Road To The Cup – Week 4

Top 10 as of 6/20/21


Six boats made it for the Twilight on Thursday night, not to mention a whole gaggle of Townies as they kicked off their season.  This week’s report is again from Steve Uhl.


“Six boats showed up for a beautiful twilight with a fresh southerly.  It would have been more but the fresh southerly dissuaded a few single handers.  Making their first appearance of the season was Team Shoreman / Reynolds, who jumped out to an early lead on the first run and looked dominant for a bit, staying high to fend off Team Lane.  But in the meantime, Team Martini sailed fast on the rhumbline and rounded first – and they protected that lead all the way to the finish.  On the beat back to the harbor, Team Uhl, who had misread the map, caused some confusion (sorry!) as he headed towards the bell buoy instead of the harbor can, demonstrating to his crew Tim Dittrich exactly what not to do.  But most of the fleet figured out the proper course and finished up a beautiful race.  1st Team Martini, 2nd Team Lane.  3rd not sure.  I should note that Team Uhl spun once, the result of playing footsie too aggressively with Team Lane downwind.”


Excellent!  Thanks Steve, and thanks for doing the right thing and taking the spin.  So congratulations to Team Martini in 1st, Team Lane in 2nd and to Jocelyn Cook in 3rd. Honorable mentions go to Stefan Thibodeaux in 4th and Team Shoreman / Reynolds in 5th.  And as usual, a tip of the cap to David Graham, who makes it all happen.  So halfway through Series 1 with three races to go (and before a throw-out, Team Martini holds a 1-point lead over Steve Uhl, with Team Lane in 3rd


Out on the MRA line, 17 boats made it out, which I think is a high water mark for this young season.  Making their MRA debuts were Team Taylor, Team Hooks / Pascal, Stefan Thibodeaux in 1790 and Team Sheldon.  Also out for the first time was Chris Remeika, sailing 1210 for Team Frisch / Hourihan.  For those of you who don’t know Chris, he’s a great guy, great sailor and as we mentioned a few weeks ago, the new owner of 1680, which he recently bought from Chris Small.  We expect him to be out in his own boat after he sorts out his dry sailing. 


MRA collapsed the lines to one to accommodate the Etchells regatta, so we joined the J105s, IODs, J70s and Vipers.  Worth mentioning is that we had about as many boats out as all four of the other fleets combined (but who’s counting?).  PRO Susy Schneider ran things and did her usual outstanding job, especially given the quirky conditions, which included a fickle oscillating southwesterly that was generally light, trended left instead of the forecast right, and included massive pressure differentials across the course.  In his recent clinic, Jud Smith explained pressure differentials as a common characteristic of south westerlies, but that didn’t make it any easier.  Both sides paid over the course of our two races, due to both the oscillations and the pressure differentials.  The denouement of this crazy day was our final run, when in the last 100 yards, the wind turned 180 degrees, forcing us all to replace chutes with jibs, only to turn back again in the last 50 yard, causing people to put their chutes back up.  Christina Pandapas quipped that days like this are the reasons sailors drink.


No amount of crazy was too much for Team Cooke / Kaznoski (aka Pete & the Kid), who have turned hanging around the hoop into an art form.  They won the day handily with a 1-1 for 2 points.  Well done.  Taking 2nd on a tiebreaker was Team Taylor, who on their first day turned in a mid-season performance with a 3-2 for 5 points.  And finishing 3rd was Team Lane, who rolled a 2-3, also for 5 points.  Honorable mentions go to Team Pandapas in 4th with a 7-4 for 11 points, and Team Hooks / Pascal in 5th with a 4-8 for 12 points.  Congratulations to all.  With one race day left in the series, Pete & the Kid hold a 2 point lead over Team Frisch Hourihan.  Stay tuned. 


So in Cup competition, we’ve had our first lead change of the young season.  Team Lane leap frogged over Steve Uhl & Team Frisch / Hourihan to claim 1st, which he holds with an ever-so-narrow 3-point lead.  The top-10 are listed below.


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Week 5 racing will include Twilight 1-2 on Thursday night and the 2-3 races of MRA Series 1-4 this Saturday. 



Other News, Notices & Miscellaneous Scuttlebutt

Thank you Anne Marije & Bryan –  Huge thanks to Anne Marije & Bryan, who graciously opened their home to host our first fleet party since winter 2019.  It was great to see everyone socially again and was a welcome next step towards getting life back to normal.  The party was poolside, and we’re happy to report that, at least while Team P was there, there were no unintentional swims.  Many thanks also to Rebecca & Larry Ehrhardt for restocking the fleet bar, including two very nice new coolers.  If you didn’t make it, here’s a shot of Stefan Thibodeaux and Anne Marije doing some salsa dancing.  Pretty impressive.  Who knew?


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Nationals Help – Your 2021 Nationals Regatta Committee needs your help.  First, if you plan to race, please register so we know how much booze to buy.  Second, if you don’t have a valid certificate, please get measured prior to the event (see below).  Third, we need a ton of help in everything from sail measuring to registration desk staffing.  If you can pitch in, please reach out to regatta co-chairs Elise Nash (elise.mazareas@gmail.com) or Kim Pandapas (kpandapas@comcast.net).  Finally, we’re looking for fleet members who might be willing to host an out-of-town crew, as well as folks who might be willing to charter out their boat.  If you’re willing to do either, please contact Tom Dailey at Tomdailey15@gmail.com


Measurement – We’re all obligated to sail boats with current measurement certificates.  If you don’t have a certificate or you’ve had work done since your last measurement, please reach out to Fleet Measurer Stefan Thibodeaux at sjthibodeaux@gmail.com.  You can check your certificate status here.


