Road To The Cup – Week 5

Road To The Cup – Week 5

Top-10 as of 6/24/18

Just four boats showed up for Twilights this week, as enthusiasm dampened on weather concerns.  This week’s report is by our man on the scene, John Casler.

“The air at the start was light enough that the RC considered cancelling.  Along the starting line, the “wind” was at 1 to 2 knots out of various northern and eastern points of the compass.  Further out of the harbor, up to 3 knots was visible, but how to get there? The RC's opinion of the conditions showed from the course they set – out to the closest can and back, twice around.  We finished half of that. The play was going to be to start on starboard toward the Fort and then pick the right moment among the holes, lobster boats, 120 degree shifts and catamarans, to tack.

“Many boats clearly stayed away out of trepidation for the raging Thursday night gales, as recently described in The Road to the Cup.  Jim Taylor cleaned the bottom of his boat, but then went home (“I'm not paddling back when the air dies.”).  Nevertheless, four boats headed out to vie for glory. John Casler & Connie Blake nailed the start and were in the lead for a while, if that term is applicable under those conditions.  Showing that old Dartmouth Sailing prowess, however, Walter & Mathew Colsman soon were outpointing the fleet and were off to those 3 knot gales and an insurmountable lead.  Team Sheldon/Sousa tacked sooner than Casler, and ultimately that worked out.  Team Casler finished third and Tim McCaffrey & Maura Power rounded out the finishers.

Thanks John, sounds like a barn burner.  So congratulations to Walter & Mathew Colsman for their bullet, to Team Sheldon/Sousa who took second, and Team Casler in 3rd.  Honorable mention and huge welcome to Tim McCaffrey & Maura Power, who made their season debut.  MVP on the day goes to Jim Taylor for having the sense to stay home.  Congratulations to all.

Out on the MRA line, just 8 boats showed up for the finale of Series 1, which was not surprising given the forecast of cool temps, overcast skies and the threat of thunderstorms.  Also, three boats were in Padanaram for East Coasts and a few more were DNC for a range of excuses that included dance recitals and college graduations. We expect attendance to pick up in Series 2 as folks start gearing up for Race Week.

Conditions included a gradient easterly that started in the 8-12 range and trended up to 10-15 while drifting left over the course of the afternoon.  As is common for northeasterly gradients, the seas were churned up to washing machine status, which was harder to deal with early on in the lighter stuff but got easier as the breeze freshened.  By race 3, we were all enjoying surfing conditions down the runs. This, by the way, was the first race day this year where we actually got in three races.

The day belonged to Matt Hooks, who was blazing fast and sailed well, putting up an impressive 1-1-4 for 6 points to win the day.  Taking 2nd was Team Cooke/Kaznoski, who rolled a 2-3-3 for 8 points.  And finishing 3rd was Larry Ehrhardt with a 3-5-2 for 10 points.  Honorable mentions go to Team Taylor in 4th on a tie breaker with a 5-7-1 for 13 points, and the bullet by the way was a horizon job, and Team Pandapas in 5th with a 4-2-7, also for 13 points.  Congratulations to all.

So that wraps up MRA Series 1, which included a total of 18 starters over the course of series.  Taking 1st with 14 total points was team Frisch/Hourihan, who moved from 2nd to 1st on the strength of their byes while sailing at East Coasts.  How ‘bout that! Congratulations to them. Finishing 2nd just one point back with 15 points was Team Pandapas.  Taking 3rd with 17 points was Team Taylor.  Honorable mentions go to Matt Hooks, who took 4th on a tie breaker with 26 points (despite 3 DNCs), and Team Cooke/Kaznoski in 5th, also with 26 points.  Congratulations to all. By the way, several boats took byes this week, some for East Coasts and others for the other reasons we mentioned, and that brought up a scoring anomaly I’ve never seen before.  It seems that by taking byes, the average points earned by both Team Lane/Heffernan and Jocelyn Cook would have been more than simply taking the DNCs, and no one can ever do worse than DNC.  So if you’re scoring at home, despite taking byes, both of those boats were awarded DNC points instead of average points.

