Road to the Cup – Week 7

Road To The Cup – Week 7

Top-10 as of 7/10/16


We had an impressive turnout of 7-8 boats for Twilights on Thursday night, including Carl & Isabella Renny sailing on old partner Pete Kaznoski’s boat, and the unanticipated and thoroughly anticlimactic return to Twilights of Team Pandapas, who hadn’t made that scene for more than 14 years.  Unfortunately, at about 6:30, the freshening easterly combined with the humid conditions brought in fog so thick you couldn’t see across the harbor.  In fact, the RC couldn’t see the starting pin from the booth, which led them to the sensible decision to send us in.  Winning the day hands down was Jim Taylor, who despite hauling to clean, made the insightful decision not to rig as he saw the fog roll in.  So while the rest of us were sailing around in the fog waiting for the call, he was on the porch enjoying his first adult beverage.


With that, Twilight Series 1 goes out with a whimper, getting in just four of the scheduled six races.  As Appendix A of RRS (2.1) allows for discarding your worst score in a series, the finals here are based on the best three scores.  So finishing 1st on a tiebreaker was Steve Uhl, who put up a line of 1-4-1-(5) for 6 points.  Taking 2nd was Team Colsman with a line of 2-1-(4)-3, also for 6 points.  And taking 3rd just one point back was Team Martini who rolled a (3)-3-2-2 for 7 points.  Honorable mentions go to John Casler and Jim Taylor for being the only other registered boats to race.  Congratulations to all.


Out on the MRA line, 17 boats showed up to cross swords in conditions that were more consistent with April than July, with overcast skies, temps in the low 60s, lumpy seas and a gradually building easterly that topped out around 15 knots.  For the most part, the breeze was steady without a lot of oscillations, until it wasn’t if you know what I mean.  Every now and then, the gods would throw in a random 15 degree shift (left or right) that would hold for 3-4 minutes and then revert back to the average.  It was good to be on the right side of those and less good if you weren’t.  Layer in lumpy seas, a building swell and a strong incoming tide that affected the race track differently depending on where you were and conditions were deceptively tricky.


Team Nelson, including Dave, son Cameron and daughter Haley couldn’t have cared less about any of that as they won the day on a tiebreaker rolling an 8-1-1 for 10 points.  Dave is a master at racecourse positioning with a knack for always being in the right place at the right time.  On race 2, after leading the fleet around the leeward mark, they headed out right for 2-3 minutes and then had a breakdown that resulted in the jib coming down for close to 2 minutes while the rest of the fleet tacked left.  They just hoisted it back up, kept going right and still won the race.  Really remarkable.


Taking 2nd was Larry Ehrhardt, who put up a beautifully consistent line of 3-3-4, also for 10 points.  And finishing 3rd was Team Frisch/Hourihan, who apparently liked the gradually building breeze as they put up an improving line of 6-5-2 for 13 points.  Honorable mentions go to Team Taylor who took 4th with a 2-7-6 for 15 points and Team Pandapas who finished 5th with a 1-8-7 for 16 points.  Congratulations to all.


So, in Cup competition, I don’t recall the last time we had so many lead changes.  There was a lot of reshuffling again this week, due in part to the Series 2 discard and also to last week’s RET and this week’s three DNCs for Team Pendleton/Raisides.  With Charlie taking the day off, Jim took out son Jack and daughter Paige, and then made the generous decision to head back in due to a little seasickness (had to be killing him!).  Anyway, Team Pandapas now holds the thinnest of leads over reigning Cup champions, Team Frisch / Hourihan, with Team Nelson just a few points back.  I’ll remind you that all of this promises to swing wildly when we include the 9-10 races of Race Week with 30+ boats.




Team Pandapas




Frisch / Hourihan




Dave Nelson




Pendleton / Raisides




Larry Ehrhardt




Mike Lane




Steve Uhl




Team Felton




Team Cormier / Dalton




Team Fava / Nash



Week 8 racing will include the 1st race of Twilight of Series 2 on Thursday night and the 2-3 races of MRA Series 2, Day 3 on Saturday out on Tinkers Line.



NOOD Registration is open.  As of last count, our Laser friends had 26 registrants compared to our paltry 21.  What are you waiting for?  Don’t make me call you!  Please register now by clicking here.


