Road To The Cup – Week 8

Road To The Cup – Week 8

Top-10 as of 7/15/18

No one showed up for Sunday morning racing last Sunday, as reported by John Casler who wrote in a cryptic email header line, “No R-19s at the Sunday morning race.” Hmm – probably due to a combination of light air and the David J. Smith Regatta later in the day.

Seven boats made it out for the David J. Smith, which you’ll recall was billed this year as a clini-gatta (to use Jim Taylor’s term). Named for Jud Smith’s dad, David J. Smith is an annual one-day event put on by MRA for one of the MRA fleets. Part of the charter is to be experimental, like downwind starts or trapezoid courses – something that we don’t do every day. This year, Jim Taylor organized a clinic with coaching from current national champ Tomas Hornos. The event featured a lot of practice starts and five short races – all with Tomas trailing in a motor boat, taking pictures and making suggestions. Sailing was followed by a chalk-talk session back at the BYC. Conditions started light and slowly improved as the sea breeze made it in to our race area next to Cat Island. Though not included in fleet scoring, for the record, finishing first with a 1-4-2-1-1 for 5 points was Team Pandapas. Taking 2nd was Team Taylor with guest skipper Dave Reynolds, who rolled a 3-1-1-2-2 for 6 points. And finishing 3rd on a tiebreaker was Team Berliner putting up a 6-2-5-3-6 for 16 points. Honorable mentions go to Team Rubin in 4th with a 4-5-4-5-3, also for 16 points, and Team Hoguet in 5th (this time with Ashley’s little 10-year old sister, Courtney, at the helm), with a 2-7-7-4-5 for 18 points. Huge thanks to Tomas and to the BYC RC for putting on this event.

The Thursday night Twilights were again well attended with 9 boats showing up. Since team racing was cancelled for the night, making the beer-can scene for the first time in a generation was Christina Pandapas, slumming it with her husband because she couldn’t come up with a good excuse not to. The single-handed division included two boats this week, Jim Taylor and Walter Colsman. Conditions included lots of sun, a light southeasterly, flat water and a ripping incoming tide. The RC set a course downwind to the nun off the fort, up to the can off of the lighthouse and back, twice around, though with a shortened second lap. In case you’re wondering, the course called for starboard roundings, and thankfully, that’s what everyone did. The current was particularly impactful at M2 (the can off the lighthouse), where if you weren’t careful, the current would drag you down onto it. We observed that most boats rightly over stood that mark to avoid green paint on their topsides.

So taking the bullet after getting a good start and leading wire-to-wire was Team Pandapas. Finishing 2nd was Jim Taylor in an impressive single-handing performance that conceded nothing, and taking 3rd was Mike Lane, sailing with wife Kathleen Lane. Honorable mentions go to single-hander Walter Colsman who finished 4th despite a broken backstay, and Jocelyn Cook who took 5th. Congratulations to all.

Out on the MRA line, 15 boats showed up for the 3rd day of Series 2, which while a decent turn-out, seems a little light for the day before the day before Race Week. Conditions were not optimal, starting with a painfully light and shifty southeasterly, compounded by lumpy seas and a brutal current on the incoming tide. Conditions improved modestly over the day, with the breeze trending left and topping out at 12-13. The RC did a great job staying on top of it all.

The Race 1 start was a bit of a circus, as conditions left it hard to actually cross the line on starboard, as the current pushed the bow down on starboard. So strong was it, accompanied by a pretty solid lefty, that most of the fleet flopped over, ran the line on port and then started on port. Crazy stuff. By the way, the people who tacked before the gun made out significantly better than those that tacked on or just after it, illustrating a match racing start point made by Dave Perry that tacking before the gun doesn’t cost you any boat lengths while waiting until after it does. On that first start, by the way, Steve Uhl, sailing with Peter Sorlien, absolutely crushed it by hanging around outside the pin, waiting for everyone to clear out, sheeting in on port at ten seconds and hitting the line at full speed on top of the entire fleet. It was a thing of beauty.

