Wednesday, July 30, 2014
By Doug Jones

Exciting from Start to Finish!

This is what the Quissett Wednesday series is supposed to be: a gorgeous evening for sailing, just the right amount of wind from the Southwest, a large fleet, a mix of regulars and sailors returning from absences, four father and child crews, and more women competitors than men. In addition to these details, a fabulously exciting race with dangerously close to the line starters, frequent lead changes, and the closet finishes of the year. The veteran Wednesday Race Committee of Ed Jackson, Anne Dyer, Martha Adams, and Doug Jones chose to drop a temporary mark “X” 4/10 of a mile SW of the starting pin and posted a course of XH (“H” is a mark off of Racing Beach).

The slight starboard favored line had the fleet strung out along the line with four boats hitting the line at full speed within one half of second of being over the line early. Kudos to Chuck First and Randi Ferraro in Allie Rose, Bill and George Armstrong in Penguin, Olivia and Tim First and Olivia Johnson in Olivia (no – that’s not a typo, they were quite proud of the triple Olivias), and Mike and Emma Garfield in Phoenix for perfect timing and gutsy starting techniques. Phoenix quickly tacked over to port in pursuit of clear air and superior boat speed while Nina Hocker and Nancy Killough in Dory Too chose an inshore route. A few boats sailed beyond the layline and Dory Too was able to take advantage of their error by approaching the windward mark on port and tacking inside the fleet. Phoenix and Buttercup sailed by Mike Fenlon and Meghan Macrae followed close behind with Charlotte and Rick Dorris in Pani Baba trailing by just a few seconds. While Dory Too remained on the starboard tack for a few minutes, Phoenix gybed immediately after rounding the windward mark and had her spinnaker up and flying within seconds of her rounding (spectacular spinnaker work by Emma). By following a more direct and faster route, Phoenix soon took over first place, while Ted and Jancy Grayson aboard Swizzle moved up three places into third. On the final upwind leg to the finish, Phoenix and Dory Too left little doubt about who would finish first and second through careful covering and diligent attention to boat speed; however, the rest of the positions were anyone’s guess. Buttercup came flying into the finish on starboard to beat out Swizzle by less than a second, while Steve Chalmers in Sea Breeze inched his way up the fleet to finish in fifth just three seconds ahead of Pani Baba. Last second tacking, luffing, and shooting the line created a remarkable finish with Allie Rose streaking by Cornelia Carey while Found It and Penguin tried to shoot the line. All three boats finished within one second of each other – great drama for seventh, eighth and ninth. The Race Committee was thrilled to welcome back Carol Suitor in Will O’ the Wisp; although she may have some rust to shake off she finished the race with a wonderful smile and expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Race Committee – a sentiment always appreciated and recorded.

Results

  1. Phoenix Mike and Emma Garfield 39:53
  2. Dory Too Nina Hocker and Nancy Killough 41:02
  3. Buttercup Mike Fenlon and Meghan Macrae 42:24
  4. Swizzle Ted and Jancy Grayson 42:25
  5. Sea Breeze Steve Chalmers 42:38
  6. Pani Baba Charlotte and Rick Dorris 42:41
  7. Allie Rose Chuck First and Randi Ferraro 42:57.5
  8. Found It Mort Saunders and Liesel Ferguson 42:58
  9. Penguin Bill and George Armstrong 42:58.1
  10. Olivia Olivia and Tim First and Olivia Johnson 43:45
  11. Will O’ The Wisp Carol Suitor and Annie Giffored 47:34