Thursday, August 1, 2013

J/105 Wins Edgartown Week & Round Is

Edgartown Yacht Club- Cape Cod, MAJ/111 Takes Class in Round Island
(Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard) – After notching only eight knots of breeze on opening day (Thursday, July 18), Edgartown Yacht Club’s three-day Race Week cranked into high gear for a subsequent two days of action, loading up 25 teams with 20 knots of breeze for a second day of the event’s Big Boat Buoy Races and giving 62 teams an exhilarating run for their money in 25 knots plus during the 54.7 nautical mile ‘Round-the-Island Race, which was scored separately and comprised the final day of racing (Saturday, July 20).

Due to enormous amount of interest in extending the weekend of sailing, the Edgartown Yacht Club added an extra day to its 2013 Big Boat Buoy Races (BBBR). As a result, the event ran from Wednesday through Sunday (July 17-21) for IRC, PHRF, Double Handed, Cruising and Classic sailboats. After two days of the Big Boat Buoy Races on Thursday and Friday, Mount Gay also sponsored a Friday night “jump-up” celebration before the Round the Island Race on Saturday.

“As more big boats came to Edgartown for the Round the Island Race, the more their crews wanted to enjoy Martha’s Vineyard, and take home more silver,” said Mr Brooks. “The response to our efforts has been electric.“  First held in the summer of 1938, the Edgartown Yacht Club’s Round the Island Race was inspired by a similar race around the Isle of Wight that has been held in Cowes, England every year since 1931. Covering 54.7 miles, it passes over Nantucket Sound, the Atlantic Ocean and Vineyard Sound and by seven lighthouses as it circumnavigates, clockwise, the 100 square miles that make up Martha’s Vineyard.

The distance around Martha’s Vineyard is just a few miles longer than around the Isle of Wight, with similar views of cliffs and headlands, villages and open water. Tidal currents and wind effects are important, and one team that was hoping to defend its title as master of both in the PHRF Spinnaker class was be Richard Egan’s (Osterville, Mass.) aboard his J/46 WINGS, which won its division overall last year.

J/111 Wicked 2.0 sailing Edgartown Round Island Race“The Round-the-Island Race has been a tradition for my family since the ‘70s,” said Egan, whose father used to race and whose wife, two sons, two brothers (with their sons in tow) and a nephew will sail as part of his 11-14 person crew this year.  “We like how it is located chronologically in the middle of the summer sailing schedule.”  Nevertheless, says Egan, it was hard for the working professionals on his crew to get time off from their jobs for the Big Boat Buoy Races, so he decided to team up with his 19-year-old son, Richard Egan III, to take a shot at the first-ever competition for Double-Handed (skipper and one mate) crews.  “We’ll try things for the first time, and hopefully in the end it won’t kill us.  We haven’t done any double-handed sailing with the boat, but this make of boat has been used all over the place for it, so it clearly can be done.”  Those were somewhat prophetic words, as they happened to manage quite well and take the Double-handed crown for the Big Boat Racing!

Sailing the Round Island PHRF 2 Class was the J/120 APRES sailed by Stephen Besse from Vineyard Haven, taking a close second after a closely fought race with Doug Curtiss's J/111 WICKED 2.0.  Here's the report from Mr Curtiss on their adventures racing around the island on their J/111:

"Not only did we secure a first place in PHRF A Class by three minutes corrected in this six hour race, but went toe to toe with the 1D35 for most of the day.  Did I mention some great sailing with gust to 30, and top speed of 18.6 Knots for Wicked 2.0?

The day started well with a spinnaker start and run to the leeward mark of Cape Pogue.  Making the turn South for the reach down the Muskeget Channel between Chappy and Nantucket, we were 2 boat lengths behind the 1D 35.  Wind was a steady 18 to 22.

