Road To The Cup – Week 3 – East Coasts Edition
Top 10 as of 6/13/22
Our East Coasts were held in the Manchester this past weekend, hosted by the fine folks of the Manchester Yacht Club, and what a nice job they did! Huge thanks to old friend Charlie Thomas, who couldn’t have been more gracious and accommodating. He and his team rolled out the red carpet for us and our friends from Hingham/Hull. Everyone did a fantastic job, though a special shout-out is due Commodore Alex Felton, who of course is one of our own, and who in addition to being commodore also served as PRO. What makes this special for them is that after two Covid false starts in 2020 and 2021, they finally got their regatta off. Three years of planning for three days of sailing is a lot, and I’m sure they’re all quite pleased to finally get it done. A tip of the cap to Charlie, Alex and everyone at MYC for everything they did.
Turnout was lighter than years past, perhaps due in part to the earliness of the season. We had 13 boats in total, seven from Fleet 5, four from Hingham/Hull and two from Manchester. Just two from Manchester, while not surprising, is a bummer considering how robust that Fleet once was. The core remains strong, as evidenced by the fact that they were willing to plan a regatta for three years. Given MYC’s strong racing culture and the fact that a long-time Rhodes sailor is running the place, it sure would be great to see that Fleet rebound. I hope they will let us know if we can help.
One other note – everyone sailed with two except one boat. Team Pandapas (joined by Stefan Thibodeaux), who is a long-standing proponent of sailing with two, was the sole boat to sail with three. Go figure.
As to the racing, it was spectacular. Conditions for the three days were a tale of three cities. Day 1 featured a southwesterly that built through the afternoon and topped out in the high teens with gusts in the low 20s, but with flat water. The conditions were spirited. Day 2 was lighter, with a slow-to develop sea breeze that finally got its act together around 1:30 pm. And Day 3 featured a developing sea breeze that topped out at about 10 knots. Alex and his team got off four races on Day 1, three on Day 2 and two on Day 3.
So, congratulations to Team Frisch / Hourihan, who didn’t just win the regatta, they dominated it. Sailing with Patrick Andreasen on Friday and Peter Frisch on Saturday and Sunday, Seamus Hourihan put on a clinic. As I’ve mentioned in the past, there are generally two types of regatta wins. The first is by attrition, where the racing is tight, no one dominates, results are close, and the winner is the last man standing. The second is simply going out and taking it. That’s what 1210 did, putting up a line of 1-3-1-1-3-6-1-1-1 for 12 points throwing out the 6. Six bullets in 9 races. Mercy! I haven’t seen domination like that since Clark Uhl won the Junior Olympics. So, a huge round of applause for a truly awesome performance. Really well done.
Taking 2nd was reigning national champ Steve Clancy with 25 points, and taking 3rd was Team Lane / Heffernan on a tiebreaker with 33 points. Both of those teams sailed very well, and it’s worth mentioning that Team Lane / Heffernan, probably the lightest crew out there, more than held their own in the fresh breeze on Day 1. Honorable mentions go to Joe Berkeley in 4th, also with 33 points, and Steve Uhl, sailing with Kathleen Lane, in 5th with 36 points. Congratulations to all. You’ll find the complete results here.
Moving on to Twilights, another washout. Thursday’s Twilight was cancelled after some pre-race polling of the racers on hand by the PRO. The issue this time was not lack of wind, but a bit too much of it. In sailing vernacular, it was blowing stink, or one of my favorites – blowing dogs off chains. Tim McCaffrey provides us some color.
“The predicted 12 to 15 mph NNW breeze that was predicted increased to 15 mph NNW with a recorded gust up to 29 mph at the dock house at 5:45 PM. Looking out from the CYC booth, we observed a shear line just outside Fort Sewall to the lighthouse which would have made the beat Dave Graham was considering, green can 21 to red nun 22, a bit sporty. While considering our choices, the Martinis were waiting on their boat, still on their mooring, for a call. Around 6:15 PM the dock house was recording sustained winds of 20~21 mph with gusts of 25 mph. Collectively we decided not to race and call it off.”
Blowing snakes out of the grass!
Out on the MRA line, only one of our non-East Coast boats decided to sail (with a shout-out to Eric Thornton and crew Alex Cook for showing the flag), so no start for the Rhodes and no finishing results to report. You’ll recall that prior to the season, the Fleet decided to support the MYC and East Coast Championships by leaving Saturday’s MRA races unscored. Had anyone shown up and raced, those races would not have been scored.
