Road To The Cup – Week 10 – Race Week Edition

Top-10 as of 8/1/22

As you know, there was no twilight racing Thursday night due to Race Week.  Instead, we were treated to Jennifer & Steve Uhl’s gracious hospitality – again!  That, by the way is a direct quote from the last several year’s Race Week editions of RTTC.  I’m pretty sure this makes about 15 straight years they have opened their home during Race Week, and as always, they pulled out all the stops and outdid themselves.  Many thanks to them, as well as to Fleet Bar Czar Larry Ehrhardt for making sure we all got enough to drink.

So let’s start with Junior Race Week.  226 junior sailors with 158 boats descended on Pleon Yacht Club for what has become the centerpiece of the junior racing schedule.  The 420 Champ fleet was largest at 48 boats, followed by the Opti Champs with 46.  Rounding out the fleets were Opti Greens (36), 420 Greens (20) and Lasers (8).  As always, the fleets were split into four lines, including 420s, Lasers, Opti Champs and Opti Greens, run respectively by the race committees of EYC, BYC, CYC and MYC (Manchester Yacht Club).  Between the race committees, safety boats and judges, there were no fewer than 50-60 volunteers on the water, plus a bunch more on shore.  It truly takes a village.

The event ran Monday through Wednesday, with generally good conditions all three days.  Monday was hot and humid with an approaching cold front that threatened thunderstorms, which fortunately never materialized.  Tuesday and Wednesday were both party cloudy and light.  The breeze all three days was 5-10 and generally southeast, but seldom from one direction for long. 

Several Fleet 5 spawn competed in this event, but not as many as years past as the next bulge of fleet kids is still a couple of years away.  The biggest contingent this year was again in the 420 Champ fleet, including Bridget Hickey (daughter of longtime friend of Fleet 5 Angela Duplin Hickey) (9th) and Molly Lane (23rd).  One sailor competed in the 420 Green fleet, Felix Regnault (13th), one in the Laser Fleet, Nicholas Regnault (3rd) and one in the Opti Green fleet, Hanna Cook (34th).  Congratulations to all. 

As in years past, legions of Fleet 5 members volunteered to support this regatta.  For starters, Marine Regnault-Stoel (who sails with Anne Marija Veenland) co-chaired the event.  Two of the four PROs are card-carrying members of Fleet 5, including Alex Felton on the Laser line and Kim Pandapas on the Opti Champ line.  Other Fleet 5 members, alums and friends who served on RC included Christina PandapasRob Ferro, Jennifer Jewel, Barbara Hallawell, Ken Adam, Judy AdamJohn Todd, Karen Finocchio and Christopher Pandapas.  Ramsay Hoguet served this year as safety czar, with Patrick Andreasen (East Coasts fame) running a safety boat and Jocelyn Cook serving on land safety.  On top of that, Angela Duplin Hickey served in several onshore roles, and old friend Rick Myers served as a judge.  Finally, our own Ashley Hoguet as Pleon Commodore was instrumental in planning and running the event.  I’m sure I’ve missed a few, so sorry, but it’s clear that the R19 community again stepped up in a meaningful way.  Thanks to all! 

So let’s get straight to the bottom line.  Congratulations to Nat & Jim Taylor, who turned in one of the most impressive Race Week performances in memory.  Over 11 races, they were a model of consistency, putting up a line of 5-11-5-5-1-7-1-2-1-4-4 for 46 points.  If there were a throw-out, they would have thrown out an 11, leaving only single-digit finishes.  In a regatta that included two days of the very unpredictable northwesterly condition, that is simply amazing.  They got great starts, made smart decisions and executed flawlessly, seemingly making no big mistakes.  In contrast to last year when one boat led wire-to-wire, this regatta was hotly contested, featuring a constant reshuffling of the top five and three different leaders on each of the first three days.  Team Taylor took the lead after Day 3 with an 8 point lead, and tacked on another 6 points on Day 4 to win with a 14-point margin.  Talk about bringing it!  As I’ve said before, there are two ways to win a regatta.  One is to win the war of attrition and be the last man standing, and the other is go out and take it.  Team Taylor took it.  They brought their A-game, took on all comers and dominated.  The victory earned them a year of Race Week bragging rights as well as our highly coveted Race Week perpetual trophy; the Spittoon. 

