Road To The Cup – Week 10 – Race Week Edition

Top-10 as of 8/1/16


As you know, there was no twilight racing Thursday night due to Race Week.  Instead we were treated to Jennifer & Steve Uhl’s gracious hospitality – again!  I’m not sure how many years in a row these guys have opened their home to us during Race Week, but as always, they pulled out all the stops.  As I seem to say every year about this time, Jennifer defines graciousness – nobody does it better.  Many thanks to them, and also to Elise Mazareas & Mike Nash for making sure we all got enough to drink.


So let’s start with Junior Race Week, which as you know ran Monday through Wednesday.  What you may not know is that this regatta was the largest MJRW in history.  There were 395 sailors racing 286 boats, which made this regatta the 2nd largest junior regatta in the country (Miami’s Orange Bowl is the largest).  The regatta ran four lines for 420s, Lasers, Opti Champs and Opti Greens. The Opti Champs fleet was largest at 85 boats followed by the 420 champs at 80 boats.  The weather gods again smiled on the juniors with three very nice, storm-free days.


Several Fleet 5 spawn competed in this event, and hopefully I can catch them all.  First, congratulations to Will Dailey, who won the Laser (full rig) division, and to Nicholas Pandapas who took 3rd in his very first Laser regatta.  Congrats also to Hunter Zonnenberg who took 10th in the 32 boat Laser Radial division.  Grant Adam with crew Lydia Brown took 9th in the 80-boat 420 Champ division, and Jack Dalton with crew Anders Kearney finished 4th in the 420 Greens.  The largest Fleet 5 contingent sailed Optis again this year.  On the Opti Champ line, Haley Nelson finished 11th overall (6th in her division).  Sophie Lane took 31st overall (19th in division), followed by Ashley Hoguet in 36th (14th in division), Wilson Kaznoski in 38th (22nd in division) and Nolan Adam in 45th (24th in division).  Molly Lane took 14th in the Opti Greens.  Congratulations to all and apologies to any I missed.


As in years past, legions of Fleet 5 members volunteered to support this regatta.  Three of the four PROs are card carrying members of Fleet 5, including Peter Frisch on the 420 line, Conway Felton on the Laser line and yours truly on the Opti Champ line.  Other Fleet 5 RC contributors included the usual suspects of Alex Felton, Tommy Tompkins, Joe Fava, Kent Hallawell, Barbara Hallawell, Rob Ferro, Ken Adam, Chris Adam, Lisa Adam, Judy Adam, and Elise Nash.  Add to that Mike Lane and Ramsay Hoguet who served as safety boats, Heather Dalton who did a lot of everything, Dru Slattery who put up racers, and Rick Myers who again served as co-chair.  I’m sure I missed a bunch, so sorry, but it’s pretty clear that Fleet 5 members stepped up in a meaningful way.  Thanks to all.


Here is what 85 Opti Champs look like from the top of Pegasus.



So let’s get straight to the bottom line.  Congratulations to Charlie Pendleton & Jim Raisides for winning their 4th Race Week, and with it, the coveted Spittoon.  They sailed exquisitely for all four days, putting up just 29 points over 11 races with all single digit finishes including four bullets.  In a regatta where mistakes happened in an instant and were punished harshly, these guys sailed smart and clean.  They got good starts, had great boat speed and were uncannily skilled at race course positioning and navigating what proved to be a consistently treacherous top of the cone.  No one else lost this regatta.  Team Pendleton/Raisides won it.  Really, really well done.  And sweetening their victory, they were awarded NOOD’s overall top prize of a trip to the BVI to compete against the winners of the other NOODs, which will be the 3rd time they’ve won that.  Outstanding!  Here’s one final look at a sight we all saw way too much of this week.




