Road To The Cup – Week 2


Road To The Cup – Week 2

Top-10 as of 6/4/17

Huge thanks to Anne & Jim Taylor for hosting the party Saturday night.  The weather was a bit iffy, but the rain held off and a good time was had by all.  Thanks also to Elise & Mike Nash for delivering the fleet bar.  Several J70 sailors (including our own Dru Slattery who has been out steering a J the last two weeks) took us up on our low-key offer of a combined party.  Welcome to them, and maybe we could try to build on that at some point – possibly the Labor Day party.  

The Twilight Series kicked off Thursday night in spectacular fashion as the conditions couldn’t have been better.  Here is a recap from our man on the scene, John Casler. “After a forecast that shifted all day, possibly the most beautiful night for the start of a Twilight season in years.  A modest breeze out of the South at about 5-6, with the usual soft spots.  The course was out to Nun “2” off the Fort, then over to mid-channel Can “1MH” and back in, twice around.  Three boats were out, Martha & David Martini, the new owner of 1217 (Jim Ouelette, with his crew Mindy??) and 1775, John Casler & Connie Blake.  1775 took the start, but was passed on the way out to the Fort by the other two.  There were several lead changes up through the first half of the beat back in, but eventually 1775 got into better air over off the mainland shore and picked up a lead that lasted to the finish.  Team Martini closed fast and finished second, with 1217 taking 3rd.”  Well done to all, with just a bit of jealousy from those of us who were bumper-to-bumper on 1A at the time.

Out on the MRA line, conditions reflected the contradicting array of forecasts, all of which called for some variety of westerly trending northwest.  Some predicted light, others 15-17 and others a drifter.  Some called for partly sunny, others mostly cloudy and others rain.  Well, we got all of that, except the breeze trended left instead or right (from 350 to 320) and we got no rain.  Generally, it was a classic northwesterly, though a relatively well-behaved one as opposed to the blue-water-over-the-bow, huge-puffy-knockdown-blasts-going-into-the-mark variety.  The pressure was generally in the 12-14 range, but topped out with gusts in the high teens and lulls as low as 5-8.  Our boat sailed with three and we were all on the rail most of the time.  

EYC PRO (or RO as seems trendy these days) Susie Schneider gave us our first taste of the ‘North Line,’ which due to the wind direction put the start with our backs to Halfway Rock.  It was a little surprising to be out that far, but it made sense for the direction.  In a southeasterly, that patch of water is usually a weed-filled, fluky-breeze dead zone (Christina calls it the toilet bowl), but sailing up into the Brimbles in the northwesterly was surprisingly good.  The northwesterly standard playbook applied as boats banging corners were rewarded and those trying to climb the ladder up the middle were pummeled.  The current differential up and down the track was huge, with the current stronger in the deep water by Halfway and less so as you worked up the course into shallower water.

Ten boats made it out, as compared with 9 J70s and three Vipers.  Making their season debuts were Dave Nelson, Evan ‘the Kid’ Cooke and Bill Rothwell.  Welcome to them.  

It didn’t take long for Dave Nelson, sailing with son Cameron Nelson, to find his groove, collecting two bullets in the first two races, one of which was a horizon job.  He of course won the day with an impressive 1-1-4 for 6 points.  Great job.  Worth noting is that he seemed to have a decided speed advantage in the lump, due in part to his skill as a driver, but also in his opinion to his jumpers, which allowed him to play the backstay more aggressively to shift gears.  Taking 2nd was Team Lane / Heffernan who rolled a 2-9-1 for 12 points.  The race 3 bullet was after rounding the top mark in 7th or 8th and passing everyone by playing the right side of the run – a Tom Brady comeback for sure.  That bullet, by the way, gives them three in the first three days of racing, which is a pretty hot start their second year as a team.  Taking 3rd was Team Felton, who rolled an 8-2-2 for 12 points, the final 2, by the way, right behind Team Lane passing the fleet on the run.  Honorable mentions go to Team Frisch / Hourihan in 4th with a 4-4-5 for 13 points and Larry Ehrhardt in 5th with a 5-8-3 for 16 points.  Congratulations to all.

So in Cup competition, Team Lane / Heffernan jumped to the top of the leader board with a slim two-point lead over Team Felton.  The top-10 are listed below.



