Road To The Cup – Week 10 – Race Week Edition


Road To The Cup – Week 10 – Race Week Edition

Top-10 as of 7/31/17


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 Nash for making sure we all got enough to drink.


So let’s start with Junior Race Week.  More than 300 kids descended on what has become a centerpiece of the junior racing schedule.  As always, the event ran Monday through Wednesday, and split the fleets up into four lines for 420s, Lasers, Opti Champs and Opti Greens.  The 420 Champ fleet was largest at 69 boats followed by the Opti Champs at 59 boats.  The three-day event was shortened to two when Monday proved to be a washout with 20+ out of the northeast, huge seas, chilly 60 temps and a driving rain.  Organizers didn’t cancel it all at once, but started with the younger kids and worked their way up.  It was pretty funny to hear the participants feign disappointment when the Opti fleet cancellations were announced at the skippers meeting.  In defense of the lasers, several went out for a short practice sail anyway.  Tough kids.  Anyway, Tuesday and Wednesday were perfect and everything went smoothly from there.


Several Fleet 5 spawn competed in this event, and hopefully I can catch them all.  The biggest contingent was on the 420 Champ line, including Cam Nelson (7th), Wilson Kaznoski & Nolan Adam (18th), Sophie Lane (35th), Christopher Pandapas (54th) and George Lockwood (61st).  Two competed on the 420 Green line, including Haley Nelson (5th) and Ashley Hoguet (6th), and we also had two on the Opti Champ line, including Molly Lane (33rd) and Travis Ehrhardt (58th).  On the Opti Green line, the Fleet 5 contingent include Alexander Ianchulev (11th), Alexa Thornton (12th) and Nicholas Weise (19th).  Also worth noting is that former JRW star Clark Uhl was out there coaching.  Congratulations to all.  


As in years past, legions of Fleet 5 members volunteered to support this regatta.  Two of the four PROs are card carrying members of Fleet 5, including Conway Felton on the Laser line and yours truly on the Opti Champ line.  Other Fleet 5 RC contributors included the usual suspects of Peter Frisch, Alex Felton, Joe Fava, Mike Lane, Kent Hallawell, Barbara Hallawell, Ken Adam, Chris Adam, Lisa Adam, Judy Adam, Elise Nash and honorary Fleet 5 member, the Commodore, Brent Larlee.  Add to that a bunch of folks who served as safety boats and Rick Myers who again served as co-chair.  I’m sure I missed a bunch, so sorry, but it’s clear that Fleet 5 members again stepped up in a meaningful way.  Thanks to all.


So let’s get straight to the bottom line.  Congratulations to Ben Richardson & Chris Hofstadter, who fought their way back from 3rd going into the final day to win the regatta and the coveted Spittoon.  While this was not their most dominant performance, they sailed smart, loose and consistently, putting up a line of 8-3-2-4-9-2-1-4 for just 24 points –  all single digit finishes.  These guys got good starts, had great boat speed and poured it on when it counted.  Really well done.  Here’s a shot of the winners.





Finishing 2nd was Team Nelson / Hart, who had an outstanding regatta themselves, finishing with just 27 points with a 5-1-1-1-4-8-12-7.  Pretty heady numbers for 2nd place, that leave one to wonder what you have to do to win in this fleet.  And taking 3rd was the Captain & the Kid, Team Cooke / Kaznoski, who put up a line of 2-8-16-2-5-1-8-12 for 38 points.  Honorable mentions go to the lightning-fast Matt Hooks in 4th with 39 points and Team Lane / Heffernan in 5th with 41 points.  Congratulations to all.  


Race Week Recap – Day 1

The regatta started with conditions that were decidedly un-festive, which is not to say it wasn’t a good sailing day, that would be inaccurate.  But overcast and rainy just doesn’t scream ‘let’s party.’  For the record, the sailing itself was great.  We had an up-and-down southwesterly that ranged from high single digits up to about 15 at times, though was mostly in the 12-13 range.  The oscillations weren’t huge but they were enough to use, and they generally trended right.  Despite that, left seemed to pay on every beat, which probably had something to do with an incoming tide running from Gloucester to Boston and a little lefty that seemed to live at the top of the course.  But don’t take it from me.  Suggest you go talk Dave Nelson & Frank Hart, who took Day 1 and an early regatta lead with a convincing 5-1-1 for 7 points.  Good start.  Finishing 2nd was the always quick Matt Hooks with 1-4-3 for 8 points, and taking 3rd was Ben Richardson & Chris Hofstadter with an 8-3-2 for 13 points.  Honorable mentions on the day go to Team Frisch / Hourihan in 4th with a 7-6-5 for 18 points and Larry Ehrhardt in 5th with a 3-13-6 for 22 points.


