July 15, 2015

Another Race, Another Grayson Winner

By Doug Jones

Following Ted Grayson’s victory last week in the Wednesday evening race and Sarah Grayson’s come from behind win in the McMurtrie trophy, this time it was seven year old Isabelle Grayson’s turn to sail Swizzle to a commanding triumph. Threatening skies and ominous radar once again challenged the Quissett Race Committee with the task of determining the chance of a thunderstorm ruining the evening’s race; however, the committee of Molly Jones, Charlotte Davis, Alan Haigh, and Doug Jones relied on years of experience and correctly assumed that Buzzards Bay would once again sap all of the energy from the approaching storms.

A light wind of 2-4 knots was blowing from the North when the Cornelia Carey arrived at the starting area so she promptly placed a windward mark ¼ mile North of the starting pin. Unfortunately, five minutes before the start the wind shifted to the east about 50° and the Race Committee was compelled to declare a postponement in order to shift the windward mark. With a new windward mark set ¼ mile from the S and to the Northeast, a course of W2 was posted and the starting sequence was begun. Three minutes before the start, the wind died and briefly shifted farther to the east. The entire fleet did their best to hover near the starting line, while the Race Committee wrestled with the decision to postpone again.

Since all evidence pointed to the wind returning to the Northeast, the Race Committee opted to allow the race to continue. At the starting gun, Chuck First and Randi Ferrero in Allie Rose and Mike and Ben Garfield in Phoenix found themselves on the course side of the line and were forced to restart. Allie Rose was to windward of Steve Chalmers in Sea Breeze and spent several minutes trying to avoid Sea Breeze before being able to return to the starting line. Meanwhile Isabelle and Ted Grayson in Swizzle and Hannah Garfield and Corey Dron in Handoah hit the starting line a few seconds late but moving at “full speed” (perhaps 1/10 of a knot). Swizzle worked hard to maintain her speed and pulled out to a significant lead that allowed her to hit the freshening breeze first.   Sea Breeze, Handoah, and Mike Fenlon and Bonnie Simon in Buttercup also took advantage of the new wind and sailed easily to the windward mark while the rest of the fleet was still wallowing near the starting line.

Once the wind filled in completely the fleet was well spread out and apparently pleased that the course was relatively short. Swizzle coasted to a comfortable two-minute victory with Isabelle steering a beautiful downwind leg. The most exciting finish of the evening was between uncle Mike in Phoenix and niece Hannah in Handoah. While Handoah had a solid lead at the windward mark, Phoenix had her spinnaker flying beautifully and was charging fast to the finish. With a slightly more direct line to the finish, Handoah held on to take “Garfield” honors by four seconds. With one race left in the series, the first place trophy is clearly available for the taking.


  1. Swizzle                        Isabelle and Ted Grayson                28:22
  2. Sea Breeze                 Steve Chalmers                                  30:10
  3. Buttercup                   Mike Fenlon and Bonnie Simon      33:08
  4. Allie Rose                   Chuck First and Randi Ferrero       33:58
  5. Handoah                    Hannah Garfield and Cory Dron     34:58
  6. Phoenix                      Mike and Ben Garfield                      35:02
  7. Will o’ the Wisp         Carol Suitor and Sue Shannon        42:29