Finishing 2nd were Larry Ehrhardt & Callie Naughton. Larry also sailed a spectacular regatta, putting up just 54 points, including eight single digit finishes and a bullet.  And taking 3rd was Team Taylor, who finished with 56 points, including nine single digit finishes and a bullet.  Honorable mentions go to Team Lane/Heffernan who finished 4th with 58 points and Team Cooke/Kaznoski (aka Pete & ‘the Kid’) in 5th with 67 points.  Well done and congratulations to all.


Race Week Recap – Day 1

The regatta started with a slow sail out to the outside line in a finicky southerly, followed by a brief AP while we waited for the RC to sort things out.  After a light start, the southeasterly eventually came in and built to an unexpected 12-14 which, though forecast, was a surprise considering the pre-frontal haze.  The breeze was fairly steady with 4-5 degree shifts, putting the emphasis of clean, front-row starts.  That was made all the harder under an I-flag which PRO Rick Hamill used for all three starts.  Team Fava/Nash got very clean starts, at least on a couple of those races, rolling an impressive 1-9-1 for 11 points to win the day and take an early regatta lead.  It’s always nice to finish the first day with all single digits and they got the job done, and then some.  Also getting the job done was Team Pendleton/Raisides, who put up a 7-1-6 for 14 points to take 2nd.  And finishing 3rd on a tiebreaker was Larry Ehrhardt with a line of 10-5-2 for 17 points.  Honorable mentions go to Team Taylor in 4th with a 5-2-10, also for 17 points, and Team Cooke/Kaznoski (aka Pete & ‘the Kid’) with a 9-3-8 for 20 points.


Race Week Recap – Day 2

Day 2 opened with a spirited northerly for the ride out that lasted well into pre-race, though started to fade as the RC was setting up and then shut off completely just before the sequence.  That launched us into a full bore, sails down, wish-I-had-my-water-balloon-launcher postponement that lasted close to two hours.  Here’s what I mean.




Eventually the northerly returned, shifty and erratic though it was, allowing us to get off a couple of races before our long slow slog back to the harbor.  The breeze couldn’t have been more fickle or shifty, though it became clear quickly that left was the play, both to be on the left side of the left wind as you headed up the course and also to minimize the adverse current in the shallower water.  Let’s just say that more than a few of us tried to win the pin in the second race, a task made all the more difficult on the huge lefty during the sequence that left many unable to lay it.


Taking 1st on the day on a tiebreaker was Team Pendleton/Raisides who put up a characteristic 8-1 for 9 points to take the regatta lead.  Taking 2nd were old friends Mark & David Rubin who sailed beautifully, rolling a 1-8, also for 9 points.  And finishing 3rd on a tiebreaker was Team Lane/Heffernan with a line of 2-9 for 11 points.  Honorable mentions go to Team Frisch/Hourihan finishing 4th with a 7-4 for 11 points and Larry Ehrhardt in 5th with a 4-7, also for 11 points.  One additional honorable mention to regatta leaders Team Fava/Nash, who finished 6th in the first race but were forced to resign from the 2nd when their rudder pintle sheered off.  They finished the day still holding 2nd, despite the DNF.


Race Week Recap – Day 3

If you look in the sailboat racing brochure, it’ll show you a picture that looked very much like Day 3.  Sunny skies, reasonably flat water and a decent breeze made for picture perfect sailing conditions.  The forecast predicted variable winds less than 5 knots becoming E 5-10 and marching right all day.  What we got was an easterly at 12-15 that gradually moderated as it clocked, finishing in the 8-12 range.  Just perfect.  26 of the 31 registered boats made it out and PRO Susie Schneider gave us all a workout running four races.


There comes a defining point in any regatta where the ultimate winner makes a statement.  Day 3 was such a moment for Team Pendleton/Raisides who left no doubt that they came to close the deal.  They were all business, from the opening gun to the final finish, putting up a 2-1-1-2 for 6 total points, winning the day handily and extending their regatta lead to 16 points with just one day to go.  Simply outstanding.  Taking 2nd was Team Taylor who rolled a 1-5-6-6- for 18 points.  And finishing 3rd was Team Fava/Nash, who after a late night of rudder repair put up a line of 7-3-13-3 for 26 points.  Honorable mentions go to Team Lane/Heffernan who took 4th with an 8-11-3-5 for 27 points, and Team Nelson/Hart who took 5th with a 5-4-8-12 for 29 points.


