A Challenging Vineyard Race

22 мая 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »


Jeanneau 36

A Challenging Vineyard Race

Chad Corning aboard Ptarmigan

The 2013 Vineyard Race dished out challenging conditions and crowned a popular winner, with Peter Becker leading the American Yacht Club youth team on the J/122 Patriot (Rye, NY) to overall victory.

A classic, if somewhat soft, SW breeze greeted the fleet on Friday, August 30 as the race got underway at 1200. All classes were on the course by 1340. Either A2 or A1 spinnakers were the call off the start in the streaky breeze. Though majority starboard jibe, there were occasions to put in brief port boards to get into better pressure on the CT shore. George David was quickly over the horizon on his R/P 90 Rambler (Hartford, CT). The maxi clearly enjoyed the conditions, which featured much more wind aloft than on the water. Though conditions were relatively light, Rambler was on record pace for much of the race. Rambler exited Long Island Sound through the Gut and reaped the reward of better pressure along the southern edge of the course. On Larry Dickie’s TP 52 Ptarmigan (Greenwich, CT) we had a great race out of the Sound, trading jibes with John Brim’s R/P 55 Rima (New York, NY) and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s TP 52 Conviction (Kings Point, NY) all the way out to the tower.

Once out of the Sound the wind came on with a bit more vigor, getting into the mid-teens for most of the fleet. This meant a great downwind ride to the tower with solid waves to ride and some puffs over 20. For the third year in a row the light on the tower was out of service, which made the last few miles in a real challenge. Stories abounded of teams sailing by the mark, missing the mark or almost hitting the mark. It’s amazing that this major navigational aid is so frequently out of service.

Jeanneau 36

The fun ride to the tower came at a price, as the fleet turned upwind for the leg back to Stamford. For the bigger boats the conditions were fairly manageable but still uncomfortable. With wind against tide, the waves really stacked up and the smaller boats in the fleet took a fairly good pasting. Rich du Moulin, sailing his Express 37 Lora Ann (Larchmont, NY) in the Double-handed division, even admitted that the beat back into the Sound almost broke his spirit! Also pity Josh Reisberg in the Classe Mini Albiyn Racing (Brooklyn, NY), which at 21 feet was the smallest boat in the fleet by a significant margin. Josh reported the conditions on board were extremely challenging once they rounded the tower.

Distance racers are blessed with short memories, and as Saturday dawned conditions calmed and teams got down to the business of tackling the final leg inside the sound to the finish. As is frequently the case, timing is everything. Sailing to the finish on the last of the residual breeze, Rambler did well to get to the finish at 1030 Saturday, just 30 minutes outside the course record. The finish line would not see any more action until later in the afternoon, as the rest of IRC fleet floundered around the Sound in very little wind. Entering the Sound early- to mid-morning is a tough card to draw, as the SW breeze frequently diminishes and goes forward, forcing boats to the Connecticut side of the course. Then, dependably, the seabreeze fills east to west and the fleet comes roaring up from behind. The boat that roared the loudest was Peter Becker’s youth squad on the J/122 Patriot. Rambler’s lock on the overall victory crumbled as Patriot crossed the line at 2115 to take the chocolates. Patriot was a very popular Cinderella story, and showcased the excellent work American Yacht Club has done this season developing their junior big boat program.

In the PHRF fleet, Ed Cesare’s Class40 Pleiad Racing took line honors, with the handicap victory going to John DeMatteo’sTartan 4100 Kyrie (Centerport, NY). Rich du Moulin’s Lora Ann took the familiar top step of the podium, winning the double-handed fleet over Fredric Cosandey’s Jeanneau 36 Choucas (New York, NY). On the shorter Seaflower Reef course (sailed under PHRF), Paul Brindak’s X-33 Moxy (Old Greenwich, CT) garnered overall honors, while Carl Olsson’s J/105 Morning Glory (Larchmont, NY) took the win in the Seaflower course’s double-handed division. On the Cornfield Point course, Arthur Sa’s Hunter 35 Rita (Basking Ridge, NJ) won a squeaker, beating Austin Royle’s Tartan 41 Pegasus (Wilton, CT) by five minutes to take the overall win.

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