Sweetening the day further, they also were awarded the Cressy Trophy, one of the regatta’s three perpetual awards which is awarded to the winner of the regatta’s most competitive class.  So congrats to Team Taylor.  Really, really well done!

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Taking 2nd with a line of 1-6-7-9-9-2-4-4-10-3-5 for 60 points was Joe Fava & Dan Gabriel.  This also was an impressive performance that also included just one double-digit finish.  In most years, this would have been good enough to win, but unfortunately, not this time given the Taylor’s masterpiece.  What makes it all the more impressive is that aside from Team Racing together, this marks the first time Joe has sailed with Dan Gabriel in the Rhodes.  This is a second straight RW podium for Joe, who with Elise Nash, took 2nd last year too. 

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Finishing 3rd on a tiebreaker was Team Ehrhardt, with a line of 13-8-4-3-12-3-5-6-2-6-1 for 63 points.  This was a classic hang-around-the-hoop performance for Larry, punctuated by the last race bullet.  These guys have always been one of those boats you need to keep track of, and this performance resulting in a Race Week podium finish proves why.  Really well done.  Honorable mentions go to Team Cooke / Kaznoski who took 4th, also with 63 points, and to Team Shoreman / Reynolds who finished 5th with 64 points.  Congratulations to all.

Several additional Fleet 5 members and alum were recognized at this event, starting with Marine Regnault-Stoel, who with Jim Da Silva, were awarded the Leonard Munn Fowle award for their work chairing Junior Race Week.  Former R19 national champ Tomas Hornos won the Etchells class, and with it, the Dave Curtis award.  Fleet 5 Alums Bill Heffernan and Nick Cann took 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Town Class.  Team Pendleton / Raisides won the Corinthian division of the J70 Class, which secured them a berth to the J70 Worlds, and Jocelyn Cook won the Mixed Plus Division.  Congratulations to all.  We don’t have pictures of everybody, but thanks to old friend Bruce Durkee, we have a few.

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Race Week Recap – Day 1

The forecast for Day 1 was a little sketchy early on, predicting an unsettled day of 5-10 but with both a warm front and a cold front slated to cross our waters, bringing with them the threat of severe thunderstorms.  Fortunately, things improved and that didn’t happen, leaving us a lovely 5-10 knot southerly that oscillated between 150 and 180.  The tide was going out for most of the afternoon, but current wasn’t significant.  RO Susie Schneider did her usual masterful job of staying on top of shifts, and we got in three fair races.

The first day of a 4-day regatta always brings with it a few butterflies, but that apparently wasn’t the case for Team Frisch / Hourihan, who won the day to take an early regatta lead with an enviable line of 4-2-2 for 8 points.  Taking 2nd was Team Shoreman / Reynolds, who rolled a 2-1-6 for 9 points, and looked good doing it in their squeaky clean, recently rehabbed boat.  Taking 3rd was Team Kaznoski with young Wilson Kaznoski on the helm, who finished the day with an impressive 7-3-3 for 13 points.  Honorable mentions go to Joe Fava, sailing with Dan Gabriel in 4th with a 1-6-7 for 14 points, and Team Roberts / Remeika in 5th with an 11-7-1 for 19 points. 

Dan Gabriel’s brother Jim Gabriel was flying his drone out there and got this shot of a downwind leg in Race 2.

