Road To The Cup – Week 4
Top 10 as of 6/19/22
Before we start, I’d like to pause to remember Bob Jensen, who died on May 20th in Bozeman Montana. Widely considered the patriarch of Chicago’s Fleet 12, Bob was a prince of a man and highly regarded by all who knew him. Bob stopped sailing several years ago, but anyone who has been around the class for more than 20 years likely has a story about getting schooled by Bob. He won Nationals seven times across multiple venues, including Chicago in 1971, Chicago in 1975, Fairhope in 1976, New Orleans in 1980, Larchmont in 1981, Chicago in 1982 and Marblehead in 1992. Bob was both an excellent sailor and a fierce competitor, but also always a consummate gentleman. That, in my view, pretty much defines the goal to which our class aspires and what makes it special. Bob was a culture carrier who, by virtue of all he accomplished and how he conducted himself, made our class better. Though we haven’t seen Bob for a while, he will indeed be missed. You’ll find his obituary here.
We finally got in our first Twilight, though it looked questionable early Thursday afternoon when it was blowing SE in the 20s with a small craft advisory in effect. Though the breeze moderated, it was still a bit much for John Casler, who wrote, “By 6 it was turning into a beautiful evening, but still too gusty for me to feel comfortable single-handed. Steve is going to send you a report.” Astonishingly, it’s the second half of June and John Casler hasn’t sailed a Twilight yet. Hard to believe, right? Anyway, here is Steve brief writeup, with a more detailed follow-up from Walter Colsman.
“We finally got a twilight race in. Very fresh southerly with windy forecast, which dissuaded a boat or two, but it laid down enough for a very fun evening. Course was once around to Williams Rock. Walter Colsman in 2561 took the honors – fast as usual and led all the way. Close behind were Steve Uhl in 2585 and then Tim McCaffrey in 1925. Rounding out the fleet were 1219 and 2003.”
And from Walter, “With lots of pre-race speculation around heavy wind velocity, David Graham kept a steady eye on conditions and posted a course of 28 once around. A few boats decided to bail and hit the porch, but 4 boats – Tahoot, Woodstock, Action, and Shake your Buoy went out in a stiff breeze. One additional boat (2003) made a late appearance.
“Mark 28 was direct downwind. All boats were spread out at the line, but Shake was over early and needed to dip back over. Tahoot led the pack with Woodstock right on her tail the entire leg, at one point a swell bringing her bow within a foot of Tahoot’s stern. Steve was impressive single-handed, but the breeze was a challenge while on Tahoot, Walter had his giant son Christopher Colsman exercising his abs on the rail and making all the difference on the return beat. And so the finish was Tahoot, Woodstock, Action, and Shake your Buoy.
“For us, all hell broke loose following the race. We were on mooring when Chris spotted a ‘cute baby duck’ paddling alongside. After we got over its cuteness, we realized that it was most likely being blown out to sea and separated from mom so maybe a rescue was in order. By then I noticed my lifejacket had blown overboard. We dropped the mooring with only the main up which cut our maneuverability. Shake your Buoy was approaching her mooring right to our stern, and we rapidly drifted back in her direction. No collision, but a lesson in how one distraction can lead to a chain reaction of adverse events. (This reminds me of how often when racing one error leads to several more.) Duckie was gone, but from the porch we saw two adult ducks forming a search party, so we’d like to think our cute trouble-maker was rescued.”
Thanks Steve and Walter. Not sure what to do with the duck story, but hey, it’s slow news day so what the hell. So to recap, Walter Colsman took the bullet, followed by the single-handed Steve Uhl in 2nd and Tim McCaffrey in 3rd. I wish I could tell you who is racing 1219, but I don’t know. If you have the scoop, please send it in. Finally, I’d like to celebrate the very first Rhodes race for Rich & Rosie Denton, sailing 2003. Huge welcome to them.
Out on the MRA line, the last day of Series 1 came to an unceremonious and anticlimactic end when MRA cancelled racing for everyone but the Etchells, IODs and J70s. For the record, and I know this will prompt a few emails, I think they made the right call. The wind was blowing a solid 17-18 with gusts as high as the low 30s. The water may have looked flat from the harbor, but this was a gooseneck breaking, blue-water-over-the-bow, stick your spreader in the water kind of day, for sure. But to be clear, at least with respect to us, the RC followed the letter of our PRO guide, which I quote, “Upper limit sustained wind speed 20 knots – max. gusts 25k. Lower in big NE sea state.” So, the fact is that MRA did exactly what we asked them to.
So, as mentioned, that brings MRA Series 1 to a close. Congratulations to Team Cooke/Kaznoski (including young Wilson Kaznoski who skippered day 1), who took the series on a tiebreaker with 7 points, including three bullets in five races. Taking 2nd, also with 7 points, was Team Frisch/Hourihan, and finishing 3rd with 10 was Team Pandapas. Honorable mentions go to Team Lane/Heffernan who took 4th on a tiebreaker with 18 points, and Timmy Dittrich in 5th, also with 18 points. Congratulations to all.
So, in Cup competition, with no MRA this week, Cup scores moved only on the Twilight results. The top 10 are listed below.
Week 5 racing will include Twilight 1-4 on Thursday night and the 2-3 races of MRA Series 2-1 this Saturday.
Other News, Notices & Miscellaneous Scuttlebutt
Support Lindsay Smith – Please help support Lindsay. Make your check payable to “Fast Mermaid Fund” and mail it to Alan McKinnon, 21 Robert Rd, Marblehead, MA 01945.
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. You must register separately for the event and can do that here. Your MRA registration fee covers the entry fee, so you don’t have to pay more, provided you register before July 7. It appears that they are planning to impose a $75 late fee for boats registering after July 7.
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!
Time To Register for Nationals – It’s time to register for the 2022 R19 National Championships! The event will be held in Chicago from August 15th through the 19th, hosted by the fine folks of the Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club.
If You Spin, Send It In
To our knowledge, we had no spins on Thursday night, so the table below remains unchanged from last week.
Sails for Sale – Team Pandapas is clearing out the sail locker. They’re selling a main (2017), a jib (2018) and two chutes (2016 & 2018). If you’re interested email Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With regard to last week’s ECs write-up, Tom Dailey wrote in with this. “Kim thanks for an excellent note. Looking at the photo, 1799/Steve looks like he has less lower mast bend. Wondering if there are any more photos of the event to help untangle more of the boat speed mystery.” Well in fact, yes, there are more pictures, thanks to our friends at the Manchester Yacht Club. We have a bunch of them and Nat Taylor intends to put them up on the Fleet website at his earliest convenience.
We heard from John Casler on Wednesday after he had a look at the long-range forecast. “Anyone who is not concerned about climate change should check out the Twilight cancellations for last year and for 2022 to date. Inaccuweather suggests 21 with gusts to 29 for tomorrow at game time.” It’s a good point. Last year, we got in four of six in Series 1 and three of six in Series 2. Showing off my math skills, that’s just seven races sailed out of 12 scheduled. Showing off a little more, we sailed fewer than 60% of our races. Was that an anomaly? This year, we’re currently 1 for 3.
As an aside, I quipped that in 21 knots, it would be concerning to have a boat moored near the starting line. John shot back, “Kim, if the forecast holds, boats near the starting line would be at no hazard from mine.”