Thursday, June 6, 2013


(Nantucket, MA)- This year's famous FIGAWI race was perhaps one for the record books.  It was wild, wet, cold, rainy and windy.  The several thousand sailors in the race faced the same conditions as many of their sailing friends who were participating in the Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race just a bit further east of Nantucket-- powerful NNW winds of 15-25 kts and mountainous seas drove the fleet fast across Nantucket Sound from Hyannis to Nantucket in an epic, wet & windy roller-coaster ride.  Of the 210 boats that registered, about 75% of them completed the race due to the crazy conditions.

The pursuit-style race with quartering seas and winds were fun conditions for most of the J teams planing and surfing like mad all the way across Nantucket Sound.  Many of the teams performed quite well, especially the classic old J/24s!  Winning their Division D by a landslide was an astonishing performance by the J/24 MUTINOUS DOGS sailed by Marc Holdaway.  Also sailing like a "mad dog" in conditions only suitable for ducks, was Stephen Lipman's J/37 DUCK SOUP, taking their Division F Non-Spinnaker by a landslide.

The balance of J sailors all had fun, placing in many of their divisions.  At the top of the heap was the J/44 BEAGLE with Phil Gutin at the helm taking 5th in Division A.  Next was the J/40 JAZZ skippered by Kirk Brown, taking a 3rd in Division B.  Also sailing fast and liking the conditions was the classic J/29 masthead SEEFEST sailed by Ira Perry, taking 2nd in Division C.  The J/40 SMITTEN sailed by Bill Jones was 5th in Division G Non-Spinnaker.

Finally, in Division S were lumped all the fast asymmetric spinnaker sprit boats, essentially a J/class division with thirteen boats vying for being the "big banana" amongst the deck apes bragging at the Charity Ball.  First boat home was the J/105 DARK'N'STORMY sailed by Andrew Reservitz.  Second into the harbor was the J/120 M-SQUARED skippered by Bill Mack and third home was the J/111 PRAVDA 2 with Ed Kaye at the helm (proud of their inaugural effort in the FIGAWI).  Fourth home was the J/105 BEAR SPIRIT sailed by Jonathan Bloom and, remarkably, the fifth boat home was the J/105 PRIMA sailed by the Nantucket High School Sailing Team and led by their skipper Diana Brown-- congratulations to all!

It was interesting sailing for the J sprit boats, after about 4.5 hours of sailing, less than fifteen minutes separated the top ten!  That's close sailing and a pretty reasonable job on handicapping the boats in PHRF, too.   For more FIGAWI Race sailing information