Team Lane / Heffernan




Team Felton




Larry Ehrhardt




Steve Uhl




Team Pandapas




Frisch / Hourihan




Cooke / Kaznoski




Dave Nelson




Fava / Nash




Team Rubin


Week 3 racing will include the Twilight race on Thursday night and the 2-3 races of MRA Series 1, Day 2 this Saturday.


NOOD Registration  NOOD registration is open here.  MRA registered boats don’t have to pay but do have to register.  

Race Week Party  Circle your calendars.  The RW party will be on July 27th at the home of Jennifer & Steve Uhl.  Elise Nash will supply the bar.

Boats For Sale – There are still several excellent boat on the market.  For info, either see the May Newsletter or email the fleet captain at  

1217 Sticking Around  Speaking of boats for sale, this in from Jim Ouelette, “I bought Charlie Pendleton’s boat. It’s looks like a great boat.  We are very excited to be part of the fleet and to own Charlie’s boat.  I have a Rhodes 19 89% built now, but 1217 is a perfect fit just as it is, she has everything that was on my wish list.  We will take good care of her.  Thanks again for your advice along the way.”  Welcome Jim.  No excuses with that boat.  We observe that Jim didn’t waste any time as he took his new boat for a shakedown cruise at last Thursday’s Twilight.  We look forward to seeing him out there regularly.

Sail DonationsToby Rodes wrote in on behalf of the Kollegewidgwok YC in Blue Hill Maine. They have a thriving junior sailing program, which several years ago got two Rhodes 19s so is looking for sails.   Contact Toby at  

Mail Bag

Our favorite letter this week was from Evan Cooke, commenting on Wilson Kasnoski’s performance last week.  He wrote, “Attaboy Wilson!  I’m gonna be out of a job soon!”

Apparently, the fully recovered Ken Cormier finally took a closer look at the chart of the new MRA circles, writing in, “For the record, I think I am surprised and more than a bit disappointed to be racing so close to Cat Island and Salem Harbor.  Bound to be real weird in any westerly and last to get a sea breeze.  Don’t know why I was thinking closer to Halfway Rock.”  Ken, we have it on good authority that members of MRA are regular readers, so consider your message sent.  Though as noted above, we sailed out by Halfway in the westerly this weekend.  Stay tuned on the sea breeze.  

Three people wrote in with answers to last week’s trivia questions regarding these two pictures; Charlie Pendleton, Rick Berliner and John Casler, and they all nailed it.




First from Charlie, “The first pictured item is the tailboard.  That’s gotta be out of Peter Sorlein’s boat!  They used to run the floor boards (and benches) all the way to the transom in the early number boats.  That was the finishing piece for the floor in the transom.

“The second is one of two forward bulkhead doors.  The doors had an eye strap on the back and if you look, you may find an eye strap on the floor or ceiling inside your Rhodes.  A shock chord was used between the eye straps to hold the doors in place.  I believe many in the class (including me) misinterpret the rule about the forward bulkhead doors (along with the shelves) being optional to carry.  Those two items are in-fact optional.  However – since most don’t have the actual doors, many interpret the rule to mean you can remove the forward bulkhead itself.  Which I do not believe was the intention of the rule.   We removed our forward bulkhead at one point and did not like the loss off support to the deck and loss of overall rigidity to the boat.  After a few MRA days trying it, we put it back.”

Rick Berliner added a little more color. “I’m going to say the lazerette became legal to remove when I showed up to the first measuring and someone pulled it out at weighing and said, ‘You still have this?  Put legs on it and make it a coffee table.’  At least that’s when I found out it was legal.  The front hatch covers I still actually have on board because they’re connected with hog-ringed bungees.  I suppose a knife could fix that…”

And the last word goes to John Casler, who provides a bit of historical perspective.  “Rear floorboards had to be carried until the early ’80s.  I cannot remember when their removal became legal, but it’s a safe bet that Fred Brehob and probably Dick Welch were against the change.  I think Pete DeWolfe may have led the other camp.  Many great meetings at BYC to resolve that one.  The change was done by, at the latest, the summer of 1982, because mine were left behind at our 16 Surf Street rental.   On the right looks like the cover for the forward storage space, held in place by an elastic cord.”




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