Road To The Cup – Week 4


Road To The Cup – Week 4

Top-10 as of 6/18/17

Conditions on Thursday were less than ideal, in fact I recall admiring the impressive white caps along Lynn Shore on my commute home.  I think that may have scared a few folks off, as suggested in this account from our own John Casler.

“Readings at the Pier House were 12 to 20, with most readings at the upper end of the scale.  Gusts were not infrequent at 25.  Connie Blake and I were eager to try our hands in the 25 knot gusts, as we watched expectantly from the porch for competition to show up.  Rob Ferro and Kent Hallawell went out to the mooring and, in the words of Johnny Most, ‘fiddled and diddled,’ until they found a dubiously frayed stay.  No one around the harbor raised a Rhodes sail.”

Hey, good for you John for being ready to go, but I don’t blame them.  20 with gusts to 25?  On a Thursday night?  But rumor has it that some Fleet 5ers did go out and team race in the Harbor Challenge that night.  Call me a weenie, but I’d rather enjoy a couple of cocktails on the deck bragging about how, if it weren’t for a busted something-or-other, I’d be out on the Laser holding down the full rig.  

Out on the MRA line, 11 boats showed up on North Line to help the Fleet Captain celebrate his 37th birthday (yea, right!).  And by 11, I mean 11 Rhodes and no one else.  Neither Vipers nor J70s raced, leaving us by ourselves.  Making their 2017 MRA debut were National Champs Team Taylor – always good to see them, and Jim Ouelette in 1217.  We saw his boat out last week but this was the first time Jim was in it.  Welcome.  

We sailed out under overcast skies to a pleasant little northerly in the 7-8 knot range.  Every now and then the clouds would break and the wind would shut off until it clouded over again, though generally the pressure was trending down.  CYC PRO Tim McCaffrey, had his hands full sorting all of that out, though did a good job overall in his PRO debut.  He positioned us about ¼ mile to sea of Satan Rock, with the Race 1 weather mark up in the Gooseberries.  We got in just two races as the first race ended up being a drifter that burned a lot of time.

We started Race 1 in a dying breeze, though it was the right call to go ahead and start us.  Maybe a little questionable was the length of 0.8 in that condition, but no complaints.  A big left shift at the gun caused everyone to flip immediately, leaving it a port tack drag race, with our bows lifting more and more towards the mark.  After rounding and about 2-3 minutes into the run, the wind shut off, the fleet compressed and we spent close to an hour (or so it seemed) trying to get back down to the boat as the current sucked us into Satan Rock.  We eventually were rescued by a few wisps of the developing southeasterly, which were enough to get us to the mark where Tim mercifully finished us.  Should the race have been blown off?  Several folks thought so on the basis of it being an unfair contest.  Sure, a lot of positions were turned upside down, but worth noting is that Team Lane /Heffernan rounded in 2nd (behind Steve Uhl) and they eventually won.  Race 2 was a more typical light southeasterly.

Despite all of the squirrely randomness that often goes along with light air, competition for the day prize was tight.  Winning the day on a tiebreaker was Bill Heffernan & Yati Harsono, who put up a 3-1 for 4 points.  The light air master’s boat speed was particularly impressive on the second beat of the second race when he sailed both higher and faster than everyone else.  Taking 2nd, also with 4 points was Team Lane / Heffernan, who finished with a 1-3.  These guys really have it going this season.  And taking 3rd, also on a tiebreaker was Team Pandapas, who rolled a 5-2 for 7 points, narrowly beating Larry Ehrhardt who rolled a 2-5, also for 7 points. Honorable mentions to Larry Ehrhardt in 4th and Steve Uhl who took 5th with a line of 8-4 for 12 points.  Congratulations to all.

So, in Cup competition, Team Lane / Heffernan extended their lead to 7 points, which is pretty good considering the depth of the competition.  Though the top four spots are pretty bunched, it’s worth noting that Race Week is still in front of us – we’re just getting started.  Blasting onto the leader board for the first time this season is Bill Heffernan on the strength of his strong day.  The top-10 are listed below.



