While it’s always hard to identify the “most beautiful day of the summer,” August 13th was certainly a contender. Twenty-three boats materialized for the Thursday-evening HHSA race, creating a harbor full of billowing sails. A friendly southwest 7 to 9 mph breeze made for a perfect triangular sail around the course, with just enough challenge on the windward leg. At the finish, Vineyard Haven Harbor was bathed in pink.
The first three boats in the A Division finished within 37 seconds of each other. First was Masquerade, a Morris 36, with Michael Loberg at the helm. Second Wind, a Sonar skippered by Susan Waldrop, came in second, and another Sonar, (436), sailed by Mary Worrell, took third place.
For the B Division Isabella, a Gannon & Benjamin Bella, skippered by John and Lisa Stout, came in first. David Lott aboard Avanti, a Cape Dory, took second place, and Trinity, a C&C 37, sailed by David McDonough, was third.
A bonus on Thursday was the participation of nine teens and preteens from the CitySquash program. CitySquash is an afterschool enrichment program in the Bronx, and Ed and Kathy Cerullo hosted the group and the two college-age coaches for the weekend. The five boys and their coach sailed aboard Apres with Steve Besse, while the girls and their coach joined Ed on Undine. Apres finished ahead of Undine, reportedly engendering a certain amount of gloating on the part of the boys that extended well into Friday. (Sailors try not to gloat, but sometimes it’s irresistible!)
The Sound Race on another perfect day, Sunday the 16th, brought 17 sailors in the two divisions to the windward start. After rounding Nun 6 in the harbor, the course led to a mark off Falmouth, back to West Chop, over to East Chop and then back to Nun 6, a distance of 6.3 miles.
Escape, a J/100 sailed by Tom and Laurie Welch, took the first spot in the A Division. In second place was Phil Hale’s Tango, another J/100. Second Wind, a Sonar with Mary Worrell at the helm, was third.
At Last, an Alerion 28 sailed by Jim Dixon, led the B Division fleet of 10. Just five seconds behind came Trinity (yet another tribute to expert handicapping). Another Alerion 28, Mo Flam’s Penelope, took third.
The jubilant Sunday traffic in the harbor, combined with the ferries coming and going, lends a certain hectic excitement to the Sunday races. It might be said, too, that many power boats scoff at the harbor speed limit in their enthusiasm, and have little concern for the effect of wake on a sailboat. However, the atmosphere is generally a happy one.
Interest is stirring for the George Moffett Race, held this year on Saturday, Sept. 12. As with the Holmes Hole races, all are welcome to enter. Watch for the announcement on holmeshole.org that the registration website is up and running.
Regular HHSA races are held Thursdays and Sundays. Please visit holmeshole.org for more information.