2020 Early Bird Trophy – Phoenix rises once again
June 27, 2020
The Quissett Yacht Club launched its 2020 racing season with the traditional Early Bird Trophy for the S class and H12; unfortunately, this race is just too early for the S class and we look forward to seeing them on the Fourth of July for the Firecracker Trophy. All competitors and race committee were appropriately masked, physically distanced, or household members per QYC Board directive and six boats (a huge fleet for this time of the year) competed for this prized trophy. The Race Committee of Peter and Doug Jones set a starting line at the QYC new mark “V” set directly between the Quissett light buoy and the end of Penzance Point. A course of JS was posted and a lengthy, port favored line was set. The fleet appropriately bunched near the pin end with a few boats even approaching on port tack; however, Anna and Elizabeth Olsen in Sea Glass ensured that no port tacker was going to have the perfect start as the Tabor grad, Conn College bound skipper Anna timed her starboard, pin end start perfectly, just missing being OCS by mere millimeters. In the light air, more boat speed would have been greatly desirable. Meanwhile, Mike and Emma Garfield in Phoenix and Alec Clowes and Jolynn Khamky in Due Diligence crossed the line on port tack ducking just behind Sea Glass. Bernie and Peter Levesque in Chez Nous soon found a favorable lift and puff as they headed off shore and grabbed an early lead on the first beat. While Due Diligence opted for the inshore route, Gus and Chris McGuire in Tagalong chose to maintain boat speed and search for better wind offshore. As they rounded the windward mark, Due Diligence had a slight lead over Tagalong but excellent spinnaker work allowed by Gus aboard Tagalong allowed the McGuires to pass to windward. Due Diligence chose to gybe away to the leeward mark early, and this proved beneficial as they established a significant lead approaching mark S. Back at the windward mark, Chez Nous rounded in third with Phoenix close behind. On the final beat to the finished, lengthened time wise significantly by the ever dropping breeze, Due Diligence headed inshore, while Tagalong chose the middle route, and Phoenix stayed on the port tack heading out to sea. As the wind died to infrequent puffs among heavy rain drops, Due Diligence noted a slight breeze developing off shore and wisely accepted their fate and chose to paddle home. Tagalong was ever slowly drifting closer to the finish, while Phoenix was moving nicely offshore but heading away from the finish. Finally, assured that he could fetch the finish line, Phoenix made his one tack of the leg and rode the slowly building breeze to a fitting rise from the ashes victory.
1. Phoenix Mike and Emma Garfield 1:35:45 2. Tagalong Gus and Chris McGuire 1:45:29 3. Chez Nous Bernie and Peter Levesque 1:48:15 4. Sea Glass Anna and Elizabeth Olsen 1:52:10 Due Diligence Alec Clowes and Jolynn Khmaky DNF ChopStick Craig Hattabaugh and Ken Morse DNF