Road To The Cup Week 9

After several washouts, we finally got in a Twilight on Thursday night to launch Series 2.  Here is the account from our man on the scene, John Casler.  “Beautiful night with moderate air, but with lots of holes.  Close to a dead downwind start, with the course out to the Archer Rock nun off Children’s, then over to the nun off the Fort and then back in, twice around.  The pin was slightly closer to the first mark, and 1775 got the perfect start there.  But as we headed out, the better air was to the south, and old hands Rob Ferro & Kent Hallawell prospered mightily therein, and never looked back.  Walter Colsman and family also made out well on that side, but with Twilight veteran Kent watching their every move, they had no chance to break through either on the run to Children’s or on the beat to the Fort.  The order stayed the same all the way around, with Team Martini 3rd and Team Casler 4th.”  Thanks John.


Out on the MRA line, 24 boats made the Race Week dress rehearsal, including a bunch of folks making their 2016 debut.  For starters, with youth baseball season now mercifully over, Pete Kaznoski was finally able to come out and play, enabling the return of one of our most formidable teams, Pete & ‘the Kid.’  Old friend Kim Adam is back in town for Race Week and sailed with her dad Ken Adam in what used to be the green boat (before several months of cosmetic surgery in Ken’s garage).  Also out for the first time was Team Shoreman/Reynolds, though on this day sailing different boats.  Young families have forced these guys to the sideline for much of the last couple of seasons, which has been killing them, but they’ve usually made it out for Race Week.  With a brand new baby, this year has been even tougher for Jeff Shoreman, who is managing a RW hall pass for just two of the four days.  So Jeff generously stepped aside to allow partner Dave Reynolds to work in fill-in crew Alex Myers (son of Rick Myers) while he sailed with Ken Cormier.


We were treated to 90 degrees under sunny skies and another week of challenging conditions.  After a short postponement, the breeze settled in to an up-and-down southerly that never quite behaved like our typical sea breeze.  Over the course of our three races we saw big, irregular oscillations that were great if you caught them and painful if you didn’t, and big relative differences in streaky pressure across the course.  The tide was running hard in and, characteristic of Tinkers, that resulted in a range of current directions and strengths depending on where you were.  I still don’t know which side was generally favored, though there seemed to be a current-effect port-tack passing lane for those who went up the left (or was it pressure?).  One definite current effect was pushing boats over the line, which resulted in a gaggle of OCSs, particularly on Race 2.


All of this made perfect sense to Team Pendleton/Raisides who shrugged it all off and put up an impressive 1-1-3 for 5 points.  Getting hot just before Race Week has become the norm for these guys, though honestly they’ve been sailing their butts off all year.  After a couple straight weeks of circumstances conspiring against them, this one was well deserved and had to feel good.  Taking 2nd was the red-hot Larry Ehrhardt, who rolled 2-9-1 for 12 points.  Lest there be doubt, Larry’s R19 apprenticeship is over, and he is certain to figure into the mix next week.  Taking 3rd was Team Taylor who put up a very consistent 5-5-6 for 16 points.  ‘Right on schedule’ is how I’m thinking about that.  They’ve shown an uncanny knack for upping their game when the chips are on the table, and they look ready to rumble.  Honorable mentions go to Matt Hooks & Beanie Eisner who took 4th with 3-14-2 for 19 points, and Bill Heffernan & Yati Harsono who put up a 11-6-7 for 24 points and 5th.  Congratulations to all.


So with that, we close out MRA Series 2.  Congratulations to Larry Ehrhardt, who didn’t just win the series, he annihilated it, putting up just 32 total points over 12 races, which is 21 points better than next closest boat.  Wow!  Taking 2nd with 53 points was Team Frisch/Hourihan, and finishing 3rd was Team Fava/Nash with 60 points.  Honorable mentions go to Team Pandapas in 4thwith 61 points and Team Taylor in 5th with 65 points.


For those keeping track, at the MRA mid-point with two series down and two to go, results are tight.  Team Pandapas leads with 70 points, Team Frisch/Hourihan is in 2nd just 5.5 points back with 75.5, and Larry Ehrhardt is in 3rd with 85.


So, in Cup competition things are bunching up at the top, due in part to outstanding days for Team Pendleton/Raisides and Larry Ehrhardt, and also to the 2nd Series 2 throw-out.  The top-10 are listed below.




