Road To The Cup – Week 3

*Road To The Cup – Week 3*

*Top-10 as of 6/7/15*

In the mailbag this week, my observations of last week’s racing provoked
some interesting comments, the most insightful of which came from a noted
college coach and is paraphrased below:

“That stuff you noticed about ducking boats – blowing the jib – check out
leeward roundings. 95% of jibs are trimmed max in while the boat is still
on a beam reach, trying – in vain, now – to turn up.”

Hmm. The letter goes on to suggest three probable reasons for the
sloppiness – 1) lack of practice, 2) crews who learn to sail by crewing (so
missing some of the important building blocks) and 3) skippers who create
“Voice Activated Crews.” (Love that phrase.)

Number 1 is pretty obvious. Honestly, when was the last time you took your
crew out on a non-race day and practiced tacks, sets and leeward mark
roundings? Number 2 is huge too, especially considering number 1. And
number 3 is my favorite because I am totally guilty-as-charged. Honestly,
crews don’t like it when skippers bark, but more importantly, they stop
thinking and just wait to be barked at. Put another way, what kind of
leverage do you get from a person who just does what he or she is told?
*Teamwork *should be your mantra. I met a guy in Sydney last week who
sails 12-foot skiffs, which are carbon rigged, bow-spritted, over-powered,
both-guys-out-on-the-trapeze, adrenaline-rush kind of boats. I asked him
how they tack, and he described a well-choreographed ballet in which every
move has to be perfectly timed because the slightest f-up catapults both
guys off the boat. Now that’s teamwork. That’s what we all should all
aspire to.

In this week’s racing, three boats made it out for the first Twilight of
the season. The race started in a light southeast breeze, and
according to *John
Casler*, our man on the scene, *light *is the key word – there were notable
holes. The course was to the nun off the Fort, then to the mid-channel can
and back, twice around. One of those notable holes appeared at the
starting pin with less than a minute to go, wrecking everyone’s
approach. *Martha
& David Martini* got back to the line first, followed by *Steve Uhl & Jerry
Blouin*, and then *John Casler & Connie Blake*. *Team Martini* held the
lead out to the nun, but lost both of the other boats on the beat to the
can. *Steve & Jerry* never looked back. *John & Connie* held a slim lead
on *Team Martini *back into the harbor, but lost it rounding the pin for
the second go round. From that point the positions remained unchanged,
with *Steve & Jerry* finishing minutes ahead and *Team Martini* taking 2nd
a couple of boat lengths ahead of 1775.

Out on the MRA line, conditions were nutty. We started the day with a
chilly, honking northerly that clocked and moderated over the course of the
day. The trip out was a sleigh ride, but by race 1, the pressure moderated
a little, though it was still hike mode. By race 2, the wind moderated to
the point of being marginally sufficient to power through the seas. And by
race 3, the sun was out, the seas were gone and we had a squirrely, shifty
drifter for an A-course. The day was really an exercise in shifting gears
and peeling off layers.

Anyway, 12 boats showed up, which is a shockingly small number considering
that East Coasts are next week. Congratulations to *Steve Uhl *who won the
day with a 4-7-1 for 12 points (on a tie breaker). Sailing with Steve and
making his 2015 debut was old friend *Rick Saunders*. Nice way to start,
Rick. Finishing 2nd, also with 12 points and also making their 2015 debut
were *Bill & Renee Heffernan*, who put up a 5-4-3 for 12 points. Welcome
back Hefs. Taking 3rd on the day were 2014 national champs *Nat & Jim
Taylor*, who in their first day back rolled a 8-1-4 for 13 points.
Honorable mention goes to *Team Pandapas* who took 4th with a 3-3-7, also
for 13 points. A more deserved honorable mention goes to *Team Pendleton /
Raisides*, who rolled a 1-2 going before blowing off the last race to meet
a family obligation.

So in Cup competition, things are beginning to take shape, with *Team
Hourihan/Frisch* atop the leader board with *Steve Uhl* and *Team
Pendleton/Raisides* just 10 points back. But it’s still early. The top-10
are listed below.



Hourihan / Frisch




Steve Uhl




Pendleton / Raisides




Dru Slattery




Team Pandapas




Mike Lane




Matt Hooks




Larry Ehrhardt




Team Heffernan




Team Taylor


Week 4 racing will include East Coasts in Manchester, sponsored by the
Manchester Yacht Club. The SIs are at
www.regattaman.com/def_event_page.php?race_id=342. For folks not making
the trek, there will be our usual Twilight race on Thursday night and the
2-3 races of MRA Series 1 Day 3 this Saturday.

A couple of final items. First, you might recall that two weeks ago, our
boat was attacked by an angry gate, which knocked us out of competition
last week. Huge shout-out to *Chris Small* who not only did an amazing job
on the repair, but did it quickly enough to get us back on the line this
week. How great is that? Thanks Chris! And second, I will be traveling
for the next couple of weeks, so *Charlie Pendleton* has agreed to cover
this beat while I’m gone. Thanks Charlie! -kp

Similar Posts