Road To The Cup – Week 1

Road To The Cup – Week 1

Top 10 as of 5/29/22

There was no Twilight racing this week. PRO Dave Graham made the sensible decision to cancel after learning the CYC waterfront would close at 7:30 and therefore not be available for an emergency.  That early closure, by the way, would have made it tough for CYC Twilighters to get in without what forever will be known as ‘pulling a Stefan.’  You’ll recall that two years ago in a similar situation, Stefan Thibodeaux chose to swim in from his mooring rather than miss a Twilight.

On the subject of Twilights, below is the second part of John Casler’s Twilight refresher.  John, by the way, this year begins his 46th season racing in Fleet 5.  Imagine that.  In this edition, he helps us find the marks.

“I have heard that Twilight marks can be difficult to locate.  These are big solid steel behemoths that have been out there in the same locations since Old Ironsides sought shelter under the guns of the Fort. 

“Get yourself a couple of copies to the SIs, have them laminated at Staples, and then take a look at the marks before you head out.  Three marks are most frequently used – ‘22’ and ‘21,’ previously noted last week, and ‘19,’ which is can ‘1’, just around the corner off the lighthouse.  Also used frequently is ‘20,’; which is the easily visible nun ‘2’ in front of Children’s Island. 

“Two other marks to keep in mind are ’18,’ which is the mid-channel bell you pass every time you head out to an MRA race, and ’25,’ which is Can ‘7,’ tucked around behind Children’s Island.  The remaining five marks on the chart you can forget about.  The toughest mark to locate as you head out is easily ‘28’, a red nun ‘2’ off Peaches Point.  It lies low in the water in front of a low rock formation.  The salvation here is that everyone else will be having the same difficulty locating it.  Just don’t deviate too far from the rest of the fleet until you are sure you have identified it.  The same generally applies to two other seldom used marks which are out a ways – ‘23,’ which is green flasher ‘3’ and “24,” which is red flasher “4.

Marks ‘13,’ ‘15,’ ‘29,’ ‘30,’ and ‘34’ are so far out that they are never used.  Or, at least, in my own small sampling of hundreds of races since 1977, they have never been used.”

So there you have it.  Thanks John!

Out on the MRA line, our opening day got deferred a bit as the RC cancelled Saturday’s racing before boats left the float.  The forecast called for intermittent thunderstorms over the course of the day, which made for what had to be a difficult judgement call.  Who wants to send a bunch of small boats out, start them and then hurriedly send them in before they finish a race?  It’s an inexact science at best.  As you’d expect, there was consternation-aplenty among disappointed racers, several of whom went out anyway and tuned for a few hours.  Conditions were perfect and included an up-and-down southwesterly with a strong outgoing tide.  While I get the disappointment, I also get the difficulty of making these kinds of decisions. 

We had a little more luck on Sunday.  Just nine boats showed up, which is a light turn-out for opening day.  But holiday weekends can be dicey for people with lives.  I get it.  Hopefully we’ll see our numbers strengthen next week. 

Conditions took a while to develop, prompting RO Susie Schneider to hoist AP and wait for the breeze to fill.  Racing eventually included a light southeasterly and the most ripping outgoing current I can remember (light air and ripping current – good fun!!).  It swept right to left as you looked up the track, and made for a very lopsided course, despite the marks being set appropriately upwind.  Port tack was like trudging through mud and seemed to go on forever.  I think there may have been all of two minutes of starboard.  The pack of boats who went left in race 1 and benefitted from a nice lefty, all overstood and were forced to crack off to sail down to the mark.  It’s goes without saying that starting at the pin was a high-risk decision.  On this day, current was by far the dominant condition.  Anyway, the RC got off two, and mercifully shortened our second race at the leeward mark, saving us from another endless port tack slog.

The current didn’t seem to bother Team Kaznoski, as young Wilson Kaznoski sailed his butt off.  He got an A+ start in Race 1 – to quote Dave Perry“on time, on the line, going full speed” – and never looked back.  They sailed consistently fast and smart all day, rolling a 1-1 to win the day handily.  Congratulations to them! 

I can’t give you a lot more results detail this week because I’m unable to find the scores for race 1.  It’s most likely pilot error on my part, but as this edition goes out on Sunday morning, the MRA results page show last year’s results and the Clubspot results page includes only race 2.  We’ll get it sorted out.

