Road To The Cup – Week 16 – Extended Labor Day Edition

First things first – I’d like to extend a grateful tip of the hat to *Sloan
& Charlie Pendleton* for hosting our Labor Day party on Saturday night.
They decided to shake things up this time by catering it with Tennessee
barbeque instead of the usual potluck – that was awesome. The event was
reasonably well attended, particularly considering the number of people
away for the long weekend, and most of those in attendance were still going
strong when *Christina* dragged me out sometime after 10PM. Good party!
Many thanks to *Sloan & Charlie*, and to *Elise Mazareas & Mike Nash* for
managing the bar

Let’s start with the Twilights results. First as to Series 2,
congratulations to *John Casler* who took 1st on a tiebreaker with 6 total
points. How many years has he been doing that? Well done. Finishing 2nd
was *Steve Uhl*, also with 6 points, and taking 3rd just one point
back was *Team
Martini* who finished with 7 points. Good job to all.

For the Twilights overall, congratulations to *Steve Uhl*, who for the
second year in a row earned 2015 beer can bragging rights and the
coveted *Charlie
Barr* Trophy. He finished an entire summer of Twilights with just 14
points. How ‘bout that! (Can you name the last team to win the Twilight
season before Steve started his run? Answer below.) Finishing 2nd on a
tiebreaker with 19 points was *Team Sheldon*, who beat out *Team Martini*
in 3rd by a whisker. Both of these competitors not only sailed well, but
were out there almost every week. It’s a toss-up as to which should win
the first annual *John Casler Honorary Twilight Attendance Award* (being
invented by me at this very moment – *Mike Lane*, better get on that!).
Honorable mentions to *John Casler *who took 4th with 21 points and *Rob
Ferro* who took 5th with 35 points. Congratulations to all.

Out on the MRA line, our final weekend of the summer was a gem – the
chamber of commerce did itself proud. Turnout was as little disappointing
with just nine boats on Saturday and 10 on Sunday, which is shocking
considering the nice weather, the long weekend after a weekend off and that
this was the final MRA series. Still, I get it. Nationals was a grind and
left us emotionally spent. It also left many with some measure of debt to
repay (if you know what I mean), and I suspect several of those obligations
came due this weekend. Congratulation to *Team Pendleton / Raisides *who
got it done – again. After a very solid day 1, they were lights-out on day
2, and finished the regatta with a miserly 9 total points. Great job!
Taking 2nd was Fleet 5 rookie *Larry Ehrhardt* who finished with 14
points. Not a rookie any more! Finishing 3rd was *Team Hourihan / Frisch*
with 15 points. Honorable mentions go to *Mike Lane* in 4th with 16 points
and *Team Pandapas* in 5th with 17 points. Additional honorable mentions
go to the youth of Fleet 5 who joined us this weekend, including *Avery
Pendleton*, *Christopher Pandapas* and particularly to Fleet 5’s newest
phenom *Grant Adam*, who at ripe old age of 14, is rounding in the top pack
more than he’s not. I love that!

*Day 1*

The weatherman dialed up a picture perfect, sun drenched day to start the
final MRA series of our season. Despite the nice day, conditions were a
bit whacky, with a light 6-9 from about 170 degrees, massive current and
long strings of weed everywhere. Light air and current are rarely a good
combo, but nothing says fun like an acre of weed blanketing the starting
line. Weed sticks were not optional equipment. Anyone who didn’t have one
wished they did. *Charlie Pendleton* surrendered a 1st in the first race
because something resembling *Cousin It* was wrapped around his
rudder. (*Cousin
It*, by the way, is a reference to a small hairy troll-looking dude from a
60’s vintage sitcom called *The Adam’s Family*, which in my view was one of
the best shows of the greatest era for goofy TV. I’d rank it 2nd only to *The
Munsters*, with a strong honorable mention to *Green Acres*, but I
digress.) Anyway, *Team Pandapas* had a weed stick, and it probably didn’t
hurt that they also weighed just 270 pounds wet, as they won the day with a
1-3-3 for 7 points. Taking 2nd was *Team Pendleton / Raisides*, who rolled
a 2-5-1 for 8 points, and as I mentioned, there should have been another
bullet there. This team, by the way, included young *Avery Pendleton* as a
3rd, who drove her very first R19 race. How awesome is that? And taking 3
rd was *Seamus Hourihan* (absent the hall pass-less *Peter Frisch*), who
put up a 5-4-2 for 11 points. Honorable mentions go to *Larry Ehrhardt* in
4th with a 6-1-5 for 12 points and *Mike Lane* who took 5th with a 3-6-4
for 13 points.

*Day 2*

Another perfect sailing day! We sailed out in a steady 10-11 knot
southeasterly with flat water, which I’m sure got everyone excited.
Conditions went a little bonkers around noon as the pressure died and the
dreaded weed reappeared. But that quickly gave way to a shifty
southeasterly in the 160-degree range that built through the afternoon.
PRO *Tommy Tompkins* did his usual crisp job getting races off and keeping
the courses and starting lines square. It’s been a while since a PRO moved
the signal boat to square-up the final run of a race. Great job there!
Saturday’s nine-boat line-up was augmented by one as the J70s chose not to
sail Sunday, leaving *Team McNamara* with no one to play with. Winning the
day handily was *Team Pendleton / Raisides*, who rolled a 1-4-1 for 6
points. Taking 2nd was *Larry Ehrhardt* with a 3-3-2 for 8 points. Larry
also won the *Start Of The Day Award* – I believe in Race 2, when he just
smoked everyone. Ten seconds in and he had a 2-boat length lead.
Finishing 3rd on a tiebreaker was *Mike Lane* who put up a 5-1-3 for 9
points, narrowly beating *Team Hourihan / Frisch* in 4th with a 2-2-5, also
for 9 points. Honorable mention to *Team Pandapas* who took 5th with a
4-6-7 for 17 points and particularly to *Christopher Pandapas* who stayed
positive through and despite an entire day of sailing with his parents.

So with that our MRA season winds to a close, which is just mind boggling
to me. Stay tuned to those results next week, or you can also keep an eye
on www.mheadrace.org.

So, in Cup competition, after two weeks of no movement, we finally got
action. It’s typically risky to call a winner with a month of racing to
go, but with the 2nd and 3rd place boats put away for the season and the 4th
place boat more than 100 points back, I think it’s a safe bet.
Congratulations to our 2015 season champs *Seamus Hourihan & Peter Frisch *who
will take home the *Nick Nichols Trophy* – aka *The Cup*. *Team Pendleton
/ Raisides* are also probably a safe bet for 2nd though you never know
about 3rd. The rest of the top-10 are listed below.



Hourihan / Frisch




Pendleton / Raisides




Team Pandapas




Mike Lane




Steve Uhl




Dave Nelson




Matt Hooks




Team Heffernan




Fava / Mazareas




Team Taylor


Week 17 racing will include the first day of Fall Series next Saturday.

To answer the Twilight question posed above, the last person to win
the *Charlie
Barr *before *Steve Uhl’s *run was *Team Martini,* who won in 2013. *John
Casler *won it the year before that by sweeping both series. –kp

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

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