Race Week Party, Thursday evening July 28th – Don’t forget that this year’s annual Race Week party will again be generously hosted by Jennifer & Steve Uhl at their Harbor front home at 160 Front Street.  Circle the date.


MRA Feedback – MRA will hold a Fleet Reps meeting on July 18th to collect fleet feedback on the season thus far as well as any suggestions we might have for improving things.  If you have gripes or suggestions, now is the time.  Please share your thoughts with MRA Reps Jim Taylor ( or Kim Pandapas (


John Casler unearthed some old Marblehead footage he thought folks might be interested in.  You can find it here.


Mail Bag

We got a ton of mail this week, most of it regarding last week’s leeward mark incident and associated protest, almost entirely from the people involved.  There was too much print it all, but here is the flavor.


First from MRA scorer Jim Whipple, “Following a report from Susie, I’ve updated the scores for Race 1 to reflect RET by 1217.  Your comments on their action were right on.”


Protest hearing judge Nancy Glover wrote, “Thanks for recognizing Charlie and Jim’s sportsmanship.  The invalidity did not have anything to do with the flag, by the way.”  We stand corrected.


From Team Pendleton/Raisides, Jim wrote, “Thank you for the very kind commentary in the RTTC.  The Rhodes fleet has always been and we hope always will be enjoyable because of the people, the priority of having fun with the sport and pushing yourself to do your best.”  Charlie added, “Wouldn’t be the Rhodes fleet without some drama – needless to say, Jim and I had some good laughs over the whole thing and were happy with the effort regardless.”


From Team Cormier/Dalton, who finished 2nd in that race behind Team Pendleton/Raisides, Ken Cormier wrote, “I am quite sorry that [they] withdrew.  [They] did not commit a foul in my mind, and neither did we.”  And from Bill Dalton, “Just wanted to say that it’s really great to be (back!) in a fleet with the level of discourse and willingness to help others that we have here.”


Finally, John Casler who was party to the protest wrote, “We had no idea that the ‘gate’ was being moved during the run.  Had we known, no protest would obviously have been filed.”


In response to our question about the identity of the sloppy Team Taylor shore crew is last week’s Twilight, Jim wrote, “To be clear, the Team Taylor shore crew member responsible for the fouled backstay was, um… me.”


Folks on the MRA line last week may have noticed Greg Wilkenson in a motorboat flying a drone.  Well apparently he filmed the starts of Race 2 for both the J70s and R19s.  Beanie Eisner was kind enough to provide us the link, writing, “Greg is just getting used to flying the new toy but I do think he’ll try to get out to cover MRA racing at least once or twice more this season.  I’ll give you guys a heads up when he’s going to be out.  He usually tries to get the footage up in the EYC sailing center by the time everyone is back so folks can watch while they grab post sailing beers.  We also always post to Vimeo.”  Thanks to Beanie and Greg.


Several folks were astonished to hear the nature of the Team Pandapas breakdown, which by the way, you can see in the last frame of the video.  Many were sympathetic and along the lines of this from Jeff Shoreman, “Sorry to hear about your breakdown.  Sounds like a scary one.”  But we also got a cautionary comment from Jim Taylor who wrote, “You are 100% right about a lot of our fittings being 50-60 years old with long expired warranties.  From the photo, yours looks like a combination of a bad weld at the forward (rusty) end, and no doubt fatigue from there back.  Mike Fraser (Fraser Custom Welding(?)) at the Trading Co. Beacon St yard could probably weld the two parts back together for you and it would last for another 50 years or so.  For others, if there are any rust stains that seem to come from the welded joint between those two plates, it needs a really careful look.”  I’m thinking of having a machine shop make a bunch of them.  Let me know if you’re interested.


On the topic of using our phones to track us during racing to create an animation of the race, Tom Dailey wrote, “Yes why not”  However, Jeremy Bloxham reminds us of the electronics restrictions in the class rules.  “Tracking our races would indeed be cool, but unfortunately it would violate class rules as smartphones combine a timer and a compass (and a GPS) in one device and so must be turned off when racing.”  We can always count on Jeremy to keep us honest.


Finally, we received an update from old friend Doug Trees, who most should recall was a long-time member and huge contributor to both Fleet 5 and the class.  “Corn as high as high as my knee on the 4 of July is what I do now that I am not rounding the marks off Marblehead.”  Looks like gardening in the French countryside agrees with him.




–kp (

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