Road To The Cup – Week 14 – Nationals Edition

So let’s get straight to the bottom line. Congratulations to* Dave Nelson
& Frank Hart *sailing with Frank’s son *Colin Hart*. These guys sailed
such a beautifully consistent regatta, putting up just 31 points over 10
races. They finished with a line that included nine single digits,
including two bullets. Their only double-digit finish was an 11. That
level of consistency (which is my performance holy grail) is just
mind-boggling, particularly in the erratic northeasterly condition we
enjoyed for two of our three days. But more important in my view than
winning is winning well – *how* you win really matters, and these guys won
well. Sportsmanship counts for so much, and you’d be hard pressed to find
more respectful, gentlemanly, good-natured sportsman on our racecourse
than *Dave
Nelson & Frank Hart*. That makes this outcome even more pleasing. Really,
*really* well done!

Taking 2nd and winning the Cressy Trophy were last year’s champs *Nat & Jim
Taylor*, sailing with *Cindy Smith*. These guys have a remarkable knack
for elevating their game for the big regattas – the bigger it is, the
better they are. They put up 37 points with a line of nine single-digit
finishes, including two bullets, and they threw out a 13. Wow! Taking 3rd on
a tiebreaker was *Evan Cooke & Pete Kaznoski*, (aka *Pete & the Kid*), who
rolled a 49 with seven single digits that also included two bullets.
Finishing 4th was *Jonathan Cressy*, sailing with *Tomas Hornos* who also
put up 49 points with seven single-digit finishes including a bullet.
Honorable mention for this team goes to Jon’s brother *Eric Cressy* for the
thousand hours of work needed to get this boat ready. And taking 5th was *Team
Raisides / Pendleton*, sailing with young *Jack Raisides* for a 3rd. They
finished with 54 points in a line that included eight single digit finishes
with a bullet. Congratulations to all.

In addition to the racing trophies, we awarded several nationals perpetual
trophies as well. Taking both the Novice Trophy and Don Quixote
Trophy was *Matt
Hooks*. While I’m sure none of us regard Matt as a novice, his had the
best finish for a skipper sailing his first nationals. *Seamus Hourihan* took
the Jenson Trophy, awarded to the best skipper of age 60+, and *Grant Adam* won
the Corinthian Trophy for best skippers under 25. *Tommy Carville* won the
Travel Trophy for having dragged a boat the longest distance. And having
made that drive, I gotta think we could do better. Next time we might
consider awarding a flatbed truck and a plane ticket. Finally, at the
annual meeting *Steve Uhl *awarded the President’s Trophy to *Charlie
Pendleton* for his work chairing the regatta – an excellent choice and well

*Nationals Recap – Practice Race*

Not a lot to say here as the most anticipated moment of the regatta, our
first chance to size up the competition, was lost to fog so thick that you
couldn’t see the lighthouse from the green can at the mouth of the harbor.
People sparred a little within sight of the harbor entrance but few were
willing to venture far. We know of a few adventurous teams that strayed
out, including reigning national champs *Nat & Jim Taylor*, *Alex Felton*
and *Rob Ferro*, plus 2-3 out-of-town teams trusting enough to follow
them. I hear they hung for a while in the general vicinity of Satan’s Rock
before feeling their way back. Aside from *Rob Ferro*, who took an
unexpected detour to Castle Rock, everyone made it back without incident.
Tip-of-the-hat goes to PRO *Tommy Tompkins*, who did his best to give us
something, but in the end, it just wasn’t worth it. Winning the day was
everyone who had the sense not to rig, and top honors there go to *Mike
Lane*, who went to work instead.

*Nationals Recap – Day 1*

The weatherman predicted an unsettled day and that’s exactly what we got.
It generally blew out of the southeast (160ish if memory serves) with
pressure that was up and down, depending on what cloud was close by. At
the low end it was a drifter and at the high end boats had three on the
rail. We got a little rain but thanks to the weather gods (with an assist
from PRO *Tommy Tompkins)*, we managed to dodge the thunderstorms.

