistent 5-2-4 for 11 points was Team Hourihan / Frisch, who seemed refreshed despite Peter’s three previous days on the water. And taking 3rd were Dave Nelson & Frank Hart, who also nailed a low, single-digit day with a 3-3-5 for 11 points. The first honorable mention goes to Team Pendleton / Raisides who finished 4th with a 4-8-1 for 13 points. But they didn’t just win the 3rd race, they annihilated it. They got a front row start on the bottom half, caught the first lefty and were gone. And by gone, I mean they were enjoying their second drink at the bar before many of us finished. The second honorable mention goes to the husband-wife team of Jamie & Janice Holley, who also stayed in single digits with an 8-9-3 for 20 points.
Race Week Recap – Day 2
The Chamber of Commerce outdid itself on this one as we were treated to the perfect summer day. It took the moderate southerly a little time to fill in, which, thanks to the ever pragmatic Peter Regio, we spent sipping coffee on shore rather than drifting around. The wind started at around 190ish and backed for most of the day. While that direction is a little right of our usual sea breeze, how could we call it anything else, so we’ll go ahead and up the season sea breeze count to 6 for 12. The pressure was up and down and the oscillations were often at odds with the shifts (i.e. lefty across the course but pressure on the right only), so you had to be on your toes and a little lucky. Day 2 marked our return to the old Halfway Rock line and a change in race committees from EYC to BYC. I had forgotten how much fun it was to dodge that nun during starts and have the rock in the middle of our course! Joining us on the line were the Townies, and we saw plenty of them – on every run and leeward mark rounding in fact. Positions changed as a result and that’s a shame, leading one to wonder if an alert RC might consider tinkering with the start times or distances to fix the problem. We got off three races – well really 2½ as the final was a lopsided A-course where anyone who went left early found new pressure and a lefty – ‘nuff said. Team Holley put on a clinic for us, turning in a very consistent 4-3-4 for 11 points to win the day. We’ve gushed in these pages about young Cameron Holley, who sometimes sails with his dad if the bribe is high enough, but not this time. No, Janice sailed this one and make no mistake, she’s no slouch and one of the best kept secrets in our fleet. Finishing 2nd was the father-son team of Jim & Nat Taylor, who put up a very respectable 11-1-5 for 17 points. And finishing 3rdone point back with a 9-2-7 for 18 points was Dru Slattery & Linda Epstein. Honorable mentions go to the husband-wife team of Pendleton / Raisides who turned in a 3-6-11 for 20 points, and Pete & the Kid who rolled a 6-15-1 for 22 points, leaving them in 1st place for the regatta with a 5-point lead.
Race Week Recap – Day 3
Forecasters called for a building southwesterly, and I suppose they were right. The wind started at about 160ish and trended right over the course of the day. It did finally build by race 3 to the point you could have two on the rail and maybe even hike a little, which felt good. But overall, we got conditions that were infuriatingly similar to those of day 2, which is to say very shifty, unpredictable pressure and a bit of a crap shoot. You could pick the correct side from a shift perspective but get hammered by boats on the other side in more pressure. And as many of you will attest, if you went up the middle, you lost to both sides – kind of like a northwesterly. The Lasers joined the line which added meaningfully to the tactical complexity of mark roundings. The first leeward rounding of the day was anything but fair with three different fleets converging on the same gates at the exact same time. Fortunately, they managed to fix that for the subsequent races by sending the lasers to our weather mark (thanksPeter Regio). And as long as I’m ranting about the RC, why count down over the radio on some sequences but not others? Why ignore boats doing wind shots? And why wait until all fleets have finished to start moving bags? The wait between race 2 and 3 was more than 45 minutes. Sorry – had to get that of my chest. Anyway, day 3 is often the money day in a four day regatta – the day you either get the job done of you don’t. Team Pendleton / Raisides got the job done, turning in a 2-3-1 for 6 points, winning the day and climbing into the regatta lead. It wasn’t always pretty. If you were anywhere near them, you may occasionally have heard language inappropriate for kids, but who among us wasn’t guilty of that on this very frustrating day? Finishing 2nd with an impressive 5-1-3 for 9 points wasDave Nelson, to take a commanding hold of 2nd place overall and just one thin point out of 1st. What made this performance all the more impressive was that rock star crewmate Frank Hart stayed home for this one and was a replaced by a couple of 13 year olds (his son and friend) who had never sailed together, which didn’t take an inch off Dave’s fastball. Finishing 3rd was Team Hourihan / Frisch who rolled a 3-9-9 for 21 points. Honorable mentions go to Team Fava / Mazareas who finished 4th with an 8-10-4 for 22 points, Team Lane / Wheeler who took 5th with a 4-6-13 for 23 points and Team Cormier / Blouin who nailed a bullet in race 1.