To the best of my knowledge, three boats finished with 6 points – Team Pandapas with a 4-2, Team Frisch/Hourihan with a 2-4 and Team Lane/Heffernan with a 3-3.  If that is accurate, then they’d finish 2nd, 3rd and 4th in that order applying the tiebreaker.  Again – all from memory so don’t hold me to it.  The bottom line is that Team K won the day. 

So, in Cup competition, without scores, I can’t give you the top 10, and our first ranking will have to wait until next week.

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

Other News, Notices & Miscellaneous Scuttlebutt

It’s a Boy!– Congratulations to Elise & Mike Nash, who welcomedto their family Cameron James Nash.  Young Cameron arrived at 2:50 PM on May 26th and weighed in at 8lbs 7oz.  Cameron and his mom are doing great, and we hear Mike is hanging in there too.  All are looking forward to going home. 


Don’t Forget To Register – If you haven’t registered yet, time to get on it.  You can register for Fleet 5 here, the Class Association here, and MRA here.

East Coast Championships – The ECs will be hosted by the Manchester Yacht Club and held in Manchester June 10-12.  That’s in two weeks folks, so time to get on it.  You’ll find the NOR here, the SIs here, and can register here.

First Fleet Party on June 18th – Circle the date.  Fleet 5 will hold its first party of the season after sailing on Saturday June 18th.  This will be at the home of Christina & Kim Pandapas.  Keep your eye out for the invite.

Twilight Series Scoring – In case you missed it last week!  Cup scoring includes only the Thursday night Twilights between Memorial Day and Labor Day (with a break for Race Week), which we split into two series.  Here is the 2022 split.

Series 1 – June 2, June 9, June 16, June 23, June 30, July 7,

Series 2 – July 14, July 21, August 4, August 11, August 18, August 25, September 1

There will be one throw-out per series, assuming we get in five races for that series.

Race Week – The centerpiece of our season, officially called the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series (formerly NOOD), will be held Thursday through Sunday, July 28-31, and that will be here before you know it.  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 – While on the subject of Race Week, this year’s Race Week party will be on Thursday evening July 28th, generously hosted – again – by Jennifer & Steve Uhl at their home on Front Street.  Circle the date!

Reminder: If You Spin, Send It In – To promote fair sailing and keeping it on the racecourse, we’re continuing our successful initiative ‘If you spin, send it in.’  It’s worked well the last few years so why not keep it going.  So, if you spin, please send me an email rafter racing with the subject line ‘Circles’ 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, and also keep you apprised of the season totals.  The season winner with the most spins will be appropriately recognized at the awards party this fall, and maybe even get a little swag. 

So we had two spins this week.  Congrats to Team Lane / Heffernan for immediately exonerating themselves after a leeward mark foul.  Nice job.  And Team Pandapas stupidly tried to win the favored pin in all that current, with predictable results.

2022 Spin Tracker
 FoulHit MarkTotals
Team Lane / Heffernan11
Team Pandapas11

Crew Needed – Team Garuda needs a crew who knows his or her way around a foredeck.  Contact Sarah Sheldon at

Mail Bag

Twilight PRO David Graham wrote in with several edits to John Casler’s Twilight refresher.  Talk about a battle of the Twilight titans!  “I want to thank you for the promotion “gig” on the upcoming Twilight Race series.  If permitted, I’d also like to offer a few edits to His EminenceThe Most Reverend Casler’s sage words-of-wisdom.”  Wow, right?  Anyway, rather than reprint all of it, here are the key points. 

–      The start pin is an orange inflatable mark and not a “smallish red ball.” 

–      Courses are read from left to right.

–      Pay close attention to the SIs regarding the rounding of single-mark race-course postings.

–      The RC will broadcast on VHF 78.

–      Pre-race weather/tide/sunset conditions are almost always sent to the Rhodes19 and Town Class fleets on the morning of each scheduled race evening.

Christina Pandapas was impressed with Elizabeth Durkee’s creative approach to boat snack organization, sending in these shots of her ‘snacklebox’. 



Stefan Thibodeaux sent in this PSA – “Kim, I do not know if you want to post this but I thought this sailing talk would be interesting.”

From the Archives – Below is a photo of the late, great Eckart Colsman, shot in St. Moritz in 1990.  We miss you Eckart!


–kp (

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