Sunday July 12, 2015
Swizzle surges from behind
By Doug Jones
This past Sunday afternoon four Quissett Yacht Club women over 35 competed for the McMurtrie Trophy in a 10-12 knot westerly wind. The Race Committee of Scottie Mobley, Jeff Keali, and Doug Jones were compelled to use a temporary mark to provide an adequate upwind first leg; therefore, an “X” mark was dropped ½ mile to the west of the starting pin and a course of XEH was posted. The fleet was sent first to windward, then on a reach to Knob Cove beach, a second reach off Gunning Point, followed by a beat to the finish.
Weatherly Dorris, Charity Smith Gray, and Sally Reid in Pani Baba had an excellent start in the middle of the line with superior boat speed and clear air. Ali Rodin and Steve Chalmers in Sea Breeze were close behind but to leeward and had to tack away to get clear air. The rest of the fleet headed inshore looking for calmer seas and the typical inshore lift. Pani Baba effectively covered the fleet and held her lead at the windward mark; however, her less experienced crew had some difficulties in setting their spinnaker and Sea Breeze was able to take advantage of their struggles and passed to leeward. By the gybe mark, Sea Breeze had established a solid ten boat length lead and seemed prepared to pull away; however, vastly improved spinnaker work aboard Pani Baba helped her to close the gap as the two boats rounded the leeward mark within seconds of each other. Meanwhile, Nina and Andy Hocker in Dory Too and Sarah and Ted Grayson in Swizzle were slowly catching up with the leaders as the fleet headed back up to the finish line. Sea Breeze and Pani Baba tacked soon after the mark and Pani Baba was able to use her superior boat speed to take over first place. Pani Baba and Sea Breeze tried the offshore route while Dory Too stayed inshore and Swizzle sailed up the middle. Pani Baba’s loose cover proved to be ineffective as Swizzle plowed her way beautifully through the waves and timed her tack expertly as she claimed top honors for the second year in a row by almost a minute. A quick tack at the end allowed Dory Too to finish at the pin on the port and steal second from a fast charging Pani Baba who had overshot the finish line. In true trophy race fashion, Sea Breeze had taken a flyer by heading offshore hoping for a wind shift but to no avail.
1. Swizzle Sarah and Ted Grayson 58:50
2. Dory Too Nina and Andy Hocker 59:32
3. Pani Baba Weatherly Dorris, Charity Gray, Sally Reid 59:33
4. Sea Breeze Ali Rodin and Steve Chalmers 1:02:50