If You Spin, Send It In – We’re tracking penalty turns, so if you spin, please send me an email and let me know how many fouls you committed for which you exonerated yourself on the water.  I’ll tally them up and give an appropriately laudatory sportsmanship shout-out.  We had one spin this week, which according to our 2021 Spin Tracker brings our season total to two. 


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NOOD at Marblehead Race Week – The centerpiece of our season will be held Thursday through Sunday, July 22-25, hosted this year by EYC.  A reminder that your MRA registration fee covers the entry fee, so you don’t have to pay more, but you do have to register.  Registration is open here.


Race Week Party  This year’s Race Week party will be on Thursday evening July 22nd, generously hosted again by Jennifer & Steve Uhl at their home on Front Street.


Last Call from GHYC – The Great Harbor Yacht Club of Nantucket is inviting three teams to compete in the GHYC Rhodes 19 Challenge on Sunday, August 1, 2021.  The full day regatta will be sailed in centerboard Rhodes 19s on Nantucket’s inner harbor.  Boats will be provided to competitors, and they expect at least 14 teams from around the region.  Please let them know ASAP if you’re interested.  The entrance fee is $100.  For more information, contact Emma Hermanek at ehermanek@ghyc.com. You can register here.


Crew AvailableDave Leahy, is looking for a crew situation for the season or to fill in if your regular crew can’t make it.  You can reach him at dleahy76@me.com.  He showed up at the party and mentioned that he also is interested in potentially buying a boat, though inexplicably, people keep trying to talk him out of it.  What do you think?  Should Dave buy a boat?  Send your boat vote to kpandapas@comcast.net.


Bottom Cleanings – Diver extraordinaire Bill Schneider has been cleaning boat bottoms in Marblehead harbor for something like 25 years.  He’s dependable, careful and does an outstanding job.  If you’ve had enough hauling or swimming, he’s a great solution.  Bill charges $49 for R19.  You can reach him at bschneider8@comcast.net.



Mail Bag

Several folks wrote in with comments on last week’s edition.  First was this from Joan Thayer.  “Thanks again for a terrific Road to the Cup email.  Loved your comment about civility on the race course, …and off as well.”


Old friend Eric Cressy wrote in with this request.  “I think my brother [Jonathan Cressy] would love to get this newsletter.  Would it be possible to add his name to the list?”  Of course, consider it done. 


BJ Mansfield & Mike Carpenter sent in this very nice note.  “Thank you for your kind words Kim.  Very happy to see the wonderful way Eckart is being honored.  Although many folks have contributed greatly to the long term growth of the fleet, you have by far done the most to grow Fleet 5 over all these years since you first joined.  We all are eternally grateful to you.”


Tom Daily wrote a suggestion for enhancing our fleet communication.  “The laser and tech dinghy fleets have a nice tradition on WhatsApp groups chat where the winner of the day makes a few notes about what went right for them that day.  This would be nice following yesterday where there were significant boat speed differences across the fleet, especially in terms of main sail set up.  There are already 17 members on the Rhodes 19 WhatsApp group chat, though I do not see speedsters Frisch & Seamus on there.  Here is the WhatsApp link if you think that would work with this group.”  https://chat.whatsapp.com/JorAUDdSMhrEeiLPoIcnzx.  Great idea Tom.  I like the unscripted, organic dynamic.  Maybe I should start mining that for RTTC fodder. 


CYC Vice Commodore, multi-R19 national champion and fellow Greek Jim Raisides wrote in with several points.  “My Brother Kim, I love that this year’s Twilights will honor Eckart Colsman with 1st place glasses.  I never underestimate Fleet 5’s ability to show some heart and prioritize family.  This Fleet will always be about the people and the friendships.  With 12 or more boats on the line, pay attention Nick Nichols fans because the Twilights are in play!!!  Brother Jim”


Finally, old friend Josh Wheeler wrote in with this update.  “In fleet-adjacent news, Fleet 5 was represented in the recent Annapolis-To-Newport race.  I was on Jumping Jack Flash (good line honors position but middle of the pack corrected) and Ian Peebles on Vamoose (strong showing with 1st in ORC2 and 2nd overall!).  Man, the end of the bay is some white-knuckle sailing.  9-knots close reach, with a wall of steel (7 back-to-back large ships coming down the channel) on our left, shallows to the right, and just a small opening in the Chesapeake Bridge Tunnel ahead.  Talk about threading the needle and keeping your head on a swivel.”


Josh also added this shout-out to Team McLovin“Also, how did no one give McLovin a good ribbing on its/his 40th bday.  I meant to send this to you a few weeks back but between work and prepping for A2N, it was 3 am when I saw it and didn’t want to be one of those guys who causes people’s phones to buzz at 3 in the morning.  Maybe monthly fleet newsletter would be more apt location this far after the fact.”


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–kp (kpandapas@comcast.net)


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