Monday, August 6, 2012

Foggy, Sunny Epic Buzzards Bay Week

J/Boats sailing Buzzards BayJ's Sweep PHRF1, Odenbach Dominates 24s, Van Voorhis Wins 80s
(Marion, MA)- The 40th annual Buzzards Bay Regatta got off a number of races both Saturday and Sunday, including the Dick Fontaine Memorial Distance Race Friday, which ran to more than 22 miles in four classes. Racing took place outside Sippican Harbor in Marion, Massachusetts in one of the largest mixed-boat regattas in the U.S.

With hazy, hot, and humid days ashore, the offshore the breeze filled in nicely for the racers, after a nearly two-hour delay Friday. It was a long 21nm tour of Buzzards Bay, going upwind for 9.5nm towards the opening, followed by a criss-cross spinnaker reaching course, gybing back and forth to the finish line off the mouth of Sippican Harbor.  On Saturday, 8 to 10 knot southwest winds came in with a little more punch after lunch, making for a day of great racing despite the pesky fog.  Then, Sunday started off the same but the forecast winds of 15-25 knots with sunny, partly-cloudy skies finally rolled in for a fantastic, near epic final race of the day with speeds on the J/111s hitting near 15 kts on a windward-leeward course!

J/120 sailing Buzzards Bay regattaFriday's long distance race in memory of Dick Fontaine, the first representative of the Low Tide Yacht Club in 1972 when the BBR began, saw nearly 50 boats compete in four classes on courses up to 22 miles which took them through heavy fog past West Island and towards the Elizabeth Islands, then back towards Cleveland Ledge Light.  In the PHRF Racing 1 class Friday, Henry Brauer of the Eastern YC raced the J/111 FLEET WING to first place in a dominating performance over classmates, the J/111 WICKED 2.0, skippered by Doug Curtiss of the New Bedford YC in second place and Jim Masiero sailing his J/120 URSUS MARITIMUS to third.  It was literally a clean sweep by J/Teams of PHRF 1.  It also proved to be a prophetic outcome for the weekend regatta in PHRF 1.  In PHRF Racing 2 Friday, third place went to Ted Herlihy of the NBYC aboard his J/109 GUT FEELING.

The weekend regatta saw the addition of the J/24 and J/80 one-design fleets.  In the end, there was a fabulous, dominating performance in the J/24 class by Travis Odenbach of the Rochester, N.Y., Yacht Club 11 straight firsts, making for a total of 10 pts!  Local J/80 sailor Mike Sudofsky of Beverly YC finished in second place with nearly straight 2nds for a total of 20 pts.  Third was Edward Walker of the Mosquito Yacht Club with 43 pts.

In the J-80 class, Brian Keane of the Beverly YC led by a landslide for most of the regatta after 8 races (counting seven 1sts), but did not sail the last three races on Sunday.  As a result, Charlie Van Voorhis of the Fishers Island (N.Y.) Yacht Club won with 23 pts, second was Beverly YC member Nikolas Kotsatos with 25 pts, followed by fellow BYC member Brian Keane in 3rd with 29 pts.

Finally, in the PHRF 1 Class, Henry Brauer's J/111 FLEETWING team won four of fives races and added a second but took two SCP penalties to finish second overall instead by just one point.  Winning was Doug Curtiss's J/111 WICKED 2.0 team with 6 pts.  Third was Jim Masiero's J/120 URSUS MARITIMUS with 11 pts, completing the J/Team sweep of PHRF 1 again! In PHRF 2, the J/109 GUT FEELING sailed by local veteran and 109 champion Ted Herlihy finished 5th overall, dropping two places in a tie-breaker after placing 3rd on Saturday's racing.   For more Buzzards Bay Regatta sailing information