So, in Cup competition, sadly for some, East Coasts results are not included in Cup scoring. And as there was neither a Twilight nor MRA race, Cup results remain unchanged from last week. The top 10 are listed below.
Week 4 racing will include Twilight 1-3 on Thursday night and the 2-3 races of MRA Series 1-5 this Saturday.
Other News, Notices & Miscellaneous Scuttlebutt
Lindsay Smith Fast Mermaid Regatta – Last Sunday, the BYC ran the Lindsay Smith Fast Mermaid Regatta, a pursuit race organized to help support Lindsay as she continues her road back. Several Fleet 5 members and alum participated, including Seamus Hourihan, Peter Frisch, Anne Marije Veenland, Kim & Christina Pandapas, Joe & Ben Fava, Jocelyn Cook, Tomas Hornos, John Thompson, Ian Peebles and of course, Jud & Cindy Smith. 33 boats participated, and for the record, that included just two Rhodes – Team AMV and Team Pandapas. The rest of the Fleet 5 contingent sailed an assortment of larger, more comfortable boats.
Fleet 5ers made a respectable showing. Former R19 national champ Tomas Hornos took line honors in his Star, winning the 12-boat Jib & Main Division. Seamus Hourihan sailing Thirst (with Peter Frisch) took 3rd in that division and Fleet 5 alum John Thompson took 5th. In the 18-boat-spinnaker division, Team Pandapas took 3rd just in front of Bump Wilcox & Cindy Smith in Africa in 4th and Anne Marije Veenland in 5th. Jud Smith with Jocelyn Cook won the 3-boat Etchells division sailing on Fast Mermaid. You’ll find the complete results here, as well as a couple of ‘action’ photos sent in by our friend Bruce Durkee. Thanks to BYC for sponsoring it and to PRO Peter Dragonas and his team for the days of hard work.
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.
First Fleet Party on June 18th – Fleet 5 will hold its first party of the season after sailing (around 6 PM) this Saturday June 18th. The party will be hosted by Christina & Kim Pandapas at their home on Kimball Street (by the lighthouse). The event will be potluck and Fleet 5 social chair Larry Ehrhardt has stocked the fleet bar and will make sure everyone has enough to drink.
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. I may not have this right, but after registering myself, 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!
If You Spin, Send It In
We had an assortment of spins at the East Coasts, mostly port-starboards and a few hit marks. To my knowledge, the judge’s services were not needed, so congrats to all for leaving it on the water. As the East Coasts aren’t included in our season scoring, the table below remains unchanged from last week.
Sails for Sale – Team Pandapas is clearing out their sail locker. They’re selling a main (2017), a jib (2018) and two chutes (2016 & 2018). If you’re interested email Kim at email@example.com.
Timmy Dittrich had a mishap on the way in last week and wrote in to share a few thoughts about it. “As you’ve read or heard, I had a rudder failure last Saturday. If I had to guess, it began on one of the last legs of Race 3. The conditions were a bit ‘spicy’ and put some stress on the boat. On the way in – with chute up – I noticed that the boat just wasn’t tracking anymore and realized that the rudder was detached from the boat.
“Shout out to Wilson Kaznoski for standing by in his center console while the BYC did the best they could to try and get us secured to their rib and into the dock. His instructions to the BYC were clear and succinct. His presence, a comfort. You da man, Wilson!
‘When I finally got in, cleaned up the boat, surveyed the damage, and went to my mooring, I looked up and found fellow R19’r Rob Ferro a few feet off in his Whaler. Rob asked what was going on and I explained. Rob took pictures of my rudder and pinged me that evening with possible solutions. Rob hadn’t even raced that day.
“I want to salute Rob, not only for his help, but for being the individual to uphold what is supposed to be what we’re all about in this fleet – helping anyone and everyone, whenever. Thanks, Rob! You are the Bomb!!!”
Both Team Pandapas and Team Dailey sailed directly back to Marblehead from the far side of Baker’s Island after the finish of the last East Coast Championships race. Team Pandapas sailed the conventional route between Baker’s and Misery while Cowboy Tom sailed across on the south side of Bakers through the shallows between the islands. At one point, Team Dailey did an about face and chose a different route, prompting an inquiry about whether they had found the bottom. Tom wrote, “We didn’t touch, but once we got a pretty good look at it, we decided that the other course would be better. I think we probably would’ve been fine as I’ve been through there at low tide on a power boat, but…”
Finally, in response to my request from the Twilight folks for a little color on the Thursday’s cancelation, John Casler sent in this. “The weather was fine in Syracuse.”