Race Week Recap – Day 4

The forecast was for drizzle and variable winds less than 5 knots becoming east 5 to 8, and that’s about what we got.  Like every other Day 4, chips were on the table so things got a little unruly on the line.  That resulted in a couple if general recalls and forced PRO Susie Schneider to resort to that yellow flag with the big black dot.  Despite that, we managed to get in a couple of races before the time limit, and true-to-form, they were teeth-mashing grinders where no position was safe and mistakes cost dearly.


Finishing 1st on the day was Team Lane/Heffernan put up an impressive 1-3 for 4 points.  That was a beautifully consistent performance and by far their best to date.  Taking 2nd on a tiebreaker was Team Pendleton/Raisides with a line of 6-2 for 8 points, and finishing 3rd with a 3-5, also for 8 points was Pete & ‘the Kid.’  Honorable mentions go to Larry Ehrhardt in 4th with a line of 4-4, also for 8 points and Steve Uhl who finished 5th with 2-12 for 14 points.


A few final thoughts in no particular order.  *  Both PROs Rick Hamill and Susie Schneider did a really good job through a bunch of varying conditions – a tip of the hat to them.  *  We should focus next year’s spring clinic on the rules governing tacking in the three-length zone.  Based on some egregious zone violations I observed this past week, we could all probably use a refresher.  *  It was awesome to see old friend Steve Caswell at the party on Thursday night.  Steve was long the spirit of the fleet and we thank him for making the trek to visit us.  *  Team Rubin sailed one of their best regattas in memory.  *  So love having Jeff Shoreman & Dave Reynolds back on the race course where they belong.  *  Ditto Pete & ‘the Kid.’  *  During MJRW, RC pin boat driver Tommy Tompkins took advantage of an early morning breeze postponement to circumnavigate Children’s Island on his paddleboard.  Sure wish I had taken a picture.  *  Young Ashley Hoguet and Will Dailey both sailed three days of MJRW and then came out and sailed four days with us.  That’s outstanding.  *  Jim Whipple was a good choice to win the Leonard Munn Fowle award.  He has been a constant and impactful contributor to Marblehead sailing for as long as I can remember.  *  Kudos to Bill Heffernan for sailing with a couple of young sailors this week.  How great is that?  But I still can’t believe that he blew off a day of Race Week to play golf.  *  The word is that Greg Dolan left home at 9PM on Friday night, drove to his shop and fixed Joe & Elise’s rudder.  In this day and age when it can take months to get boats fixed, our friend Bubba got it done, on short notice on a Friday night.  How awesome is that?  *  I don’t know Marek Zaleski, but seven bullets in nine races in a 50-boat Laser fleet that includes the likes of JB Braun, Bill Lynn, Rob Hallawell and Chris Hufstader is talent on a whole different level.  *  Also on Lasers, Nicholas Pandapas won ‘Best Junior Skipper’ sailing in just his second laser regatta ever.  The first was earlier in the week.  *  Both Bill Heffernan and Renee Heffenan earned bullets on day 4 – on different boats.  How ‘bout that?  *  Finally, alert readers might have noticed in the Day 2 postponement shot above that we happened to catch Mike Lane in the act of probing down the back of his pants for God-knows-what.  Here, let me enlarge it for you.



Other than, it’s doubtful you’ll find a shot like that in the official NOOD photo archive, I don’t have a lot more I want to say about that.  Caption contest?


So, in Cup competition, as promised, we had a massive reshuffling of the deck.  How quickly things can change!  Team Pendleton/Raisides surged to the top of the leaderboard and now hold a commanding 31-point lead over Larry Ehrhardt in 2nd.  The top 10 are listed below.




