McMurtrie Trophy Race
July 6, 2014
By Henry Jones:
A True Test of Seamanship and Boat Handling!
After cancelling the earlier Junior series race due to heavy wind, the race committee of Henry Jones, Douglas Jones and Sam McMurtrie ventured back out to try again with the McMurtrie trophy race for female skippers over 35. The wind was blowing briskly at 18-20 knots from the Southwest. In order to protect the fleet, the race committee set a start and finish line between Gansett and Penzance points with a double windward-leeward course of AX2.
At the start, all competitors were at least 18 seconds late, but Weatherly Dorris and Tom First in Olivia sped off the line in a commanding position. However, as the first leg progressed, Dory Too (sailed by Nina Whitney Hocker and Andy Hocker), and Sea Breeze (sailed by Ali Rodin and Steve Chalmers) were hot on Olivia’s tail. Taking a different approach, Swizzle, captained by Sarah and Ted Grayson, tacked off early and found good wind on the port tack by heading offshore. This proved to be a good decision as they pulled ahead of the other three boats and rounded the mark with a solid lead followed by Olivia, Sea Breeze, and Dory Too respectively. Downwind, Olivia marked Swizzle closely; however an early gybe forced Olivia to make a correction at the downwind mark and allowed Swizzle to stay in the lead. While Swizzle maintained her first place position, Sea Breeze and Olivia wrestled for position, eventually allowing Sea Breeze to round the upwind mark ahead of Olivia. The last downwind leg saw little change in position, although Olivia split from the leading boats by heading inshore first, gybing early and preparing for a smooth rounding of the leeward mark. While Swizzle held the lead position, Olivia was able to grab second place from Sea Breeze. On the short final upwind leg, Swizzle worked hard to cover the fleet with Olivia tacking often in order to make this task more difficult. As the racers approached the finish, Swizzle’s lead was beginning to dwindle to Sea Breeze’s upwind speed. The two boats were very close but Swizzle’s lead stuck and she brought home the trophy followed by Sea Breeze, Dory Too, and Olivia. Congratulations to all competitors for effectively and safely handing the demanding and drenching conditions.
- Swizzle Sarah Grayson and Ted Grayson 45:01
- Sea Breeze Ali Rodin and Steve Chalmers 45:04
- Dory Too Nina Whitney Hocker and Andy Hocker 45:37
- Olivia Weatherly Dorris and Tom First 45:43