Race Week Recap – Day 4
There was probably more drama packed into this one race than the rest of the races combined. For starters, the conditions were forecast to deteriorate as a front pushed through the area, bringing with it strengthening southerlies, heavy rain and a high probability of strong thunderstorms. The RC met at 9:30 and made the call to send us out, and many of us found ourselves questioning that call as the skies darkened. As it turned out, the southerly strengthened to about 15 knots during our first beat, but didn’t last long, after which the skies brightened and the wind went light. In the end, we got no thunderstorms. Another bit of drama was the battle at the top between Team Pendleton / Raisides and Dave Nelson. Both fought to get right, Dave rounded the top mark first, and Team Pendleton / Raisides passed him on the run and rounded the leeward mark in front (of everyone). But they hit a snafu on the rounding that resulted in the sheet under the boat, and that took a little time to fix. Dave seized on that opportunity and passed them to leeward, but then encountered his own issue when the port side of the traveler broke. He could point just fine on starboard but not on port. In the end, Dave covered and held, but it had to be stressful for all concerned. Winning the day was Team Hourihan / Frisch who took the bullet. Taking second was Team Holley, who picked the pocket of Team Pandapas at the finish, pushing them into 3rd. Honorable mention goes to Larry Ehrhardt sailing Tom Dailey’s boat (see below) and Team Lane / Wheeler who took 5th.
A few final thoughts in no particular order. At the awards ceremony, several folks were inducted into the Marblehead sailing hall of fame, several of whom have a Rhodes history. Joan Thayer was an inductee and she sailed Rhodes as recently as this week crewing with Sarah Sheldon. Jud Smith was another and he is a R19 national champ. Dave Curtis sailed Rhodes as recently as the Rockport nationals and Robbie Doyle sailed them back in the day. How about that! 32 boats competed in this year’s event and 14-15 of those were sailed by family members, including six husband-wife teams (seven if you count Charlie and Jim). That’s remarkable! Add to these numbers the very welcome return of Mike Carpenter & BJ Mansfield, who split themselves between Teams Rubin and Uhlrespectively. Always great to see them out there. And speaking of Team Uhl, their boat was sailed on Day 2 by Clark Uhl and his friends while presumably, Dad was home cleaning up after the party. After sailing his Rhodes for two days, Tom Dailey hopped into his laser for the weekend – one regatta, one line, two fleets! Jumping into Tom’s boat was Larry Ehrhardt who, to my knowledge, joined us for the very first time. Welcome Larry and how can we help you find your own boat? Tom, by the way, was recognized with two others for his contribution to building the wildly successful laser fleet though the awarding of the Lenard Munn Fowle trophy, which is a huge honor. His winning that award gives Fleet 5 a clean sweep of the three big awards. Race Week videos are now public and available on YouTube at www.youtube.com/playlist?
So, in Cup competition, Race Week always seems to have the most material impact on the standings due to the sheer number of points. The biggest change is, as you’d expect, Team Pendleton / Raisides has taken a commanding lead. The top-10 are listed below.
Top-10 as of 7/27/14
|Pendleton / Raisides
|Frisch / Hourihan
|Pete Kaznoski & Evan Cooke
|Fava / Mazareas
Week 11 racing will Twilights this Thursday night and the 2-3 races of MRA Series 3 Day 1. -kp