Road To The Cup – Week 12

Road To The Cup – Week 12

Top-10 as of 8/11/19

Just five boats showed up for Twilights on Thursday evening, which is their gain and our loss, as it sounds like it was a perfect night for sailing.  We have dueling reports this week: one from John Casler and the other from Jim Taylor, so I took the liberty of using Jim’s and blending in components of John’s, with apologies to both. 

“It was a perfect night for twilight racing, with clear skies and a 6-8 knot southwesterly – and no thunderstorms on the radar!  The porch RC stalwarts set a triangular course of Mark 20 (in front of Cat Island ), and 23 (the Chappel Ledge flasher) twice around.  The older half of Team Taylor (sailing solo) got a bow out jump on the downwind start, but made yet another navigational blunder and surrendered its small lead to Team Martini on the first leg.  The rounding order at both marks was 1466, 1926, 1775, 2495 and 1219.  On the beat back to the start/finish pin, the race became a two division affair, with Teams Martini and Taylor trading positions back and forth at the front, and the other boats (presumably carrying substantial biomass on their bottoms) falling increasingly far back.  1926 took the lead partway up the beat, but coughed it up close to the Thursday night team race committee boat, that observed that the 1926 skipper (single handing) was verbally abusing his crew.  1466 held that lead until just short of the top mark, where 1926 had a bit more luck negotiating the mooring field obstacle course and rounded first. Team Martini regained the lead yet again on the light air downwind leg (better jib trim?) but made their own navigational error between 20 and 23, letting 1926 by again.  The breeze came back up on the beat to the finish, 1926 got into it first, and extended her lead. The finish was well spaced at 1926, 1466, 2495, 1775 and 1219.”

So congratulations to the older half of Team Taylor for the bullet, Team Martini in 2nd and Stefan Thibodeaux in 3rd.  

Out on the MRA line, MRA combined lines again so four fleets sailed on the north line, including Etchells, Vipers, J70s and Rhodes.  The combined EYC/BYC RC did another great job managing that, with virtually no interaction among the fleets.  

Ten boats made it out to enjoy – well, enjoy may be too strong a word – a westerly.  I’d use a colorful expletive to precede the word westerly, but this is a family publication.  Of course, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to fill that blank. Anyway, I hate westerlies.  They are puffy, shifty and totally unpredictable, and this was no exception, featuring 10-20 degree shifts and pressure all over the map.  Interestingly, the forecast nailed the unpredictability of this one, and I quote, “W wind 7 to 11 kt, with gusts as high as 24 kt.”  The pressure ranged from light and variable with washing machine seas and a pretty stiff outgoing tide, to a solid 15 with occasional impressive gusts.  The most impressive of those gusts was at the top mark of the second lap of the second race, that was every bit of 25+. Three boats at that point decided they’d had enough and simply head in.  

Several boats managed through all of that chaos impressively, starting with Team Ehrhardt, who put up a 1-3 for 4 points to win the day on a tiebreaker.  Their 3rd in the second race might have been better had they not been knocked down in that big puff.  Impressively, they finished despite sheering off a spin block on the mast. Taking 2nd with a 2-2, also for 4 points was Team Daily, who apparently has completed their trip down the R19 learning curve.  Finishing 3rd was Team Frisch / Hourihan / Burke (with Nick and Peter this time), who put up a 4-1 for 5 points.  Honorable mentions go to Team Cormier / Dalton in 4th with a 7-4 for 11 points and Team Rubin in 5th with a 5-7 for 12 points.  Congratulations to all.

This was also our mini-clinic day, which included another round of Kattack and CYC Sailing Director Kevin Dooley on the water taking videos.  Kevin led a well-attended chalk talk at the CYC after racing in which he used race tracking and video to illustrate his observations.  Many thanks to Kevin for his time and insights, to the CYC for giving us the room on a busy day, and also to Jack Cochran and the EYC for allowing us to use Kattack again.  Thanks also to Joe Fava for setting all of this up. 

So, in Cup competition, with just ten boats and two races, there wasn’t much opportunity for big movements.  With three MRA race days to go, Team Taylor’s position atop the leader board is looking pretty solid.  The fat lady isn’t warming up yet, but I think she’s in the house.  The top 10 are listed below.  

Week 13 racing will include Twilight 2-4 on Thursday night, the 2-3 races of MRA Series 3-3 this Saturday, which is the final day of the series.  There will be no racing on morning Sunday, and the final day of the Sunday series will be on the 25th.

Other News, Notices & Miscellaneous Scuttlebutt

Sportsmanship Update – There were no spins this week that I know of, but we heard about yet another RW infraction, this one from Sarah Sheldon, who wrote, “Please add Garuda to the Fleet's voluntary penalty circles list, performed during Race Week, forced by that insidious current beside Half-Way Rock into bashing the turning mark.”  Thanks Sarah, both for doing the right thing and for letting us know.  So below are the standings, and thanks to those on it for their sportsmanship.  Remember, if you spin, send it in. 

Labor Day Party – Our annual post-race Labor Day Party will be on Saturday August 31st, hosted by old friends Sloan & Charlie Pendleton.  Like last year, this will be a mixer with our friends from the J70 fleet.  Keep an eye out for the evite.  

Nationals 2019 – The 2019 Championship Regatta will be held August 21-24 in Hingham Bay, hosted by our friends at the Hingham Yacht Club.  The NOR is available on the regatta website.  

Mail Bag

We got a couple of emails on the RC’s decision to pull the plug early last week and Seamus Hourihan’s email about that.  The first from David Rubin, who wrote:

“Kim:  I respectfully disagree with Seamus’ comments on the RC canceling the races.  The forecast was for thundershowers. The RC made the right decision in getting everyone in early.  When we are out deep in the Halfway Rock area, there is no way we can make an intelligent decision about the weather.  The fronts move in fast and we cannot react fast enough when they do. Plenty of us had equipment breakdowns during this summer.  Fortunately, no one got hurt. Given the carnage of last Wednesday, I think the RC made the right call. Thankfully, the storm did not materialize but that should not be cause for second guessing.  Thanks.”

The second was from Jim Taylor. “I have been racing in Maine for most of a week, but heard accounts of the carnage here (gust to 74 mph?) and to 114 in the Annisquam, where a number of boats sank.  With that as background, it sounds like the RC’s made a sensible choice on Sat. Those who actually volunteer their time at some level to make our game possible are best able to appreciate the responsibilities that go with it, and safety always comes first.  No one should forget that all the volunteers give up their weekends, too. Another couple of laps around some inflatable marks vs demonstrated risk to a whole lot of people? They had a difficult decision to make on the water, and should not be second guessed from the porch.”

Sarah Sheldon wrote in with this.  “Hi Kim, here is the link to the wonderful photographs Phil Smith took of the Rhodes fleet during Race Week.  He would like to share them with our fleet members.”  Thanks Sarah and Phil!!

–kp (

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