Road To The Cup – Week 8

*Road To The Cup – Week 8*

*Top-10 as of 7/12/15*

In case you didn’t know, Race Week starts next Monday. Next Monday!! Of
course, our fleet won’t start until Thursday but Monday is the official
kick-off of this 125+ year old event, starting with three days of Junior
Race Week. If you’ve noticed an increase in the activity level around
Pleon lately, that’s why. I mention this primarily because I have this
awesome picture of *Sophie Lane* practicing for Race Week, and I needed an
excuse to show it to you.

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Just four boats showed up for the Twilight this week, and shockingly, none
of them included the usual suspects of *John Casler* and *Steve Uhl*. So
this week’s report comes from the desk of *Jim Taylor*, who I gather
single-handed the contest (as he so often does).

“There was actually good breeze once you got outside the harbor. We had 4
knots inside and more like 6-7 outside. The direction started at about 110
degrees, went right a bit and didn’t die (for once). We had nice smooth
Rhodes 19 friendly water except for a Salem Ferry wake. The course was to
Archer Rock twice around, which was made-to-order for single-handing, as it
required exactly two gybes (rounding the ‘weather’ mark), and one tack
around the pin. We all fetched the first mark on starboard, both from the
starting line and from the pin on the 2nd lap. I followed one of *Buddy
Melges’* keys to winning boat races: ‘win the start and extend’. Why
don’t we all just do that all the time? Of course, Buddy also suggests
that we ‘see the wind’, which is another matter entirely. *Rob Ferro & Jen
Jewell* gave us a very generous head start, probably due to Boston
traffic. The reach-athon provided no opportunities for them to catch up,
but they get a big shout-out for sailing the course anyway.”

So there you have it. Finishing 1st was the solo *Jim Taylor*,
followed by *Team
Martini* in 2nd and *Sara Sheldon *in 3rd. Honorable mention goes to *Team
Ferro* for getting out there after a tough commute. Congratulations to all.

Out on the MRA line, we were treated to a classic Marblehead chamber of
commerce day featuring clear skies and a light sea breeze. The drift out
was nothing short of torture, exacerbated by our Power Squadron friends who
have a penchant for cruising in a line of 3-4 boats dragging as big a wake
as possible while not straying from their compass course, which more often
than not brings them within feet of you. Good fun. Did I mention the

Anyway, the RC had the wisdom to fire off a couple of virtual guns and we
waited a bit for the pressure. When the sea breeze did fill in, it was of
the timid, shifty, temperamental, lacking-in-conviction variety. My guess
is that it peaked at 7-8 knots and used 170 degrees as the center of its
20-degree oscillations. Complementing the light breeze was a ripping
outgoing tide for most of the day that played havoc on stating lines and
mark roundings, while raising the bar on racecourse positioning. It was
inconsistent and unpredictable across the course so how it affected you
very much depended on where you were. I think generally from a current
perspective, right was favored going up because you avoided the big
Boston-to-Cape Ann flow on port tack coming out of the left. But I didn’t
win any races so consider the source.

Nineteen boats took advantage of this beautiful day, including a few we
haven’t seen in a while. Old friend *Jonathan Cressy* came out for a
little pre-Race Week or Nationals practice sailing brother *Eric
Cressy’s* 2568,
recently purchased from *Justin Scott*. In case you were wondering, and
lest there be doubt, this boat has won Nationals and is not slow. In fact,
this promises to be a competitive program as Jonathan has won Race Week a
gazillion times and his crew *Tomas Hornos* ain’t no slouch either. He won
the Snipe World Championship at age 19 while a sophomore in college, which
made him the youngest ever to accomplish that. He’s a world ranked star
sailor whostarsailor.com puts at 24th. Best to keep an eye on them!

Also out for their first MRA swing this year were *Jamie & Janice Holley*,
who won the day handily with a 1-3 for 4 points. Those guys are good and
shockingly fast. Better keep an eye on them too. Finishing 2nd was *Mike
Lane*, sailing with sister and national champ *Shannon Lane*, who rolled a
4-4 for 8 points. *Josh Wheeler* better take a peek over his shoulder!
Taking 3rd with a 9-1 for 10 points was *Charlie Pendleton*, sailing on
this day with former national champ *Katie Bloxham.* I don’t know
where my *Brother
Jim Raisides *was, but I’m pretty sure he would have rather been sailing.
But it’s always great to see Katie back on the line. Honorable mentions go
to *Teams Pandapas* (2-8), *Frisch / Hourihan* (8-2) and *Heffernan* (5-5),
who all finished with 10 points. The more important honorable mention goes
to *Bruce Bolen & John Casler. *The scores may show that *Team Holley* won
race 1, but *Team Bolen* led that race wire-to-wire and took the gun. I
guess there may be some sort of registration issue that hopefully is
corrected soon. But the truth is that they won that race fair-and-square,
and that has to have set some kind of Fleet 5 record. Bruce is 67 and John
is 70, which has to make them the oldest team ever to win an MRA race in
the Rhodes class. You gotta love a class where the older dudes can stick
it to the college hot shots once in a while.

So in Cup competition, the deck shuffled a little this week but *Team
Pendleton / Raisides* is still leading by a thin 10 points in front of *Frisch
/ Hourihan*. The top-10 are listed below.



Pendleton / Raisides




Hourihan / Frisch




Team Pandapas




Mike Lane




Steve Uhl




Team Heffernan




Fava / Mazareas




Matt Hooks




Dru Slattery




Dave Nelson


Week 9 racing will include the Twilight race on Thursday night and the 2-3
races of MRA Series 2 Day 3 this Saturday, which is last Saturday race
before the big event. A quick reminder that *Jennifer & Steve Uhl* will
again host the Fleet 5 Race Week Party after racing on Thursday evening
July 23rd at their home on Front Street. Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Uhl!

Finally, *Tommy Tompkins*, who was on a CYC patrol boat on Saturday, fished
a R19 hat out of the water. If it belongs to you, you can reclaim it at
508-958-0896. -kp

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