Best ever Holmes Hole season comes to a close

Best ever Holmes Hole season comes to a close

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It was a full house at the Holmes Hole starting line. Photo by Susan Waldrop.

The best ever. That’s the conclusion of racers and committee members alike as last Sunday’s two races closed the books on the 2014 Holmes Hole Sailing Association summer season.

Twenty boats came to the starting line in the morning race — 11 in the A division and nine in the B. And 11 showed up for the afternoon loop to put an exclamation mark on the satisfying argument that Holmes Hole had achieved a milestone summer in participation and the simple enjoyment of sailing. All the contenders for season honors showed up in order to cement their hold on their respective positions.

And by all accounts they did.

A southwest wind built to close to 20 with higher gusts by day’s end allowed skippers to demonstrate the power and speed of their respective boats and their ability to smartly maneuver around the course.

Among the A’s, Mo Flam skippered his Alerion 28 Penelope to a pair of second-place finishes to maintain his grasp on the season’s top spot. And in the B’s, Avanti, a Cape Dory 270 captained by David Lott, finished well enough to stay in the running for the B title. The official standings, however, were not revealed until Wednesday evening at the Annual Meeting and Pot Luck Supper. And when results are measured in seconds, there may have been a few surprises to the final standings.

All racers tried to make the most of the day and their opportunities. In the morning race, the fleet followed Course 2 in reverse. Frank Sutula captured first place in the A division aboard the Hanse 335 Soma Holiday. Sutula hasn’t raced many times this summer, but when he did, he often finished at the top of his division. Taking third was Jim Dixon and his Alerion 28 At Last.

In the B division, Frank DeSimone guided his Columbia 32 to the win, followed by Dave McDonough on the C&C 37 Trinity. Veteran Dan Culkin captured third on the Vineyard Vixen Magic Time as he tried to push into the season’s top 3.

In the afternoon’s shortened race, Commodore Jerry Goodale took the A gold aboard Stormalong, a Pearson 33, while Roger Becker got the bronze aboard Gloria, a C&C 24. In the B’s, Bow Van Riper finished a strong month of August with another first aboard his Vineyard 15 Tyche. Magic Time and Trinity finished second and third, respectively, to round out the scoring, and a most satisfying season.

Race Alert. Watch Vineyard Haven harbor on Saturday morning when the annual George Moffett Race begins with a first gun at 11:10. More than 40 boats of all shapes and sizes will fill the horizon as they compete for the coveted summer-ending trophy.