MIT undergrad Beck Colson made the most of one of his rare summer visits to win the first of two races held last Sunday by the Holmes Hole Sailing Association. Skippering his family’s Nonsuch 26, Colson’s 52-second win in the morning race over runner-up Stuart Halpert in Providence validated the race committee’s recent promotion of Silhouette to the A Division. Finishing third was Commodore Jerry Goodale in Stormalong, a Pearson 31.
A fleet of eight boats followed Course No. 2 in reverse, aided by plenty of wind which fueled the boats’ rush out to the Red and Green nun at Hedge Fence and back. Seven boats completed the course, with the top three boats in the A division finishing within a 1 minute, 20 seconds of each other. Phil Hale’s Tango, a J/100, was back in the chase after repairs to damage sustained off Mink Meadows several weeks ago.
The afternoon racers gathered in a cloudburst which chased some away, but the rain mostly cleared out by the time the fleet started its way around Course No. 1 in reverse. New member Bruce Stewart brought another red Soling to the fleet after signing up at breakfast that morning. Unsure if the race was on, Stewart and Gloria skipper Roger Becker realized it was going to be Penelope and Stormalong duking it out for the June/July cup and it was their obligation to mix it up a bit.
However, Penelope came through with a first and with it clinched the A division cup. Dan Pesch finished third aboard his J/70 Amonili. Bow Van Riper aboard the Vineyard 15 Tyche was the lone Division B competitor for the day and registered two firsts, but its wasn’t enough to overcome Avanti, which had built up a lead over the previous five weeks, and took the season’s first half cup.
The previous Thursday evening’s harbor race featured another fine showing by the new J/70 owned by Zander Meleney and Charlie Felder. But it was Anne Besse Shepard who was at the helm and skippered the boat to a first over a field of nine entrants. Bow Van Riper, one of two B Division boats in the race, came in second, followed by Alex Pardo on the Sonar Go Time.
For sailors used to the appetizing race courses offered by various Island yacht clubs, the annual Round the Island Race sponsored by the Edgartown Yacht Club was a full course dinner of more than 57 miles, and for most competitors, a full day of sailing. Steve Besse, representing both Holmes Hole Sailing Association and the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club, captained his J/120 Apres to a second-place finish in the Class 3 PHRF B division, which featured 11 boats. Apres finished just 80 seconds behind another J/120, Saykaydoo, after more than seven and a half hours of jockeying back and forth.
For more information about the HHSA, visit holmeshole.org.