Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spectacular Sailing- Manhasset Series

J/111 one-design racer sailing on Long IslandJ/105s and PHRF J/Sailors Love Sunny Conditions
(Manhasset, New York)- In its 34th year, 2012 featured terrific competition on the Sound and Manhasset Bay. Great weather on all four days, an unusual bonus. PRO Sue Miller even commented that she enjoyed only wearing a fleece on just one of the four days! MBFS is fortunate to attract the best sailors in the region, year after year, and the Club is honored to have received complimentary remarks from many racers about the job well done by our RC.

The weather was atypical but the competition was not. Sunny and warm conditions for all four days of racing were a bonus to the racers.

IRC Class saw the custom J/120 AVRA sailed by George Petrides from American YC sail to an excellent record of 2-1-2-1-1-4-4-4-3 for 18 pts to secure 2nd overall.  Third in class was the gorgeous J/122 GEORGETOWN III sailed George Marks with a 1-4-3-3-2-2-3-2-4 for 20 pts.

J/109 cruiser racer sailboat- sailing in Manhasset seriesPHRF A had the largest handicap class with eleven boats and the J/111 ANDIAMO sailed by Paul Strauch sailing for the host Manhasset Bay YC managed to finish 3rd overall with a 3-1-(12/DNF)-2-2.5-7-5-7 score for 27.5 pts.  Fellow member Bob Schwartz sailed his J/109 NORDLYS to 8th in class and also Jon Flamm sailed his classic racer-cruiser, the J/37 SOUND WAVE to 10th in class.

In PHRF B, John & Tony Esposito’s J/29 HUSTLER won by a slight edge over UNO MAS, Ryan Walsh & Jon Desmond’s J/29 which travelled down from New Bedford YC.  UNO MAS nearly pulled off what many thought was impossible, beating the HUSTLER boys in their home waters.  Going into the second weekend, both boats were tied on points and record with 1-2-2-3, but having won the last race the weekend before, UNO MAS was technically in 1st place.  However, the old adage seemed to kick-in for the last weekend, "when the going get tough, the HUSTLER gets going"!  Sure enough, ripping off a 1-1-2-2 cemented the Esposito's imperial seat atop the podium with 11 pts.  Ryan and Jon on UNO MAS gave it their all, but in face of the furious pace and intensity of the HUSTLER gang, could only managed a 2-3-3-1 to close out the regatta in second with 14 pts.  As a result, the Ted Clark Trophy was won for the 6th year in a row by HUSTLER, John & Tony Esposito, Morris Yacht & Beach Club/City Island YC for best performance in PHRF.  Also sailing in this tough division was Todd Aven's J/92 THIN MAN, managing a 4th behind these crazy hombres.

J/105 one-design sailboat- sailing in Manhasset seriesThe prestigious John B. Thomson Sr. Memorial Trophy was won by the J/105 KINCSEM, Joerg Esdorn/Duncan Hennes, NYYC/American YC for the best performance in a One-Design or IRC class.  With nine boats participating, the J/105 class enjoyed some great racing.  Capturing three firsts and three seconds, Kincsem sailed to a dominating eight point win over arch-rival Eclipse in the Manhasset Bay Fall Series.  The regatta featured eight races, including one distance race, on Long Island Sound over two beautiful October weekends. Kincsem also won the event in 2011; Eclipse was the winner in 2010.

Even with victory in the series assured, the Joerg Esdorn and Duncan Hennes team seemed especially determined to take the final race.  They turned the bow of their green boat into the breeze for multiple wind-checks, snugged  the halyard on the jib in the freshening breeze, generally sailed around with much seriousness of purpose, and carved their favorite path through the fleet to line up for a start just a few boat lengths down from the committee boat.  For a moment, we even thought we saw tactician Fred Walters jot something down.

J/105 one-design sailboat- class sailing upwindAs the gun sounded, the usual cluster trying to grab the one good spot at the boat end all slowed each other as Kincsem shot off the line for a nice lead.  From there, all the Kincsem team had to do was stay in clear air, get the chute up and down cleanly, and cover the fleet. All went fine until the second beat, when the covering part became difficult. Boats trailing Kincsem split left and right in an oscillating breeze. What to do? Answer: Stay in the middle, hit the shifts and try to cover both sides. It worked, but Joerg-Duncan-Fred couldn’t have called it any closer.  (This writer is actually not 100% sure Walters was on the boat. Kincsem was too far behind in the first race and too far ahead in the second. If Fred wasn’t, his spirit surely was.)

As Kincsem reached the top mark on the second beat, Paul Beaudin’s loulou came barreling in on a lift from the left  and tacked just below and ahead of Kincsem at the mark.  Except…..oops….loulou couldn’t squeeze by the orange.  Kincsem was just short of layline, too.  But it had rights.  So it trapped loulou and forced Beaudin’s boat to sail just slightly beyond the mark.  (Much shouting could be heard down the weather leg.)  Kincsem then did a quick double tack and rounded. At that point, it was adios, sayonara , and ciao to loulou and the rest of the fleet.  And one last notch in Kincsem’s gunbelt.

Damian Emery’s Eclipse finished second in the regatta despite failing to win a single race.  It’s a bit unusual for Emery not to win at least won race in an event (though he didn’t win any races in the MFS in 2011, either), but that outcome also may say something about the competitiveness of the Manhasset fleet.  The race winnings got spread around nicely and included third place Revelation, fourth place Gumption, fifth place Planet Claire (YEA!) and sixth place Peregrina (which built up a huge lead on race one on Sunday by hitting the left corner hard on the first beat).

Revelation, owned by George and Alex Wilbanks, actually won two races in the series and looked poised to challenge Kincsem.  But the Wilbanks’s had trouble getting clean starts in the last three races and had to settle for finishes of 6-5-7, dropping them into a points tie with Kevin Grainger’s Gumption3, which went 2-7-3 in the final three races.

The battle for fifth place between John Koten’s Planet Claire and Josh Burak’s Peregrina also came down to the last leg, with Planet Claire just managing to cover Peregrina down the course on the final leg of the final race of the final day of the final weekend of the final regatta of the season.  Sailing photo credits-  For more Manhasset Bay Fall Series sailing information