The regatta started with a 1-mile leg that proved too long in the light
conditions, and the RC was forced to abandon when none of us made it to the
mark within the 30-minute limit. A couple of us were likely unhappy with
that result but I heard more than a few cheers when the RC fired off those

After that, the breeze generally settled in and we got in three races.
Both sides paid, often in the same race, and even on the same leg – on one
beat, the top two boats came from opposite sides. Most of us had a tough
time making sense of all that, but not 2014 national champs *Team Taylor*,
who picked up where they left off, rolling a 1-5-1 for 7 points and an
early regatta lead. Taking 2nd on the day was *Dave Nelson & Frank Hart* who
put up 6-4-2 for 12 points. And finishing 3rd with a 5-10-3 for 18 points
was *Evan Cooke & Pete Kaznoski* (aka *Pete & the Kid*). Honorable
mentions go to *Frank McNamara* who took 4th with a 3-7-10 for 20 points
and *Mike Lane* who finished 5th with a 4-13-6 for 23 points and to *Jonathan
Cressy* who took the bullet in race 2.

*Nationals Recap – Day 2*

The forecasts were generally split, with one group predicting light &
variable and the other 8-12 out of the northeast. Northeast is what we
got, with shifty, up-and-down pressure in the 12-15 range early and
gradually trending down to about 8-12. Seas, as they usually are during a
northeasterly, were of the washing machine variety, putting a premium on
keeping the bow down. I for one find this condition thoroughly
befuddling. It seems like one side always pays big yet oscillations are
not regular and there is no rhyme or reason as to which side that will be.
Climbing the ladder also can be tricky because it’s easy to get duped into
tacking on the sucker shifts – big shifts with less pressure that don’t
last long. Sailing for pressure seems to be the right answer, but that’s
often easier said than done when clear lanes are hard to come by.

We got in four races and the results suggest that a few of us figured it
out. Winning the day on the tiebreaker with an impressive 4-3-11-1 for 19
points was *Dave Nelson & Frank Hart*. Very well done. Taking 2nd with
7-5-4-3, also with 19 points, was our newly liberated former class
president *Steve Uhl*. Finishing 3rd was *Pete & the Kid*, who rolled a
1-6-9-4 for 20 points. Honorable mentions go to *Steven Clancy* (1799,
green boat) from Hull, who took 4th with a 2-9-2-10 for 23 points, and *Dru
Slattery* who took 5th with a 5-4-12-8 for 29 points. Honorable mentions
also to *Matt Hooks* and *Team Pandapas* for bullets in races 2 and 3.

*Nationals Recap – Day 3*

The weatherman cued up another damp northeasterly in the 8-12 range, but
this time with more forgiving seas and reduced visibility that prompted *Tommy
Tompkins *to promise a fog horn if it got too bad. The flatter water made
the driving a bit easier than day 2, but no less a challenge tactically.
Also for the first time in the regatta, we sailed a race on the outgoing
tide, though I’m not sure that had much of an impact. We got in three
solid races, bringing the regatta total to 10, which greatly exceeded my
expectations given the pre-regatta forecast.

The conditions proved to the liking of *Jonathan Cressy* who knocked off
the rust and turned in his best day of the regatta with a 4-2-2 for 8
points. It’s always tough to jump into an unfamiliar boat and sail at a
high level, but these guys certainly pushed past that. Well done. Taking 2
nd was *Team Raisides / Pendleton*, who rolled a 5-3-1 for 9 points – just
an outstanding performance for them. And finishing 3rd was *Dave Nelson &
Frank Hart*, who put up a characteristically consistent 7-1-3 for 11
points. Honorable mentions go to *Team Taylor* who took 4th with a 2-5-5
for 12 points and to *Matt Hooks *who finished 5th with a 3-6-9 for 18

