Road To The Cup – Week 2

Road To The Cup – Week 2

Top 10 as of 6/6/21

Before we start, I’d like to pause to remember Larry Robbins, a long time Fleet member during the 80s and 90s when he raced with Joel Speare, and enthusiastic ‘friend of the fleet’ ever since. Larry died peacefully last week after several years battling Parkinson’s. Our hearts go out to his wife Dierdre Robbins and to the rest of his family. Dierdre posted the message below, and you’ll find Larry’s obituary here. He will indeed be missed.

I didn’t know Larry well as we barely overlapped, but I remember him as one of the most genuine and likeable people you’d ever want to meet. One of my enduring memories is Larry & Dierdre’s annual hosting of our Fleet 5 winter party. Aside from their incredible hospitality, what made their parties unique was that they were held around their indoor pool, where it was not uncommon for fleet members to take a swim, often unintentionally. Those were exceptional events that didn’t just set an enduring standard for our social gatherings, but underscored for me the importance of community in the health and vitality of our fleet. It was at one of those winter parties where I first met many of the friends I hold most dear today.

Twilights – Five boats made it out Thursday night for our first race of the season, and there would probably have been more without the threat of thunderstorms. Conditions started with a perky south-westerly in the upper-teens that moderated by game time. Here is a shot from the CYC porch of a few of the boats in their pre-start sent in by Madam President.

Steve Uhl was kind enough to provide this week’s summary.

“First race of the year was the June 3 twilight, which turned out to be a beautiful race. Five boats turned out. Most notable was the appearance of Stefan Thibodeaux & Peter Sorlien in Stefan’s new boat – recently purchased from long time contenders Bill Dalton & Ken Cormier. Great seeing a new boat on the line.

“The wind was forecast high teens SSW which gave some of our single-handers pause, including John Casler who opted to watch from the bar. Tim Dittrich was also ‘in the same boat’ but hopped a ride with Steve Uhl, who had also been planning to go solo.

“In the end the wind moderated to low teens and for the first time in memory we completed a 3-times around course – clockwise around red nun and green can. After some tight maneuvering at the first mark, the order was Uhl/Dittrich, Tim McCaffrey, Team Martini, Team Thibodeaux/Sorlien, and Jocelyn Cook. It stayed that way to the finish – though I would note that Tim McCaffrey must have eaten his Wheaties this morning – he was very fast both upwind and downwind, and made yours truly a little nervous until the very end.”

So congratulation to Steve Uhl, who drew first blood with his first bullet of the season, followed by Tim McCaffrey in 2nd and Team Martini in 3rd. Honorable mentions to Team Thibodeaux in 4th and Jocelyn Cook in 5th.

MRA – Out on the MRA line, opening day. To quote my brother Jim Raisides, “I love opening day.” Unfortunately, Team P had to miss it this year to attend our son Christopher’s graduation. So while many of you were jockeying for position in Race 1, we were driving by Newark Airport on the Jersey Turnpike. I missed a shot of the turnpike (sorry), but here is a look at the newly minted grad.

Anyway, as we were otherwise occupied, this week’s MRA report comes, again, courtesy of Steve Uhl.

“So Mother Nature felt so guilty about the Memorial Day train wreck, she compensated with a picture perfect, glorious day with a southwest breeze that held up all day. Ten boats showed up (though only nine were scored due to I think a forgotten registration by one boat). Anyway – I cannot remember a nicer day to be on the water (sorry Pandapas! 🙂

“First welcome back to fleet 5er Karl Renney, who will be sailing with Timmy Dittrich. Great to see him out on the water.

“First race was very steady breeze at 190, so a lot of boats converged closely at windward mark. But team Hourihan/Frisch jibed first which was enough to get on the inside and stay that way to the leeward mark, and they just extended after that. As always – they’re fast and always seem to make the right tactical decisions. 2nd was Mike Lane / Renee Heffernan and 3rd was Steve Uhl / Kathleen Lane.

“Race 2 the wind shifted to 220 and shaped up to be a replay of race 1. But 100 yards from the windward mark, the breeze unexpectedly went flaky, and it was anyone’s game in that little stretch. But Team Lane / Heffernan came cruising in from the left, kept the boat moving and got around 1st. They extended from there and got the bullet. It was Evan “the kid” Cooke / Pete Kaznoski in 2nd and Team Uhl / Lane in 3rd.

“Last race – the fleet went hard left, and for reasons they can’t explain, Team Uhl / Lane went hard right. Probably because of outgoing current and a little more pressure right, it paid off huge. After that it was go right always. The finishes were Uhl / Lane 1st, Team Cooke / Kaznoski in 2nd and Team Hourihan / Frisch in 3rd.