Race Week Recap – Day 2

The Friday forecast was for variable winds eventual turning ESE 5-9, and that’s about what we got.  We sailed out on a pleasant little westerly that seduced the RC into dropping anchor out by Halfway Rock.  By the time we all got there, the westerly died, forcing the RC to fire off two.  It didn’t take long for the sea breeze to come in, but true to predictions, it was fickle.  It never cracked 10 knots and couldn’t decide on a direction.  Every time the RC would get set up, the direction would change in sort of a RC version of Whack A Mole.  Kudos to them for hanging in there.  So, shifty light air with a stiff Gloucester-to-Boston current was the name of the game.  The oscillations were significant though manageable during the first two races, but race 3 took it to a whole new level.  A minute or so after that start, the wind started left and kept going, launching the handful of gleeful boats lucky enough to be there.  But true to form, as that group started back up the left on the second beat, the 30-degree righty came in, reshuffling the deck again.  Most everyone we talked to finished the day with some degree of brain damage, though all of this seemed to be okay with Team Cooke / Kaznoski, who won the day with a beautifully consistent 2-5-1 for 8 points.  Taking 2nd on a tiebreaker was Team Nelson / Hart, who rolled a 1-4-8 for 13 points, narrowly beating Team Pandapas in 3rd with a 3-3-7, also for 13 points.  Honorable mentions go to Team Richardson / Hofstadter who took 4th with a 4-9-2 for 15 points, and Team Taylor in 5th with an 8-8-3 for 19 points..


Race Week Recap – Day 3

Racing for most classes was cancelled due to high wind and seas.  The big low pressure system tracking southeast of New England had everybody aflutter on Friday, particularly the dock masters, who rightly like to pull ramps and close waterfronts when gales are forecast.  There was early speculation that the day would be a washout and we wouldn’t sail, and even the NOOD organizers got into the act, amending the SIs to allow people to haul.  Well, while not exactly a gale, conditions were impressive; enough so to encourage the RCs to put up AP at 10am to keep people on shore while they thought about.  At 11, after a bit of hand wringing, the AP came down and we all headed out to conditions that included 18-22 from about 20 degrees with 4-5 foot seas and impressive gusts in the mid-to-high 20s.  The RC got out there, took a look around and apparently felt it was unmanageable and pulled the plug.  We went upwind with a few boats out around Satan for 10-15 minutes and aside from the gusts, it was manageable enough, though not entirely pleasant.  And although we didn’t try it, a chute in that air and those seas would have been an adventure.


For the record, every other fleet was also sent in except the J-70s and the Lasers.  The J70s sailed two races and the Lasers sailed five.  In the radial division, my son’s 15-year old classmate Mason Cheney rolled a 1-1-2-3-2 to win the day.  


Race Week Recap – Day 4

The forecast for more of the same moderated significantly from Saturday night to Sunday morning.  Many found themselves gently suggesting to their 3rd crews that their services would no longer be needed.  The most draconian example of that was Mike Lane firing Sailing World Editor Dave Reed.  Sure, it makes sailing sense to avoid carrying 180 extra pounds in a dying breeze, but hey, think about the lost publicity, but certainly, no surprises there!  Anyway, conditions were simply spectacular as we finally got that chamber of commerce day with a very shifty 8-12 trending from NE to SE, and with the same incoming tide we had all week.  We got in the usual two before calling it a regatta.  Taking 1st was the ultra-light, Dave Reed-less Team Lane / Heffernan, who put up a 3-1 for 4 points.  How about that!  Finishing 2nd was Team Richardson / Hofstadter, who rolled a 1-4 for 5 points, and taking 3rd was Team Heffernan / Harsono with a 5-3 for 8 points.  Honorable mentions go to Team Frisch / Hourihan in 4th with a 9-5 for 14 points, and to Team Taylor, who took 5th on a tiebreaker with a 2-3 for 15 points.


A few final thoughts in no particular order.  Fleet 5 had no protests that went to the room, which hopefully means we all sailed cleanly. * I love the way Dave Nelson sails.  And while I’m at it, is Frank Hart an exceptional sailor or what?  What a great team he and Dave are. * Six different team earned bullets over 8 races.  How deep is that? * Boy, were good starts hard to come by on Thursday.  Yes, the line was short, but no one was giving away anything.  Friday and Sunday were better. * Ben Richardson must be very disciplined about staying hydrated. * It was good to see Rick Saunder’s back out there on Saturday.  Hope he shows up for Nationals * Mike Lane’s recruitment of Sailing World editor Dave Reed as his 3rd on Saturday led us to predict that Renee Heffernan would be the feature in the upcoming issue of Sailing World. * Speaking of Mike Lane and publicity, he was featured in a Middleton regional paper highlighting his record of not missing a RW since 1978. * RC work is hard, especially patrol boat work in rough conditions.  Tip of the cap to all of them. * It sure was nice to see Jerry & Nancy Blouin.  Having Jerry on the race course was just like old times, and made me realize how much I missed him. * How about that Shannon Lane – steering at RW.  God love her. * Pete & the Kid are really good, but also quiet and unassuming about it.  We could use more of that. * And while I’m there, Wilson Kaznoski sailed 7 straight days of RW.  Love that kid, he’s such a gamer. * Anybody happen to catch NOOD’s water surface camera pix?  Pretty cool. * Jess &Rick Berliner chose not to sail on Saturday but volunteered to help out the CYC RC instead.  How awesome is that?  The RC even sought me out to make sure their contribution was recognized and that they know how appreciated it was.


So, in Cup competition, we had some reshuffling, though far less than you’d expect after RW, possibly due to the fact that we missed a day. Things remain tight at the top.  The top 10 are listed below.  




Team Frisch / Hourihan




Team Lane / Heffernan




Team Pandapas




Cooke / Kaznoski




Dave Nelson




Team Heffernan / Harsono




Matt Hooks




Larry Ehrhardt




Steve Uhl




Team Fava / Nash



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

–kp (

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