So, in Cup competition, the deck got reshuffled a bit, due in part to sailing results and also to the impact of the Series 1 throw-out.  Team Frisch/Hourihan continues to advance, putting pressure on the leader.  Of course, none of this means diddly until Race Week, which due to the large number of points involved, is always meaningfully impactful.  The top 10 are listed below.



Team Pandapas




Frisch / Hourihan




Team Cooke/Kaznoski




Steve Uhl




Team Taylor




Larry Ehrhardt




Matt Hooks




Team Cormier/Dalton




Bill Heffernan




David Rubin


Week 6 racing will include Twilight 1-5 on Thursday night, the 2-3 races of MRA Series 2-1 this Saturday and the informal (unscored) Twilight Cooke Sunday Series on Sunday (info below).

Other News, Notices & Miscellaneous Scuttlebutt

East Coasts Update  Four Fleet 5 boats registered for this event but just three showed up, including Dave Nelson, Team Frisch/Hourihan and Jocelyn Cook.  As we write on Sunday morning, they still have a day of racing to go.  But after eight races over two days, Dave Nelson leads with 9 total points, including five bullets.  Wow! Team Frisch/Hourihan is in 3rd with 18 points and Jocelyn Cook is in 8th with 52 points.  If you want to following the action, click here.

Sunday Morning Racing Update – The CYC has updated the Cooke Sunday Series SIs to include a R19 start, and you can pick one up at the CYC front desk.  We haven’t see the actual SIs yet but have it on pretty good authority that the starting sequence is as follows:

10:18 – Warning (Yellow R19)

10:21 – Prep (Blue R19)

10:24 – Start (Red R19)

10:27 – Prep (back to Blue TC)

10:30 – Start (Red TC)

Sportsmanship Update –Another reminder that we’re tracking penalty turns this season with the intent of celebrating Corinthian sailing and sportsmanship.  This week, we witnessed two on-the-water infractions, that disappointingly were left unexonerated. A reminder that spinning saves everyone the trouble of going to the room, and though none of us wants that, it is inevitable unless we all choose to do the right thing.  Enough said. So our spin competition remains knotted at one between Team Rubin and Team Cormier/Dalton.  Remember, if you spin, send it in.  

MRA Feedback – The MRA will hold its mid-season Fleet Reps meeting on Tuesday July 10th.  They hold this meeting every year looking for sailor feedback on how the season is going, as well as any areas of concern for the balance of the season and for NOOD.  Please send any comments to Jim Taylor ( or Kim Pandapas (

Race Week Registration –A reminder that your MRA registration fee covers the entry fee but you still have to register.  Click these links to register and download the NOR.  

Race Week Party – Circle the date.  This year’s Race Week party will be on Thursday evening July 26th, and again will be generously hosted by Jennifer & Steve Uhl at their home on Front Street.  Dave Reynolds will supply the bar.

Tucker Thompson Returning to CYC on June 28th The CYC is welcoming back Tucker Thompson on Thursday June 28th.  Last time he was here, Tucker gave a hugely entertaining presentation about the America’s Cup, which was awesome.  This time, Tucker is planning a multimedia presentation on the Volvo Ocean Race, which promises to be equally amazing.  Cocktails are at 6:30 pm and the presentation starts at 7 pm.  You should definitely prioritize this.  It’s open to everyone, including members from other clubs and the broader community.  Please register in advance. CYC members can register here and everyone else can call the CYC front desk at 781-631-0005.  

Speaking of Tucker Thompson – It’s hard to think of Tucker Thompson and not think back to the time three Fleet members stalked America’s Cup skippers during the trials in Chicago.  If you don’t remember this incident, Christina Pandapas, Rene Heffernan and Elise Nash prowled the waterfront, snuck backstage and found a way to get their pictures taken with who they referred to as the “trifecta of hot AC skippers,” including Jimmy Spithill, Dean Barker, and Sir Ben Ainslie.  Honestly, we’re still shocked no one took out a restraining order.  If you are interested in reliving that moment, check out RTTC Week 3 2016.  Anyway, they also managed to get their pictures taken on stage with Tucker.

