The inaugural Janet Burt Chalmers Memorial Cup race was held this past Wednesday evening in typical late afternoon Buzzards Bay conditions. Janet was a mainstay of the Quissett Yacht Club sailing and racing program since she first took to the waters in her family’s H-12 Jancy Lee. She was a talented and motivating sailing instructor, highly competitive and enthusiastic racer, flag officer, commodore, and most recently Race Committee chairman who took great pride in running top notch races. The Quissett family has mourned the significant loss caused by her passing and this race will stand as a tribute to her legacy.

Sixteen boats, the largest fleet of the summer, presented themselves to vie for this most noteworthy trophy with Janet’s family providing five of the competitors, while a full load aboard the Cornelia Carey created a fitting audience for the race. The Race Committee of Doug Jones, Ed Jackson, Anne Dyer, and Martha Adams motored out to the Bay to find a
breezy 12-15 knot wind blowing from the SW. Drop marks were set out and an Olympic course of three upwind legs, two reaches, and one run was posted. A typical short Wednesday evening course was determined not to be suitable for this special event and the racers prepared themselves for the fitting challenge.

A reportedly short and port favored line (once again) encouraged the majority of the fleet to be stretched out along the line vying for best position. Tom and Olivia First in Olivia missed the timing by a fraction of a second and were over the starting line early; however, she quickly dipped down below the line and corrected her error. Liz, Max, and Lucy Norton in Orion had a perfect start at the pin on starboard will sails full and boat moving fast. Ted Burt, Janet’s brother, and daughter Katy Tynan aboard Chez Nous found their devious plans for a perfect start were foiled early and they were forced to cross behind the fleet and spend the evening taking flyers searching for favorable shifts. On the first upwind leg, Weatherly Dorris and Lexa Barnard in Pani Baba found a puff along the shore and were able to maintain boat speed through the heavy seas but diminishing breeze and grab a slim and short-lived lead. By the windward mark, David Burt, “the old salt” as called by sister Janet, and Andy Buckingham in Tagalong had moved into first position and quickly (but not as immediately as Andy used to do) raised her spinnaker and bore off to the gybe mark. Olivia, having recovered from her premature start, and Pani Baba followed in close pursuit. The rest of the fleet was spread out as the racers dealt with maintaining boat speed through the chop with varying levels of success.

It was one of those frustrating evenings where one tack could lead to a complete standstill and many racers were seen glancing overboard to confirm that they were actually
moving. Olivia and Tagalong spent the entire evening trading places with Olivia ultimately establishing a lead on the second upwind leg and then effectively covering Tagalong for the rest of the race, thereby garnering top honors by almost twenty seconds. Chuck First and Randi Ferraro in Allie Rose and Mike and Ben Garfield in Phoenix showed great patience and perseverance as they moved up the sizeable fleet into third and fourth place respectively. Great competition also occurred further back in the fleet as the Burt/Chalmers family vied for bragging rights with Sarah (Janet’s daughter) and Ted Grayson in Swizzle, Steve and Jeremy Chalmers (Janet’s husband and son) in Sea Breeze, Hadley, Charlie, and Dawn Lea Chalmers (Janet’s granddaughter, grandson, and daughter-in-law) in The Cog, and Chez Nous all finishing in close order.

A beautiful evening and a fantastic tribute to a wonderful sailor, competitor, and friend to all in the Quissett Yacht Club!

Results of the 2013 Janet Chalmers Race:

  1. Olivia • Tom and Olivia First 1:11:02
  2. Tagalong • David Burt and Andy Buckingham 1:11:20
  3. Allie Rose • Chuck First and Randi Ferrraro 1:12:45
  4. Phoenix • Mike and Ben Garfield 1:13:16
  5. Found It • Mort Saunders and Ashley Ferguson 1:15:17
  6. Buttercup • Mike Fenlon and Meghan McCrae 1:16:08
  7. Pani Baba • Weatherly Dorris and Lexa Barnard 1:16:34
  8. Swizzle • Sarah and Ted Grayson 1:16:48
  9. Sea Breeze • Steve and Jeremy Chalmers 1:17:07
  10. Chez Nous • Ted Burt and Katy Tynan 1:18:23
  11. The Cog • Hadley, Charlie, and Dawn Lee Chalmers 1:20:46
  12. Dory Too • Nina and Andy Hocker 1:23:33
  13. Handoah • Hannah Garfield and Liesl Ferguson 1:23:51
  14. Orion • Liz, Max, and Lucy Norton 1:28:04
  15. Yankee Clipper • Besty Zimmerli and Kathy Murray 1:28:46
  16. Chopstick • Craig Hattabaugh and Ken Morse DNF