Friday, September 6, 2019

J/Crews Sweep Sandusky “Night Race Offshore”

J/29 crew Sandusky, OH (Sandusky, OH)- Starting well within earshot of the excited screams from Cedar Point’s massive and colorful roller coasters, the race takes boats past sand shoals and the rock piles, into the open waters of Lake Erie. Crews navigate around an un-lit can at the north end of Kelly’s Island, then between the island and rocky shoals that can make the leg tricky if it’s to windward, down the west side of the island and back to the bay, once again avoiding the rock piles and the shifting sand shoals that border the channel (that seem to now look less familiar in the dark), to finish at the entrance of the Sandusky Sailing Club.

With just enough wind at the start to maneuver, the wind then mostly died, with small gusts appearing here and there, favoring, then punishing each boat in the now separating fleet until they slowly clawed their way to the open lake and more consistent wind. The nearly full moon rose, then became obscured off and on by clouds on a beautiful warm summer night, with the potential storms and rain never materializing and the wind holding out to allow a spirited beat to the finish.

The venerable J/29, Phil Dufresne’s QUADRIFOGLIO, captured first place correcting ahead of Bill and Judy Kellner’s J/92 JUMPSTART. Taking third place just two seconds behind was the J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP sailed by Brett Langolf and his family crew. The crew from QUADRIFOGLIO attributed their success to being able to fly the spinnaker on a somewhat close reach across the top of Kelly’s Island. Sailing at night can be magical, and the darkness adds an extra dimension to a distance race, especially on a J/Boat. Thanks for this contribution from Phil Dufresne. Add to Flipboard Magazine.