Pendleton / Raisides




Larry Ehrhardt




Frisch / Hourihan




Lane / Heffernan




Team Pandapas




Team Fava / Nash




Team Taylor




Dave Nelson




Steve Uhl




Team Cormier / Dalton



Week 11 racing will include the Twilight on Thursday night and the first day of MRA Series 3 on Saturday.



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 lot of mail this week, much of it about race committee work.  It’s worth remembering that we racers aren’t the only ones out there trying to make sense of it all.  On Week 9’s complicated conditions, we got this from PRO Susie Schneider.  “As far as I could tell from the top of ETO, and with the information from my windward mark boat, aided and abetted by having outside guidance from a well-known college coach – essentially it was a crap shoot, start to finish.  I agree with you that Pendleton/Raisides must have been channeling some divine guidance to figure out all that ‘stuff’!”  Thanks Susie, and great job.


We also heard from Tim McCaffrey who expressed a similar sentiment and reminds us that RC decision making is often difficult and done with incomplete information.  “I was the RO two Thursday’s ago when [the Twilight race] was cancelled.  The weather looked as ominous as the forecast and after we cancelled the weather changed and turned into a nice evening.  I guess I am a little sensitive to decisions made that look like bad ones.”  Thanks Tim, and we hear you.  Best never to judge a process by the outcome.  Outcomes, like facts, have a tendency to distort things.  As Maya Angelou wrote: “There’s a world of difference between truth and facts.  Facts can obscure truth.”


Also on the topic of race committee, we got this from Alex Felton.  “As far as the Race Committee goes, I have copied a line from the juniors and that is to yell out, “Thank you race committee” after the final race of the day.  Those who volunteer for RC duty are giving up prime time – as in weekend afternoons – to run races so that we can fun.”  Amen brother.


And finally on RC, we got this from Elise Nash.  “A huge bow of gratitude to our race committees.  These guys have been out on the water, for seven days straight, volunteering their time so we can race.  It is not easy, as I witnessed during Jr Race Week, and if it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be racing.  So a big thank you.”


On what now is becoming our never-ending stem fitting theme, Josh Wheeler wrote in, “Has anyone thought about 3D-printing an O’Day stem fitting?  Sounds like it would be a cool project.” He also provided us these links., and


On our mention last week about how nice it was to see Team Shoreman/Reynolds back on the line, Jeff Shoreman wrote this, “Thanks for the shout out.  Dave and I were both excited to get back on the water.”


We heard from old friend Eric Cressy who despite not sailing with us these days will always be a card-carrying member of Fleet 5.  “You do such a great job with this newsletter!  I hope everyone appreciates the time and effort you put into this.  I know I do!”  Well, thanks Eric.  Always nice to be appreciated.


It’s hard to keep track of everyone on the race course, and even harder to mention them all.  But it’s important to try, as evidenced by this from Yati Harsono, “Thanks Kim! It’s very exciting to see my name in the Fleet 5 e-newsletter.  Nice write-up.”  We certainly could do a better job of that and invite you to let us know if we’ve been ignoring you.


Finally, Elise Nash wrote in reflecting on Fleet 5’s unique character and collective generosity.  “What an amazing group of people Fleet 5 is.  After having a good day the first day, we got many texts, emails and kind words from our ‘competitors’ congratulating us on a good day and wishing us continued good luck – not something I suspect you would see in most fleets.  On top of that, after our rudder broke on day two, we were just blown away by the number of people who reached out to us wanting to know what they could do to help to make sure we were back out there the next day.  It was really moving.  I know it’s been a lot of work from a lot of people over the years, and I think we’ve got something pretty unique here.  So, many thanks to everyone who reached out to help and much love to our Fleet 5 family.  We are really fortunate to sail with such a great group of friends.”


–kp (

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