Friday Night Fights Kick-OffJoe Fava and the CYC will run the second of three scheduled match-racing events on Friday evening June 29th and the third on July 6.  For more info, contact Joe Fava at or call 617-880-9807.

Fleet Measurement – Fleet Measurer Peter Sorlien plans another measurement on July 15.  If your measurement certificate is not current, contact Peter at

Nationals in New Orleans – As you probably know, this year’s Nationals will be in New Orleans on October 3-7, hosted by our friends at Southern Yacht Club.  If you’ve never been, take it from us that the Southern guys know how to throw a party (they’ve had lots of experience). So this definitely is worth the trek.  You can get more info and download the NOR here.

Not Easy Being Green  In case you missed it, the CYC in one of their recent sailing updates included this vintage picture, featuring the good ship Adam with Commodore Ken Adam at the helm.  We include this to point out that we’re not the only ones who are nostalgic for this boat being green.

Speaking of Nostalgia  Old friend John Casler sent this photo taken in Zermatt sometime before Millennials were born with the challenge to identify all the Fleet 5ers.  How many can you name? Take a look (answers below).

Front row (left to right):  Joy Fisher, Christie Fisher, John Casler, Jeff Frankel

Middle row: Jane Hamill, Jane Casler, Mary Speare, John Fisher

Back row:  Rick Hamill, Joel Speare, Dara Frankel, John Todd, Chris Todd

Mail Bag

We got several emails about last week’s edition, pretty much all thumbs up.  Here’s a sampling. Steve Uhl said simply, “Great as always.”  

Jocelyn Cook was equally brief, “Hysterical and great stuff.”  

Charlie Pendleton weighed in with this, “So enjoyed reading this edition (as I do every week), but have to say I was grinning ear-to-ear when I read about your twilight race.  Good-on-ya for getting out there – glad you got a good night. Nice sailing!” Happy belated birthday amigo.”  Thanks Charlie.  Amigo! Hey, you’re really all-in on this ‘hombres’ thing.  

But my favorite was this from Stefan Thibodeaux, “Kim, what a great edition!!!  Thanks for spelling my last name right.”  Love that.  

Here’s one from Christina Pandapas (who by the way is also the editor), who noticed an oversight.  “Dear husband/RTTC, you forgot to include Hannah Lynn in the list of Fleet 5ers that sailed Friday Night Fights.  She was out kicking butt with Hooksy on Saturday.”  Right you are, good catch.  Sorry Hannah, we won’t let it happen again.  

We got a couple of emails on this past week’s Twilights.  First from Walter Colsman, who shared a positive outlook on the conditions.  “You could (also) mention that it was another gorgeous evening and we all made it back on the porch for sunset.”  Always a positive to get the launch before Colors.

Taking the counterpoint, Jim Taylor wrote in to explain his decision not to sail.  “Last [Thursday] night I opted not to go yacht racing only after applying my data driven 'go/no go' algorithm, which compares all the pluses to be had on the race course with the minuses of having to paddle back to the mooring and roll sails singlehanded.  In 0-2 TWS, it came up 'no go'.”  Sounds reasonable to us.  Maybe we should have tried that last Saturday.

Commenting on the same topic, John Casler offered this. “Jim's 'go/no go' algorithm unsurprisingly coincides with my own scale, drawn from years of post-race beery discussions with such legendary Twilight types as Nick Nichols, Dan Sullivan, Len Dahlquest, and Joel Speare.  The odds on a completed race last Thursday were about 5 to 10 chances out of a hundred.  And chances were 5 to 1 that you would have had to row back from the finish line to the mooring.”

Walter Colsman also felt compelled to weigh in on the logic, though this with regard to this past week’s Saturday MRA racing.  “I am applying a similar algorithm to today, factoring in the long drive from Weston and the weather variability plus T-storm risk.”  Okay then.

Finally, after a tough couple of races on Saturday, Team Taylor served up a good old fashion horizon job in Race 3.  So happy were they with themselves that Nat sent in this shot of the trailing competition, with the note, “This isn't a great shot, but I thought that because it showed, uhh, a large gap in finish position that it was share worthy.”  I guess when you’re that far in front, you have time to pull out the phone.  

–kp (

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