Road To The Cup – Week 3

Top 10 as of 6/11/23

Eight teams made it out Thursday night for what proved to be a drifter. Four of those made their 2023 Twilight debuts, including Team Colehower, racing 1790 this season, Anne Marije Veenland, sailing with Emily Westhoven, Tim McCaffrey and Jay Wager. Huge welcome to them. We’ll start with Steve Uhl’s summary and finish up with a bit of color commentary from John Casler.

“The forecast called for light SE breezes, fading at or near sunset. On that the forecast was spot-on. Fortunately, we didn’t get rained on, despite passing showers all day. Eight boats showed up, which was a nice turnout, and the course was green can, red nun, twice around. The breeze held up for the first 1.5 legs, but after that it pretty much completely died. Combined with an outgoing tide, the last 1.5 legs back into the harbor was a seemingly endless drift-fest, taking just over an hour to complete. In the end it was Team Uhl, Team Martini, and Tim McCaffrey getting the honors. I’m told that 4-5-6-7 were all overlapped at the finish, so despite the drifting conditions it was still nail biting close.”

And this from John. “This was one of the most frustrating battles against the tide that I have seen in 46 years, other than a few where the air flat out died. Mark “O” was more mid-harbor than it has been recently. Much easier to see and hear signals from the booth, but also mid-tide. It must have taken over a half hour from the time we cleared the red nun to the time Steve crossed. Throughout that time, there was always a boat or two or three moving, but in different directions from one minute to the next. When the fickle breeze favored one’s sails, one could move the boat, but seldom in the direction of a finish. Whenever a boat seemed to have momentum toward “O”, a hole would appear around that boat, and others on one side or another would in turn receive a few zephyrs. These were not random zephyrs. They were strewn by some Melville-like malevolent intelligence to alternately encourage and frustrate.”

Melville-like malevolent intelligence – hmm. The bar must have done a brisk business Thursday night. In any event, congrats to Steve Uhl for his second straight Twilight bullet, which by the way, gives him a 6-point lead for the series after just two races, and jumps him into 1st overall for the cup going into Saturday. Probably worth a little malevolence, at least from his perspective. Taking 2nd was Team Martini and finishing 3rd was Tim McCaffrey. Honorable mentions to Team Colehower in 4th (sailing Stefan Thibodeaux’s boat) and Team Veenland in 5th. Congrats to all.

Out on the MRA line, disappointment. It was just one of those days when events conspired against us. The forecast was for light and variable in the morning and then possible scattered pop-up thunderstorms in the afternoon, and that’s exactly what we got. Turnout was down across MRA, due most likely to the forecast, with only 5-6 teams from Fleet 5 showing up. The RC hoisted AP on shore and held us there until noon, which of course pushed the starts out by at least a half hour for the south line and well more for the south. The R19s were further delayed by their usual starting position behind the J70s and Vipers, by which time the sky was beginning to darken. Long story short, we started a race but didn’t finish it, as the RC fired off three during our third leg, leaving us the only fleet not to complete a race. With the benefit of hindsight, I suppose you could argue that finishing us at the bottom mark would have been reasonable, but I’m pretty sure that would have had us finishing with the J70s, which could have been a bit of cluster you-know-what. For the record, Team Lane, which this week included Yati Harsono, led wire-to-wire and would likely have taken the gun had the race finished.

So two straight weeks without a race. That is why, as my friend Joe Fava astutely points out, “we have to sail every weekend on the schedule. Stuff like this happens, and if you start skipping weeks you can have a month with no sailing.” From Joes lips to God’s ears.

One final word – the usually dependable Team Frisch / Hourihan didn’t make it out this week, presumably because his eminence Peter Frisch was otherwise occupied, but that’s pure speculation on my part. In any event, they didn’t sail, prompting this from Steve Uhl. “On the way to CYC, I passed Seamus on his way home. My verdict on the day – once again, outsmarted by Seamus.”