Awesome! Huge thanks to Steve (who continues to make the case for my exit strategy). So congratulations to Team Uhl / Lane, who won the day handily with a 3-3-1 for 7 points. Well done. Taking 2nd on a tiebreaker was Team Lane / Heffernan with a 2-1-5 for 8 points, followed by Pete & the Kid in 3rd, who rolled a 4-2-2, also for 8 points. Honorable mentions go to Team Hourihan / Frisch in 4th with a 1-5-3 for 9 points, and David Rubin in 5th with a 7-4-4 for 15 points. Congratulations to all. And by the way, the 10th boat Steve referred to is Eric Thornton, sailing with Alex Cook. They got caught in a bit of a registration snafu that hadn’t yet been fully resolved as of this morning, but I hear they sailed well. We’ll include their scores as soon as we get them.

So in Cup competition, after winning Thursday night and winning the day Saturday, Steve Uhl jumps out to a quick and relatively commanding early lead. The top-10 are listed below.

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

Other News, Notices & Miscellaneous Scuttlebutt

Twilight Distribution List – It looks like Twilight PRO David Graham will be sending in race day status reports, which we in turn will forward to you if you’d like to be included. To opt in, email me at

First Fleet Party on June 19th –Fleet 5 will hold its first party of the season after sailing on June 19th, which will be virtual on Zoom. Keep your eye out for the invite.

NOOD at Marblehead Race Week – The centerpiece of our season will be held Thursday through Sunday, July 22-25, which will be here before you know it. EYC is hosting. 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. Unless I missed it, they don’t have the registration page up yet, but you can keep checking here.

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

Nationals Update – Your 2021 Nationals Regatta Committee will be hard at work this week putting the finishing touches on what is increasingly looking like an unconstrained event – fingers crossed. It definitely takes a village to put on a regatta, and the committee will need a ton of help. So if you can pitch in, please reach out to regatta co-chairs Elise Nash ( or Kim Pandapas ( Also, if you’re not planning to sail but are willing to charter your boat, please let Tom Dailey know at

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

Spring Mainsheet – The 2021 spring edition of the Mainsheet is out, and you can download it here.

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 You can register here.

If You Spin, Send It In – Remember that 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, give an appropriately laudatory sportsmanship shout-out. To our knowledge, there were no spins this weekend.

Crew AvailableDave Leahy, who has been learning to sail at MIT for the past few years, has taken an interest in Fleet 5 and is looking for a crew situation for the season. You can reach him at

For Sale – Rhodes 19 #1643 Tricked out by Chris Small. Excellent condition. Incudes two suits of Doyle sails good for Saturdays/Practice, Raymarine Tacktick T060 Micro Compass, trailer +++. Contact Stuart Boyd at (978) 821-5369 or

Mail Bag

We got a bunch of kind tributes to Larry Robbins, though none as succinct as this from Rob Ferro. “A lovely man.” John Casler also was kind enough to send in a few off-season shots of Larry from the 1987 Fleet 5 ski trip to St. Anton.

In this last shot group shot, aside from Larry (2nd from left) can you name the people?

In response to last week’s ‘Wrath of Khan’ reference, we got this from Rick Berliner. “My go-to handshake replacement on construction sites for the last year has been the Vulcan salute.”

No one is more psyched these days than Stefan Thibodeaux, who as you know, purchased 1790 from Ken Cormier & Bill Dalton, and he’s psyched for a damn good reason. Ken sent us a shot of the boat ready for delivery. Take a look at how clean and well-maintained it is. After hearing the boat would be wet sailed, Ken took it upon himself to paint and sand the bottom, and then for good measure, he buffed the top sides too. How ‘bout that?!

But wait, there’s more. In addition to the immaculate boat, Ken & Bill threw in new rigging, and a couple of boxes of spare parts. Talk about a class act. They’ve set a new standard for how to sell a boat. As far as I’m concerned, both of them are hereby nominated for this year’s prestigious ‘what a guy’ award.

But it’s not all peaches and cream. Our last word today is from Bill Dalton, who sent this in response to last week’s note from Stefan on his decision to name the boat Po’ Boy. “Very sad to see her go. Also a little sad to hear she’s been named after a sandwich, but I won’t go there.” Geez Bill, I think you just did, but point taken. Though if you had to pick a sandwich, this one is a hell of a lot better than ‘Ham & Cheese’ or ‘Tuna Melt.’

–kp (

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