Monday, August 24, 2009

Downeast Race Week

J/100 TERN Wins a Cliff-hanger

(Blue Hill Bay, Maine- Aug 7-9)- After the three most beautful days of the summer, racing on scenic Blue Hill and Jericho Bays in a fleet of 26 boats, Bob Johnstone sailing his J/100 TERN (pic right) with finishes of 5,3,1 was declared overall winner of Downeast Raceweek to earn “The Max” Warburg Trophy, the Morris Trophy for Division II, the Paul Nevin Memorial Trophy for the best cumulative corrected time in fleet on Saturday and Sunday and the Arundel Plate for Division II in the August Cruise-- quite the haul of silverware for a family affair. The question was whether, as predicted last week, that father and both sons would survive? Well, they did....kind of. TERN’s crew included owner/skipper Bob Johnstone; son Drake Johnstone of Charlottesville VA; Andrew Kennedy of Washington DC; son Stuart Johnstone and Julia Langford from Newport, RI. However, as part of winning the first race in a 45 knot squall that tore through the fleet, Stuart injured his back and was relegated to GRACE, the beautiful and comfortable 29z powerboat tender along with his "nurse" Julia.

Of note was the fun and camaraderie amongst the 26-odd competing boats over the three days, especially the four J/100s sailing-- which included some Tufts University classmates of Stuart- Henri Brauer and Stewart Neff aboard the J/100 REIVER (all of whom were being supervised by another Tufts classmate, the Northeast Fleet P.R.O. Fran Charles). Going into the last day, there were 3 boats tied with 8 points, including the J/100 TERN. TERN got off the starting line with the big boats but then fell into a huge hole, allowing their larger competitors to move out into a substantial lead. Eventually TERN closed the gap with a building southerly, then played the western shore and slipped in behind the fleet leader to share the lead. TERN held on to much larger boats (50 feet plus) on the long beat to the finish.. ending up 3rd boat for boat, to save their time, win the day and the overall trophy! Who says father/sons teams can't prevail against all adversity-- it was great fun for all! For more info.