So this day belonged to Steve Uhl. Not only did he lead wire to wire in the first one, he and Peter sailed great in all three races, putting up a 1-3-1 for 5 points to win the day. His awesome day was somewhat marred on the finish line for the final race when he decided to go for a swim. In attempting to defend against Team Cooke/Kaznoski and Team Pandapas attacking from behind, he managed to catapult himself backwards right out of the boat when throwing the boom over. Someone joked that he looked like a diver falling backwards into the water. To be serious, falling overboard is no joke. Fortunately, a lot went right here, starting with the fact that Steve was wearing a PFD. Peter Sorlien was able to douse the chute by himself quickly and get back, but Team Taylor, finishing just behind the lead pack stopped and had already pulled him out. That was quick thinking on Team Taylor’s part, for which they earn the day’s MVP. Nice job. As an aside, Steve said the water was refreshing.

Taking 2nd on a tiebreaker was Team Pandapas, who rolled a 2-5-3 for 10 points, and finishing 3rd was Larry Ehrhardt with a 4-2-4, also for 10 points. Honorable mentions go to Team Cook/Kaznoski who took 4th with a 5-6-2 for 13 points and Team Taylor in 5th with a 3-4-7 for 14 points. Alert readers may have noticed that the initial posted Race 3 results were different from these, but those have been corrected with thanks to MRA scorer Joe Guglielmo. Congratulations to all.

So, in Cup competition, Team Pandapas pads their lead a little, Steve Uhl pushed down Team Frisch/Hourihan to 4th on the strength of his exceptional day, and DNCs dropped Teams Lane/Heffernan and Heffernan/Harsono a few spots while also dropping Matt Hooks off the list. The top 10 are listed below.

1st 982 Team Pandapas 67.00
2nd 1926 Team Taylor 90.00
3rd 2585 Steve Uhl 96.00
4th 1210 Frisch/Hourihan 102.00
5th 2648 Team Cooke/Kaznoski 125.00
6th 2435 Larry Ehrhardt 132.00
7th 1299 Team Felton 134.00
8th 1790 Team Cormier/Dalton 136.00
9th 2623 Team Lane/Heffernan 140.00
10th 2692 Team Heffernan/Harsono 141.00

Week 9 racing will include Twilight 2-2 on Thursday night, the 2-3 races of MRA Series 2-4 this Saturday and the informal (unscored) CYC Cooke Town Class Sunday Series on Sunday.

Other News, Notices & Miscellaneous Scuttlebutt

Club Socials – The first of our two club post-race porch get togethers was on Saturday at the EYC and was well attended. Thanks to EYC for providing the cash bar and supporting one-design sailing by opening their doors to non-club members, while at the same providing a catalyst to get us all together after racing, which is not easy in this 4-crane town. If you missed it, there will be another social next week on July 21st at the CYC. Cash bar, come as you are, ASAP after racing.

MRA Feedback – The MRA held its mid-summer fleet rep meeting on Tuesday night, and apparently we had them practically to ourselves, as only the Rhodes and Townie classes showed up. Here’s a quick rundown of the points made on your behalf by Jim Taylor.

We thanked them and suggested that overall the RC’s have done well this year.

Jim made it clear that the ‘no 3rd race’ decision two Saturdays ago was his. The CYC RC respected the Rhodes Fleet’s standing instruction in the PRO guide not to start a race after 3:30 without first checking with the fleet, which they did.

They discussed the RC ‘no win’ choice between dealing with line bias versus having the sailors reach around waiting for a perfect line. Jim indicated a preference to let the sailors deal with modest bias rather than wait.

They discussed our preference to push the North Line as far south as possible, while staying clear of Satan’s and the South Line.

Sportsmanship Update – We heard of no fouls or spins this week, so our spin competition remains knotted at 1 between Team Rubin, Team Cormier/Dalton, Team Berliner and Dave Nelson. Remember, if you spin, send it in.

Race Week Registration –If you’re not registered yet, shame on you. Now you’re going to have to pay a late fee, which kicked in on Friday at 7PM. Click these links to register and download the NOR.

Race Week Party – This year’s Race Week party will be on Thursday evening July 26th, generously hosted by Jennifer & Steve Uhl at their home on Front Street. Dave Reynolds will supply the bar. The evite went out last week, so please RSVP.

Nationals in New Orleans – 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. You can get more info and download the NOR here.