Race Week Recap – Day 2

Conditions were classic northwesterly, which for me was unexpected.  The forecast predicted a light northwesterly with puffs in the teens.  Everything about what I read suggested a light-air day.  Technically, I suppose, the forecast was accurate in that the wind was northwest and we did have lulls in the 5-10 range.  But I think the majority of us were a bit surprised by the 10-15 with gusts in the 20s and wild 30+ degree shifts.  The shifts were dramatic and often, leaving insufficient time to set a pin and run a sequence.  In fact, despite the valiant efforts of the BYC RC to set a square line and run a square course, two of our three starts were port tack starts because you couldn’t lay the pin on starboard.  Pressure differentials were abundant, especially up the course closer to Children’s Island.  And on top of the oscillations, heading differentials were also a factor as the left generally saw a consistent lefty and the right a consistent righty, presumably as the breeze came around the left and right sides of the island.  All-and-all, this day seemed to favor skippers with thousands of hours of dinghy sailing and college racing in rivers, both of which help develop seat-of-the-pants dinghy skills.

Certainly former college team racer Nat Taylor found the conditions to his liking, as Team Taylor won the day with an impressive line of 5-1-7 for 13 points.  I tip my cap to them, and to everyone who managed three single digit finishes on this kind of day.  Taking 2nd was Team Dailey, who managed a comeback from deep to earn the bullet in Race 3, turning in a 8-7-1 for 16 points.  And finishing 3rd on a tiebreaker was Team Shoreman / Reynolds, who rolled a 1-6-11 for 18 points.  Honorable mentions go to Team Ehrhardt in 4th with a 3-12-3, also for 18 points, and Team Fava / Gabriel in 5th with a 9-9-2 for 20 points. 

So, after two days of racing with six races sailed, the top five include Team Shoreman / Reynolds in 1st with 27 points, followed by Team Fava / Gabriel in 2nd with 34 points, Team Taylor in 3rd also with 34 points, Team Roberts / Remeika in 4th with 36 points and Team Kaznoski in 5th with 37 points.

Race Week Recap – Day 3

Saturday featured another beautiful sailing day.  Put another way, if you liked Friday, you loved Saturday, which featured another northwesterly, though a bit more well-behaved than Friday’s.  The breeze was oscillating around an average of around 315 degrees in the 15 knot range, though with impressive puffs in the high teens/20s as well as the occasional lull.  Current was not much of a factor in this one (at least that I could see).  The RC set up further out than they did on Friday, which made it less unpredictable and probably tamped down a bit on the puffs.

Certainly the conditions were to the liking of Team Taylor, who had another statement day, rolling a 1-2-1 for 4 points to win the day and take the regatta lead.  They’ve never made a secret of the fact that they favor breezy conditions, and certainly the last two days showed us why.  But to be honest, their outstanding performance wasn’t just about keeping the boat flat.  They got good starts, positioned themselves well on the track and executed flawlessly at the corners.  Really well done.  Taking 2nd on the day was Team Roberts / Remeika, with a 3-1-6 for 10 points, and taking 3rd was Team Ehrhardt, who put up a 5-6-2 for 13 points.  Honorable mentions go to Team Frisch / Hourihan in 4th with a 2-9-3 for 14 points, and Team Cooke / Kaznoski (with Evan Cooke back at the helm in place of Wilson Kaznoski) in 5th with finishes of 6-3-8 for 17 points.  Congratulations to all.

Day 3 has often been the Race Week inflection point: a day when the deck gets shuffled, hearts are broken and mathematical realities are begrudgingly accepted.  This Day 3 was no exception as Team Taylor flexed its muscle, won their second consecutive day (and in convincing fashion), and surged to an 8-point regatta lead with 38 points.  Climbing from 4th into 2nd was Team Roberts / Remeika with 46 points, and dropping from 1st to 3rd was Team Shoreman / Reynolds with 50 points.  Team Fava / Gabriel held 4th with 52 points and Team Cooke / Kaznoski stood in 5th with 54 points.