“It takes a village” doesn’t begin to describe the number of people and
level of effort needed to pull off an event like this. I shouldn’t try to
acknowledge all of the people who generously donated their time, energy and
expertise to organize and run this event – there are just too many and I’m
sure I’d miss a bunch. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a few. Let’s
start with regatta chair *Charlie Pendleton*, who stepped up one year ago
to lead this effort, assembled an amazing team and did a truly outstanding
job. Thank you Charlie. And how about *Josh Wheeler*. He’s been giving
up his weekends all summer to get us ready for this, and if you think
measuring boats in 90-degree heat is fun, let me know and we’ll sign you up
for next year. Thanks to *Doug Trees* for leading a sail measuring effort
that included *Chris Small*, *Jim Taylor*, *Rob Ferro* and several others.
Thanks also to *Peter Weise* who not only donated his boat to a visiting
team, but together with *Mark & David Rubin* and *Eric Thornton* recruited
and assembled the generous group of sponsors. Huge thanks to *Elise
Mazareas* and *Renee Heffernan *for organizing all of the social stuff, as
well as *Martha & David Martini* for opening their home to us on
Friday evening.
The list goes on – *JP Zonnenberg* on registration, my brother *Jim
Raisides* on awards, and let’s not forget PRO (and former national
champ) *Tommy
Tompkins* and the RC volunteers. We also shouldn’t forget the CYC, who
welcomed us with open arms. So many did so much – the level of effort and
contribution is humbling. Thank you!

Two more thoughts before I close the book on nationals. First is a final
thank you to our 2015 Nationals sponsors. Please go thank them yourselves
by giving them your business. Their names and coordinates are listed below
for your convenience.

National Grand Bank – www.ngbank.com

Doyle Sails – www.doylesails.com

Middlesex Savings Bank – www.middlesexbank.com

Ipswich Ale – www.ipswichalebrewery.com

Rumsons Rum – www.rumsons.com

Marblehead Bank – www.marbleheadbank.com

Annapolis Performance Sailing – www.apsltd.com

Harken – www.harken.com

Landfall Navigation – www.landfallnavigation.com

Mauri Pro – www.mauriprosailing.com

Lewanda Marine – www.lewandamarine.com

Harvey Rigging – www.harveyrigging.com

FL Woods – www.flwoods.com

The Cressy Team – www.thecressyteam.com

The Landing – www.thelandingrestaurant.com

Sudbury Marine Products – www.sudburyboatcare.com

The Barrelman – www.thebarrelmanmhd.com

Maui Jim Sunglasses – www.mauijim.com

Glaves Ophthalmic Surgery – www.eyelidspecialist.com

Gold Direct Care Family Physicians – www.golddirectcare.com

Layline Performance Sailing – www.layline.com

Marblehead Outfitters – www.marbleheadoutfitters.com

Second is a heartfelt shout out to outgoing class president *Steve Uhl*.
Running this class is no day at the beach. No volunteer job is glamorous
or easy, and this one is even less so as it involves constantly reconciling
divergent views on numerous class issues, typically conveyed with no
shortage of passion and conviction. The term is two years and truthfully,
most guys start looking at their watch about 6 months in, wondering what
they’ve gotten themselves into – but not Steve. No, he did his two years
and then defied all logic (and possibly his wife) by stepping up for two
more. During his four-year term, he took on the usual assortment of class
issues plus a few thornier ones (like a measurer absconding with templates,
scale and measurement records), and he did it with calm, style and good
humor. He made it all look so very easy. We just held our 51st nationals.
Our class is a sparkling jewel of consistency and longevity amidst the
gradual decline experienced across the sport. Steve can rightly claim a
lot of the credit for that, and we are in his debt.

So, in Cup competition, nothing changed this week, as there was no Twilight
race and Nationals scores are not included in Cup scoring. The top-10 are
listed below.



Hourihan / Frisch




Pendleton / Raisides




Team Pandapas




Steve Uhl




Dave Nelson




Matt Hooks




Mike Lane




Team Heffernan




Fava / Mazareas




Team Taylor


Week 15 racing will include only the Twilight on Thursday night as MRA
takes the weekend off to run the “One Championships”. That Twilight, by
the way, will be the last of our season, if you can imagine that. Boy did
summer fly by. Anyway, enjoy your break and we’ll see you on Week 16 for
the Saturday-Sunday of MRA Series 4 Labor Day Regatta. –kp

*kpandapas@comcast.net* <kpandapas@comcast.net>

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