Great Trimming Article – MIT sailing coach Matt Lindblad circulated among the local team racers this link to a great article on sail trim. Though a lot of it is geared to different kinds of boats, it’s definitely worth reading.

Mail Bag

Matt Hooks, who has been killing it this season, wrote in to keep us up to date with his crew. “Kim, thanks for recognizing Hannah Lynn in a recent RTTC. To further give credit where credit is due, the other regular member of Team Mighty Rhodes this year is Rob Pascal. It’s great having him onboard.” Okay then, Team Hooks/Pascal it is.

El Jefe Jim Taylor sent in this comment on the RTTC content mix “Thanks as always for all your RTTC efforts. It’s always a fun read. One recent comment is that lately there’s been more ‘news and notes’ and less race analysis. Not sure what the majority is looking for.” Well honestly, neither are we, but we try to strike a balance. For what it’s worth, my editor harps constantly about the Twilight sections being too long.

And speaking of El Jefe, Jim was pleased to see that our public calling out of RW non-registrants, yielded some results. “The RW ‘dope slap’ apparently induced late entries from Shoreman/Reynolds, Dave Nelson, Team Felton, and Team Martini (three times!). We are now up to 22.” That’s awesome, and thanks to those guys for finally getting off their keisters and getting it done. I’m not sure registering three times was really necessary, but whatever. By the way, it also generated this flimsy excuse from Rick Berliner, “Excuse of Team Berliner: family reunion in the vicinity of Lake Erie.” Really, come on! Who schedules a family vacation during RW?

We got a couple of emails about Saturday’s MRA racing. The first from Nat Taylor with an attaboy for the BYC RC. “Big thanks to the Race Committee for overcoming the shifts and getting races off anyway. Only one boat can win the favored pin, go left and get to the favored gate first, so rather than wait around for course changes, I was much happier getting races off.”

The second was from Rick Berliner, who wrote in about a fish sighting on the race course. “We don’t know enough about fishing to know if the bluefins were running, but there was something with dorsal fins having a little feeding frenzy halfway between the mark and the starboard corner on the first beat of the second race. We were kinda out there in corner-hinterlands on port and something ahead of us seemed awash, a pretty big patch of white foam, and we knew there wasn’t a rock there. The size of the foam made me think it might be a whale so I tacked to avoid. Jess was able to keep a longer eye on it and spotted a pair of dorsal fins. Googling afterwards, she thinks it was a sand shark.

We heard from old friend, former Team Lane crew and Fleet measurer Josh Wheeler, who you may recall snuck off to India for a work gig. He wrote in with this. “Fleet 5 alum, yours truly, made a guest appearance at the EYC annual regatta sailing on J-111 Pravda with Fleet 5 alum Ian Peebles. We took 3rd place in class A, which at 12 boats was one of the biggest class A races I’ve seen in a while. Caught up with fleet 5 members Seamus Hourihan, Peter Frisch and Jocelyn Cook at the bar after.”

Ann Sousa sent in this shot of the July 5th Twilights, taken by Nicholas Kent. You’ll notice that the boat at left being chased by the pack of four is Ann.

Steve Sovis wrote in (through old friend Jim Raisides) looking for information on the Twilights. “I’m a registered MRA member this year with a Rhodes 19 (1645). I’d like to participate in your Twilight Tuesday/Thursday series and am seeking a copy of your race instructions. Can you help me?” Well yes we can, and we did. We look forward to seeing 1645 out there.

Stefan Thibodeaux is looking for a ride for the last two days of RW. He writes, “If you know someone who needs crew Saturday/Sunday of race week please let me know. I am sailing with Mark Thursday/Friday.” You can reach Stefan at

Katie Bloxham, currently on the EYC Cruise in Maine with husband (and painfully patient boat rebuilder) Jeremy Bloxham, sent in this shot of Jeremy standing next to a pretty Rhodes with the question, “What’s wrong with this picture?

Hmm. Unless she’s referring to the motor mount and swim ladder, and aside from the pink pants, I’d say that it’s unusual that Jeremy is standing next to a completed Rhodes. Also a bit unusual that he’s wearing a name tag. Can anyone spot anything else?

–kp (

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