Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Maine Rocks Wrap Up

It was another fantastic edition of the Maine Rocks Race this year. We were never without wind and had a fast loop around the course, in fact Piper managed to beat Scott Miller's elapsed time course record by ~45 minutes on his J111, Eagles Dare. Jeroboam took another victory on corrected time, making this my 5th win on this course since the race first began in 2008, barely beating out Alessandro on Nina who is a relative new comer to the short handed scene but already posting some terrific results.

One of the really special parts of this weekend for me was at the skippers meeting Friday evening when Peter McCrea presented me with a number of awards I'd accumulated over the years but never collected. I rarely attend awards ceremonies as I'm usually busy delivering my boat back home or to the next race but Peter and Doug Pope have been kind enough to store my Maine awards since I began racing up there eight years ago. The most memorable of which was the 2007 second place trophy for the single handed division in the Downeast Challenge. There were only two entries in the single handed class that year, Peter and I, so second place means I came in last place but it was memorable for two reasons.

First, the Downeast Challenge was my first single handed race. Shawna Gauthier and I had entered the double handed division of the Beringer Bowl earlier that month, the first race I ever entered on Jeroboam, but I didn't even own a spinnaker at the time so we came in last place in fleet on elapsed time and corrected time. Luckily, we didn't take first impressions too seriously so I bought a used spinnaker and, heading to Maine anyway, decided to enter the single handed division of the Downeast Challenge.

Peter McCrea on Panacea
The second reason that race is so memorable is that was when I met Peter McCrea for the first time at the race's skippers meeting at Marblehead Yacht Club. He struck me as an old salt from whom I could learn much and he didn't disappoint. Peter had just rolled off a brilliant victory in his class at Bermuda 1-2 and suggested I check out some of the other short handed races around New England. He told me about the Newport Offshore 160, hosted by Newport Yacht Club, that was going on the following year and encouraged me to consider Bermuda 1-2 in 2009 as the Offshore 160 would serve as a qualifier. Peter continued to encourage me in 2008 when we raced together in Newport and Maine and was one of the main reasons I took on Bermuda 1-2 in 2009 which was a major milestone for me.

Doug Pope
A huge thanks to Peter for all his encouragement and to Doug for warehousing the hardware all these years. It's guys like you that make our short handed sailing community here in New England so great.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Check-in/OK message from SPOT Jeroboam

GPS location Date/Time:09/19/2015 18:18:43 EDT

Message:Maine Rocks Race, heading for Mt Desert Rock

Click the link below to see where I am located.

Maine Rocks Race

And we're off to the races. Breeze started out around 15 knots but as since deminished to less than 10, though with a lift I wasn't expecting. Just outside Rockland Harbor we sailed into a thick fog bank and I haven't had visual contact with the fleet since. I hear many lobstermen around me but rarely see them.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Off to Maine

Maine Rocks Race starts Saturday so Jeroboam and I are on our way to Rockland, just passing Thacher Island.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Vineyard Race

Piper and I are doing the Vineyard Race this weekend on his boat, Eagles Dare. They're using Kattack for the race tracker and here's the link if you want to follow along.

Race starts tomorrow just outside Stamford Harbor in Connecticut around noon and we have 14 boats signed up across the IRC and PHRF double handed divisions. The Long Island Sound short handed scene is well attended and very competitive. Many of them come out for the even year Bermuda Race which is double handed to Bermuda but no race back. Unfortunately very few of them come out for the odd year Bermuda 1-2 so it's difficult finding events to compete together.

What makes it even harder for me is that Jeroboam is unwelcome in this race as they too have a rating cap (technically it's only for PHRF but I was told my IRC entry would also be rejected). Once again, the idiotic rating cap is keeping me from competing against the best and it's with gratitude that I accepted Piper's invitation to race on his J111.