So in Cup competition, with no MRA races, the change in results was driven purely by Thursday’s Twilight, putting last year’s Cup champ Steve Uhl at the top of the leader board. 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

East Coast Championships Registration – Time is running out to register for EC’s in Hingham / Hull. Register and pick up the NOR on the Hull YC website and Regattaman. If questions, please contact Tod Riedel, Fleet 46 co-captain for the Hull Yacht Club ( , 617-543-5262) or Dave Nelson Fleet 46 co-captain for the Hingham Yacht Club (, 508-446-4053).

Race Week Registration – The Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta will be Thursday through Sunday, July 27-30. Your MRA fee covers the entry fee, so you don’t have to pay, but you do have to register, which you can do here.

Donate Old Sails to Marblehead Clean Regattas – A reminder that Fleet 5 has committed to support Marblehead Clean Regattas this season. Fleet 5’s Clean Regattas liaison Katie Bloxham provides this update. “Marblehead Clean Regattas has been working with SeaBags around some sponsorship. They would like to collect old sails, aiming for about 45 sails to be donated across the harbor this season. In return they will donate bags to be used as awards, probably one per fleet and some for major events. I will find out what the process is for collecting used sails.” So if you have old sails taking up space that you’d be willing to donate, consider donating them to this worthy cause. We’ll follow up with the process details when we have them.

If You Spin, Send It In – There were no incidences on Thursday night, which is good because there wasn’t enough breeze to do a 360, so the spin totals remain unchanged.

Remember if you spin, email and let me know how many fouls you committed for which you exonerated yourself.

Fleet 5ers Pursuing Greatness – Several Fleet 5ers (current and alum) devoted last weekend to begin training for the Rolex Invitational Cup. Jim Raisides, Elise Nash, Evan Cooke, Duncan Swain (2017 national champ sailing with Tomas Hornos), newcomer Juliana Testa and friend of the fleet Forbes Barber travelled to Newport to practice with the CYC team as it familiarizes itself with the IC37. Here are a couple of shots, one courtesy of old friend Bruce Durkee.

A group of people on a sailboat

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A group of people on a boat

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More Fleet 5ers Pursuing Greatness – Also last weekend, three fleet 5ers sailed in the NYYC 2v2, held in Newport on Sunday. Anne Marije Veenland and Debbie Noble sailed for EYC and Elise Nash sailed for CYC. Here is a shot of those two clubs going head-to-head.

A group of people on a sailboat

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Even More Fleet 5ers Pursuing GreatnessChristina Pandapas travelled to Hamburg Germany this weekend to sail for CYC in the Helga Cup. Helga Cup is arguably the biggest regatta for female sailors worldwide, with 340 female sailors participating in last year’s race. Rounding out the CYC team are Sophie Hibben, Mirana Bakos and Tara Ferraris. At this writing, CYC had just sailed its way into the top ten for the right to sail the finals.

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Fast Mermaid Pursuit Race – The date of this event, which is a fund raiser for Lindsay Smith, is now July 23rd, as opposed to the June date included in the last schedule we sent out. You’ll find more info and can register here.

Boat for SaleSteven Kylander of Hingham is relocating so is selling his O’Day. It includes a trailer though, “does need a new mast. I have near new main and jib as well as bevy of other sails. Looking to just get a best offer for someone to give it a new home.” Contact Steven at

From the Rumor Mill – We heard that 2017 National Champ Tomas Hornos may take a break from Etchels, J70s and Stars make it out to our line from time to time in Ian Peebles’ boat. We’d of course welcome him with open arms.

Mail Bag

We got just one response to our question last week about whether to launch a Fleet 5 parts box. This from Timmy D. “I like the idea if a fleet parts box, however as you say, the devil is in the details. I think the ‘rules of borrowing’ are perfect. Let me know if I can assist in anyway besides putting in a couple of parts.” Thanks Tim, and glad you’re enthusiastic. But given the lack of additional comments, I’ll assume this isn’t a problem worth solving so I’ll table the idea for now.

Complaints Department

Got Gripes? Don’t be shy. Unload at The buck stops here.


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