Holmes Hole standings see a change

Master handicapper Roger Becker aboard his Gloria, a C&C 24. Photo by Susan Waldrop.

Mo Flam and his Alerion 28 Penelope notched two more qualifying races for the Holmes Hole Sailing Association Fall Series races, and turned the standings upside down in the process.

Following up on his winning summer, Flam took a fourth last Thursday and added a second on Sunday to leap from the sidelines to the top of the standings, pushing Dan Culkin and his Vineyard Vixen Magic Time to second.

Magic Time’s first on Thursday and third on Sunday were enough to keep her in close striking distance for the top spot.

Sunday’s race was yet another sparkling fall gem with north-northwest winds pushing into the harbor at 15 mph — enough to speed eight boats around Course No. 1 in less than an hour and a half.

Taking first on the day was Frank Sutula aboard Soma Holiday, a Hanse 335, which traversed the twice-around-the-buoys loop in 1:04:33 on corrected time.

Gloria, a C&C 24 with Roger Becker at the helm, came in sixth on a day important on several fronts. First, the race put Gloria into a qualifying position for the Fall Series and, second, skipper Becker was later honored at a special lunch that recognized his critical contributions to Holmes Hole over the years.

One speaker noted, “Roger, you are the reason we have so much fun every Sunday. Your handicapping of the field, race calculations and post-race standings and commentary pull it all together. Your handicaps are also the source of so much animated discussion throughout the year.”

Becker keeps a tight ship on those rules and handicaps. The Hugh Schwarz Cup rules he recently outlined prove it: All races sailed count (no “throw outs”) and there is no award for second place.

As for those famous handicaps, which are proprietary to Holmes Holes and created for the entire fleet as a labor of love, Becker once remarked with tongue somewhat in cheek, “We create the handicap ratings so no one can win.”

Actually, he has it wrong. When Roger Becker is working his magic for Holmes Hole, everyone wins.

Last Thursday Results

Last Thursday, 10 boats came to the line, showing the October strength

of the fleet which now counts 19 boats having competed. Gusty variable winds

mostly over 13 mph made for a crisp autumn sail. One time around with

West Chop the first buoy at about low tide with plenty of wind meant

the currents played only a small part in the mix.

Magic Time took the blue ribbon over second-place finisher Phil Hale aboard

his J/100 Tango while third went to Adam Hayes and his new boat, Sophon Opus, a J 35C. Also in the mix were the recently joined Cape Dory 25 Sandpiper sailed by Kathy and Ernie Mendenhall.

Next race is Sunday with a 10 am start. For more information, go to http://holmeshole.org/