Road To The Cup – Week 5

*Road To The Cup – Week 5 (East Coasts Edition)*

*Top-10 as of 6/15/15* (With Kim traveling, this week’s Road To The Cup is
brought to you by Charlie Pendleton.)

We had a lot of racing activity this week between the Twilight Series,
regular MRA Saturday and of course, the East Coast Champs.

*Twilight Series*: (contributed by *John Casler*) In this week’s racing,
four Rhodes turned out for a perfect evening for racing. The breeze was
out of the southwest, 8-10, with modest gusts. The course was to the
Archers Rock nun off Cat Island, then to the nun off the Fort and back in,
twice around. The only feasible start was on a port reach, and *Steve Uhl*
and *John Casler* hit the line at the starting siren and were abreast of
each other at the first mark, with *Steve and Betsy* having the inside at
the rounding. *The Martinis*were a boat length behind at the start and a
boat length or two behind at the mark. *Sarah Sheldon* got a later start
and was fourth at the mark. On the beat to the Fort, all the boats picked
lanes and took the long starboard tack back toward the harbor, where the
breeze and the gusts seemed stronger. Pointing ability on this leg
determined the outcome, with Steve Uhl working out a good lead, Team
Martini solidifying second, and John Casler and Sarah Sheldon following in
that order. This was the finish order, with no position changes on the
subsequent legs.

*Out on the MRA line*: (contributed by *Martha Martini*!) There were only 4
Rhodes: *Evan Cooke*, *David Nelson*, *Sarah Sheldon*, and*Team Martini*.
[Editor’s note: David Neslon, last year’s Race Week Champ appears to be
warming up to defend his title!] The one consistent piece to the day was
Nelson’s winning all three races, at least two of them by half a leg or
more – An astonishing performance, particularly in view of the light,
shifty air.

The first race was the strangest, with the wind veering 70 plus degrees.
The Race Committee set the wind at 125 but we never got a reading lower
than 140 and it just kept shifting right (with the very occasional backing
shift just to keep life interesting). Down winds turned into beats and vice
versa. The Race Committee changed the course mid race but even so,
couldn’t keep up with the shift right. Nelson was far ahead but the rest
of us were left to duke it out as best we could. Spinnakers were doused on
the “run” and Evan was seen to fly his on the “beat.” Strange. In any
event, Evan and Sarah beat us right at the line.

By the second race, the wind was still veering so that boats were jammed at
the RC end of the line, but the beat at least remained a beat, though with
the right side favored. Nelson again won but I couldn’t tell who finished
second and third.

Sarah retired after the second race leaving just the three of us. The pin
was so heavily favored in the third race that you couldn’t cross the line
on starboard; we all crossed on port and Nelson stayed left, which paid
off. Evan went right and lost considerable ground by doing so. We stayed
in the middle and arrived at the windward mark behind Nelson but ahead of
Evan. We lost Evan on the run but picked him up on the next beat. In the
event, we lost him again on the second run. Nelson meanwhile had pulled a
horizon job, almost a full leg ahead.

*The East Coast Championships* participants enjoyed the hospitality of
Manchester Yacht Club – it had been 25 years since the last Rhodes regatta
was hosted at this fantastic location and everyone agreed, it felt good to
be back. Note, *Mike Lane* announced that he actually participated in the
last Rhodes event held at MYC – he must be feeling old! I think I speak
for the class when I say that I hope we don’t have to wait more than a year
or two to come back again.

We had three days of agreeable/fair weather characterized by light, shifty
breezes that oscillated to the right throughout the day – this, with fairly
flat seas throughout the regatta. The constantly shifting conditions made
it extremely difficult for race management but *Jim *and I agreed: *Conway
Felton* ran a *fantastic* regatta, exercising patience and his knowledge of
what Rhodes racers like, to pull off eight straight-forward races that let
the participants do what they came to do – compete. 23 boats, 8 races, 2
general recalls, one “I” flag and no protests. Good stuff.

Some regatta notes: I don’t know about you, but I love seeing the younger
generations on these boats. Even the fleet’s newest addition,*Larry
Ehrhardt* gets it! He sailed with his son *Travis* on Friday and Daughter
*Ruthy* on Saturday/Sunday. Also – It was great to see*Bob Bernstein* at
the event. Chartering *Ben Richardon’s* boat for the regatta, Bob and crew
made the trip from Chicago to participate – awesome. How great was it to
see *Chris Small* back out there!? I missed that guy. Sailing with his
wife *Bri* and (co-skipper) *Ian Peebles*, in his first race back on the
helm in a few years, there was no rust on that guy. See you at the
Nationals Chris! Finally, Shannon Lane and Charlie Thomas put on a great
show, end to end. When was the last time we had a live band at a Rhodes

Congratulations to the *Holley Family* who pulled off third overall. The
husband/wife team of Jamie and Janice, sailing with their son (Cameron) on
days one and two and their daughter (I missed her name!) on day three
sailed a consistent regatta. In second overall was *Dru Slattery* and her
all-women team. They we *blazingly fast* the entire regatta – she’s on my
short list of teams to watch as we build up to Race Week. Team
*Pendleton/Raisides* took top honors this year sailing with Jim’s son *Jack*,
who was put to work on foredeck and could be seen flying the spinnaker in
the last race – nice work Jack! Final results can be seen here:

So in Cup competition, things stay relatively the same with regard to the
pecking order: *Team Hourihan/Frisch* atop the leader board with
*Steve Uhl* only
8 pts back. But it’s *early*. The top-10 are listed below.



Hourihan / Frisch




Steve Uhl




Dru Slattery




Pendleton / Raisides




Team Pandapas




Mike Lane




Matt Hooks








Larry Ehrhardt




Team Heffernan


*Week 6* will be the beginning of the summer’s Race Week stretch – the
series of races that build up to the toughest four days of Rhodes 19 racing
on the planet. These are the “salad days” of the summer where we’ll begin
to see 15-20 boats on the line on any given Saturday followed by gatherings
afterwards on the yacht club porches. Everyone will be out fine-tuning
their programs and the serious knife sharpening begins. You want your name
on that Spittoon? You better be out there every weekend from now until
Race Week. See you out there Saturday!

– Charlie –

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