We separated for most of the reach, but rounding the Sea Buoy and turning to the West, the J/120 APRES came out of nowhere to take the lead.  We were 3 boat lengths behind the 1D 35.  Everyone settled onto the rail for the 2 1/2 hours to the can off Squibnocket.  Slowly, ever so slowly, we reeled in the 1D 35.  Heading into a Southwest ocean swell, with freshening breeze, Ted and then Gary ground em down.  Everyone on the rail was hiking like we were in a buoy race with one last mile to the windward mark-- only this was 19 miles of ocean!  No more than 3 boat lengths had separated us for the fetch down the whole South Shore. When we rounded the Squibby can, we were 20 feet ahead.  We had gained approximately 120 feet in the last 19 miles against our sparring partner.

Both bore away to the Sea Buoy at Devil's  Bridge, Gay Head.  Wind is gusting to 25 with big swells on a reach. 1D 35 used their maneuverability and every trick in their bag to try and get by Wicked 2.0.  Could not pass to windward, so set up on a wave and try to surf by to leeward-- no dice.  Rounding the buoy at Gay Head, still less than a boat length separation.  But we had shortened the course by 25 miles on the 1D 35.

And we needed every second of that handicap, as the 1D 35 took advantage of their downwind speed and took off on the spinnaker run down Vineyard Sound toward the finish line.  Wind was now gusting over 30 with a steady 22 to 26 on the wind gauges.   Both boats playing the adverse tides through Lucas Shoals and Middle Ground.....jibing into the beach to get out of the current and then jibing back out into Vineyard Sound.  A great real estate tour of the north shore of Martha's Vineyard,  but no one was looking in this breeze.  The speedo topped out at 18.6 knots!!!

The J/120 fell back. The 1D35 pulled far ahead with their square top main and big kite.  Then disaster struck the 1D35-- broaching badly with a blown chute, followed by two more knockdowns.

Rounding the can at West Choppy, we killed the kite for the reach to the finish.  Past Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs, we saw the most wind of the day, making 13 and 14 knots on a close reach with full main and number 3 jib.

Wicked 2.0 crossed the finish with corrected time about 3 min ahead of the J/120 and 7 min ahead of the 1D35 after more than 6 hours of memorable racing.

Special thanks to all those on the delivery home after the turn and burn at MVY.  Also to all who helped provision and prep the boat.  And a special nod to those hiking on the rail who got us by the 1D 35 on the South Side. Their driver told me at the awards ceremony, he wished his crew knew how to hike like the Wickeds."

Sailing in Class 3 PHRF in the BBBR and in Class 4 in the Round Island was the J/105 DARK'N'STORMY sailed by Ned Joyce from Buzzards Bay YC. “In the light air, after the first day, we were in last place overall,” said Ned Joyce (Cataumet, Mass.), who won PHRF B class in the Big Boat Buoy Races with his J105 Dark ‘n Stormy, “but in the heavy air we turned in three first-place finishes to win. That’s what we are more used to having on Buzzard’s Bay where we usually sail.” Joyce went on to win his class in the ‘Round-the-Island Race (Sophie dismasted in the ‘Round-the-Island Race but limped home safely), making him one of only two racers to claim victory in both of the weekend’s double-header events.

Rounding out the weekend's performance in the BBBR were a 2nd in Class 2 by the J/109 GUT FEELING sailed by Ted Herlihy and 4th in class by the J/120 APRES (Stephen Besse).  As mentioned, there was a well-deserved first in class by Dick Egan's J/46 WINGS in the Double-handed class.

In the Round Island Race, Class 3 saw the J/44 BALLYHOO (Wesley McMichael) take third and the J/42 PANASEA (Kent Nicholas) take 4th.  Behind DARK'N'STORMY in Class 4 were another J/105- LYRIC sailed by Pete Lebish in third.  Sixth in class was Dick Egan's J/46 WINGS and seventh was the J/109 HAFA AIDA skippered by Eliot Shanabrook of Marblehead YC.  Sailing a very nice race in Class 5 was the J/35c RIVA (Steve Dahill) taking a third overall.  Finally, in Class 8 PHRF Double-handed was the J/42 STARLIGHT sailed by Jil Westcott.   Sailing photo credits- Michael Berwind   For more Edgartown YC Race Week and Round Island sailing information