Race Week Recap – Day 4

Sunday featured another picture-perfect sailing day with sunny skies, temps in the 80s and a welcome and well-behaved 8-10 knot southeasterly.  The breeze trended left in the first race and back right in the second, but aside from those big shifts, it was relatively steady.  Tide was coming in but current seemed not to be too big a factor.  The RC got in two races before calling it a day, and had to have been pleased to close the books on a regatta that was certainly not the easiest racing to manage. 

A lot was on the line, as it always is on the last day, as people sail with an unusual blend of conservatism and aggressiveness: conservatism in attempting to avoid the big mistake, and aggressiveness in more boat-on-boat tactics trying to fend off or pass the teams close in the standings.  This all resulted in relatively tight racing.  Winning the day with a 6-1 for 7 points was Team Ehrhardt, punctuating a solid 4-day performance that ultimately landed them on the podium.  Finishing 2nd on a tiebreaker was Team Fava / Gabriel with a 3-5 for 8 points, and taking 3rd was Team Taylor with a 4-4, also for 8 points.  Honorable mentions go to Team Frisch / Hourihan who took 4th on a tiebreaker with a 7-2 for 9 points, and Team Cooke / Kaznoski in 5th with a 2-7, also for 9 points. 

So, a few random thoughts in no particular order.  This fleet is tough.  There aren’t a lot of holes in our lineup. * Four of the five top Race Week performances were turned in by teams who haven’t made it out much so far this season.  Why do you suppose? * Where the hell was Matt Hooks? * How often do we get in four days of Race Week with no fog or washouts?  Pretty spectacular, right? * I would love to have seen Team Hoguet out there, but get why they were not. * I’ll never stop being impressed with the fact that Jennifer & Steve Uhl host the Race Week party every year.  I mean, hosting a party is one thing, but hosting during Race Week is a whole different kettle of fish.  I tip my cap. * Fleet alum and former national champ Justin Scott was in town sailing in the Viper fleet.  He finished 6th. * How awesome is it to have Rich & Rosie Denton in our fleet?  I’m so glad they’re here. * In case I forgot to mention it, I’m just not a fan of north westerlies. * Adam Roberts & Chris Remeika win the award for chattiest team on the race course.  They never stop. * Finally, hopefully I’m not the only one who can see the resemblance here. *

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So, in Cup competition, Race Week always results in a lot of reshuffling and this year was no exception.  Team Taylor surged into 1st with a commanding 31-point lead, climbing all the way from 4th place and 23 points back.  That of course pushes our previous leader Team Lane / Heffernan into 2nd.  Team Cooke / Kaznoski jumped from 5th to 3rd, pushing Team Pandapas down to 4th.  The top 10 are listed below. 

Week 11 racing will include Twilight 2-3 on Thursday night, the 2-3 races of MRA Series 3-1 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. 

Register for Nationals – If you haven’t registered for Nationals yet, time is running out.  Register here!  The event will be held in Chicago from August 15th through the 19th, hosted by the fine folks of the Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club. 

Chicago Housing – If you haven’t sorted out your nationals housing yet, Fleet 12 members stand ready to open their doors.  Contact Peter Kovats at

If You Spin, Send It In (aka Road to the Pie) – I couldn’t be more proud of our fleet after this Race Week.  To my knowledge, there were eight infractions, including five fouls and three hit marks, all of which were resolved on the water, resulting in zero protest hearings.  You guys rock.  Thanks to Team Martini (one foul and two hit marks), Team Sheldon (one foul), Team Rubin (one foul), Timmy D. (one foul), Team Dailey (one foul) and Steve Uhl (one hit mark) for their sportsmanship and for leaving it on the racecourse.  We all tip our caps to you.

Labor Day Party – Circle Saturday Setember 3rd for our annual post-race Labor Day Party, which this year will hosted by Jocelyn & Adam Cook at their home at 3 Lexington Circle in Swampscott.  More details to follow. 

Crew Available – Julianna Testa, who you may recall, came out two weeks ago with Jacob Martz and spanked the fleet and won the day, is looking for crewing opportunities.  You can reach her at

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