Team Lane / Heffernan




Larry Ehrhardt




Team Pandapas




Frisch / Hourihan




Team Felton




Cooke / Kaznoski




Steve Uhl




Dave Nelson




Jim Ouelette




Team Heffernan


Week 5 racing will include the Twilight race on Thursday night and the 2-3 races of MRA Series 1, Day 4 this Saturday, the last day of the first series.


Nationals Committee Looking for Charter Boats  Nationals Co-chair Matt Hooks reports that they still need charter boats.  If you’re not sailing, please help the regatta committee by making your boat available for charter.  Email Matt at  

Nationals Committee Looking for Hosts  The Nationals Committee also still needs hosts for sailors from out-of-town.  Contact Yati Harsono at  Currently, teams from Savannah, Buffalo NY, Chicago and Maine are looking for housing, and there will be more.

Upcoming Measurements  The Fleet is planning three additional measurement days on Sunday July 9, Sunday August 13 and Tuesday August 15.  Measurer Peter Sorlien will start at 9AM each day and measure as many boats as he can, assuming 90 minutes per boat.  If he has help, he’ll be able to measure more.  Contact Peter at / 781-631-5956 to reserve your spot.  

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.

Looking for Used MastMike Gahan of the Cottage Park Fleet is looking for a used mast.  If you have one to sell, you can contact him at

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

Sails for Sale  Susan Kontos has 3 main / jib sets and 2 spinnakers for sale.  Contact Susan at  

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

The fleet sends heartfelt condolences to Bill Dalton, who lost both his parents over the past month.  He writes, “Amazing that after 80+ years for both of them, my mother passed away only three weeks after my dad.”  Our hearts go out to you, Bill.  

Ann Sousa wrote in to provide a little insight into their breakdown last Saturday.  “Halfway through the second race I heard a twang and Jocelyn noticed that the forestay was coming un-raveled.  So, no chute for the second downwind and retired for the day.”  Definitely a drag when that happens.  Our rule of thumb is to change those stays every 15-20 years, whether they need it or not!

We got a few kind emails about the last RTTC, though regrettably nothing controversial!  All were along the lines of these two.  First from Jocelyn Cook who sails with Ann Souza, “Thank you for these wonderful newsletters!  I SO enjoy reading them!!”  And this from Nat Taylor. “Kim, thanks as always for a great write up and the Nationals shout out.  Team Taylor will be out next week!”  And indeed, they were.

We also got a question about the Race Week schedule from Jocelyn Cook.  She wrote, “I’m planning a trip this summer and want to be sure I’m back in time for NOODs. I can’t quite tell from their website if racing starts on Thursday or if Thursday is just registration and check-in and racing is Fri-Sun.  Can you clarify so I can book my trip?  Much appreciate your help!”

This question seems to come up every year so is worth answering here.  The Rhodes sail four days from Thursday-Sunday.  Typically, the Etchells join us on Thursday but consider it a practice and don’t score themselves.  Most other fleets start Friday, and 1-2 might even start Saturday.  Our registration is typically Thursday morning, which is not ideal, particularly for dry sailors.  We’ve asked about registering Wednesday evening instead, so we’ll see how it goes.

By the way, on the topic of Jocelyn Cook, we noticed from her email that she is the Executive Director of SPUR, a non-profit organization that strives to “inspire good deeds, provide meaningful volunteer activities and offer service learning opportunities for our next generation of leaders.” Sounds like a worthy cause to us.  Tip of the cap to Jocelyn.  You can check it out at  

Finally, we hear that at least six fleet members will be carrying Fleet 5’s banner into center field at Fenway for the Dead show.  Can you guess who?  They are all quite upstanding and reputable, and, “insist that they will enhance the experience with nothing stronger than a Bud Lite.”  Right!




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