(Portland, Maine)- There was nothing average about the 27th Anniversary Downeast Regatta that took place this past weekend. In all 33 boats made it to the line for two days of racing on the beautiful waters of Casco Bay, in downeast Maine-- some of the world's best cruising grounds.
On Saturday there was a pleasant 8 to 10 knot southwest breeze that eventually shifted to the west ahead of a cold front that produced a LOT more wind around 12 knots for the last of four races. The current and winds were shifting all day which provided for some not-so consistent finishes. The Race Committee lead by Mark Toso did a wonderful job of keeping up with changing conditions and ran four great races.
In short, Saturday was a gear-buster, with many boats showing their keels at times as they struggled with the gusts up to 32 knots. After three great races the fleet was more than happy to return to land and recover over a lobster, Gritty's Beer and Double Cross Vodka.
After day one the two most consistent performances were by the tied regatta leaders STICKEY FINGERS from Lunenburg, Canada and DOGFISH from Newport, RI, both boats accumulated 18 points. These two boats were closely followed by AL, ESKIMO SISTERS and BUSHWHACKER who were all just a few points behind.
Sunday was just the opposite. Very little wind, just enough to tempt the Race Committee to send the fleet off. Later, after drifting and dreaming for what seemed like forever, the engines came on after one race to push boats back to Handy Boat for the closing ceremony.
STICKY FINGERS, skippered by John Whynacht, kept their consistent performance, with a second and fourth place finishes, to win the regatta. AL moved up in the standing to second with a first and a third place finish, to place second overall. Third was Bob Kinsman on DOGFISH with a 5-4-8-1-5-7 scoreline for 30 pts. Fourth was Tim Corbett's ESKIMO SISTERS and fifth was Aidan Glackin's MENTAL FLOSS.
The 2013 Downeast Regatta was a US J/24 World's qualifier regatta and the spot went to the first not-already qualified boat which was Eskimo Sisters, skippered by Tim Corbett from Newport, RI.
The Fleet Award presented to the top three boats from a J/24 Fleet was presented to Fleet 50 Newport and DOGFISH who place 3rd overall, ESKIMO SISTERS who placed 4th overall and ON THE BEACH who placed 6th overall.
Thank you to all our sponsors, volunteers and participants that made this year's Downeast Regatta a very special event. Congratulations as well to the team of over 50 volunteers, led by Molly White and Jess Harris, who managed all the shoreside planning and organizing. Sailing photo credits- Ann Blanchard For more J/24 Downeast Regatta sailing information