Team Pandapas




Frisch / Hourihan




Pendleton / Raisides




Larry Ehrhardt




Mike Lane




Steve Uhl




Dave Nelson




Team Cormier / Dalton




Team Fava / Nash




Bill Heffernan



Week 10 racing will include the big enchilada: four fun-filled days of Race Week, running Thursday through Sunday.  There will be no Twilight on Thursday night.



Race Week Party, Thursday evening July 28th – 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.  See you there.


Crew Available – Stefan Thibodeaux wrote in wondering if anyone in Fleet 5 needs crew on a regular basis.  He writes, “I live in Marblehead and have been racing sailboats for 16 years. Highlanders, Interlakes, Thistles and Town Class boats.”  You can reach Stefan at


Race Qs – Mike Lane continues to experiment with Race Qs, the mobile app that allows you to record your race, upload it and then aggregate it with your competitors in an online 3D race simulation.  If you’re interested, give Mike a call or go to


For Sale — #2446, “Tigger” Includes trailer.  In Marblehead.  In spring 2014 fiberglass ribs were installed; the keel faired, re-bedded and encased in fiberglass; and the bottom refinished.  The interior is freshly painted, the hull is in good shape, and original floorboards are in excellent condition.  Two sets of sails included.  $8,000.  Call Bruce & Karen Brock at (781) 631-7595.


Mail Bag

We got a flurry of mail last Sunday and Monday lobbing in last minute MRA comments and suggestions for Monday’s meeting.  Several were inspired by and related to last Saturday’s 2nd race which started with a fetch and then involved confusion about the second weather mark.

  • Please consider blowing off races that are reasonably categorized as unfair contests.

  • To avoid mark confusion on course changes, please try to pull old marks or possibly replace them with orange balls.


Others were more general.

  • There seems to be a percentage of windward mark roundings where the offset is upwind.

  • Love radio countdowns, though they are not done consistently.

  • Something for next year – All crewmembers can’t always make it on a given Saturday because of conflicts.  On those occasions, please consider granting byes for registered skippers or crew who help out on RC.


But by far, the primary sentiment we received was nicely expressed by Joe Fava, who wrote, “Please thank them.  Race committee is a thankless job and rarely gets any praise.  We are spoiled here in Marblehead with the quality of RC work we have.”  Right on, I couldn’t have said that better myself.  Your MRA reps dutifully passed along all of these comments and thanked MRA for a great season so far.


Joe Fava also expressed some thoughts on the last three weeks of sailing, saying, “Our view is that the conditions and competition has been absolutely outstanding.  The days we have had have not been typical Marblehead, plenty of opportunities to get back in (or out) of races.  Hoping the rest of the fleet feels that way.  Its exhausting to work so hard through three races, but the sailing really has been outstanding.”  Couldn’t agree with you more.


We got a note from Tim McCaffrey who was the RO for Twilights this week.  Apparently the EYC had inadvertently set up their team racing line directly in the Twilight start area.  “They apologized for setting up between Green Can 21 and Red Nun 22 and offered to interrupt their team racing to let the twilight racers pass.  I am writing this in appreciation for the teamwork the EYC RC offered up given the wind and sea conditions allowing two fleets to occupy the same space successfully.”  Thanks Tim.


JP Zonnenberg who apparently enjoys the RTTC, lobbed in an ‘Atta boy’ saying, “Always love your write ups… Keep them coming.”  Thanks JP, that’s the plan, God willing and the creek don’t rise.


Rick Berliner wrote in a perfectly reasonable question about stem fittings. “Far be it from me to make rigging suggestions, but is there a reason not to get a stem fitting off the shelf from Stuart?”  Yes, if you own an O’Day.  The Stuart fittings are a different size and hole configuration.


Several folks (whose names I will keep to myself) expressed outrage that our Race Week numbers, while up generally, are still below the very impressive Laser totals.  For example, one passionate reader wrote, “I just looked at the lasers and it was 37 with two duplicates which would be 35.”  Yea, okay, but that’s still more than we have.


Another suggested we work harder to get boats registered, suggesting that I, “… hound them to get it done.”  Hey, I’ve been hounding every week?  Isn’t this hounding?


Finally, several even suggested we pad our numbers by recruiting MRA-registered boats that are not planning to sail (or their skippers are planning to sail other boats), saying, “Tell’m to register – it’s free.”  Hey, I couldn’t do that, we’re an above-board, straight-shooting outfit.  Far be it from me to suggest to folks (you know who you are) to do such a thing.  Honestly….


Finally a picture and comment from the very observant Jim Raisides, “It seems we have a new boat in the fleet.”



–kp (

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