Holmes Hole August series begins

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It is hard to imagine a more auspicious start to the Holmes Hole Sailing Association August/September series than the most recent race days. Thursday was a perfect evening for a sail around Vineyard Haven Harbor, which enticed 20 boats to the start. Joining the crowd was a guest boat, Zenith. A diminishing breeze left a few unable to make up time, while the lead boats battled it out for precious seconds.

In the A Division, Troubador, a Vineyard Haven Yacht Club Express 37 sailed by Will Felder, took the cup. Tango, a J100 skippered by Phil Hale, was second by one minute. In third place, just 15 seconds later, was John Ryder’s Amonini, a J70.

Heimkehr, an Alerion 28 owned by Mead Wyman, won the B Division. Only nine seconds separated Heimkehr from Providence, another Alerion 28, sailed by Stuart Halpert. Roger Becker’s spritely red Gloria, a C&C 24, took the third spot.

Races were scheduled for 10:05 and 2:05 on Sunday, another perfect day on the water. At the start, the wind was between 10 and 20 mph from the northwest, and then the southwest, and kept all boats moving right along in both races. The morning course took the 11 contenders out to Hedge Fence and then to the bell at West Chop. While some had no trouble making the marks, others opted for a quicker crossing with a tack at the end.

Après, a J120 sailed by Steve Besse, won the A Division morning race. Soma Holiday, Frank Sutula’s Hanse 335, finished second. Tango took third place 26 seconds later. The top three finished within a minute and a half of each other on corrected time.

Silhouette, a Nonsuch 26 sailed by Beck Colson, took the top honor for the B Division, followed closely by Providence. In turn, Alan Wilson, sailing his Stuart Knockabout, Altius, finished third, only eight seconds back. The first four finished within 43 seconds after a race of about an hour and a quarter.

The starting line for the afternoon race had to be changed at the last minute due to a wind shift, causing a flurry of recalculations, but everyone adjusted in time. The two divisions were evenly divided, with eight in one and seven in the other. Pepper, a red Soling skippered by Bruce Stewart, won the A Division. King Kiwi, a Sabre 38 sailed by Irving Gates, came in second, followed by Tango in third.

Silhouette had a banner day, winning the B Division in the afternoon as well as the morning. Altius, 33 seconds later, moved up from third in the morning to second in the afternoon, and Heimkehr was third.

Holmes Hole races are held on Thursdays and Sundays. All are welcome. Please consult holmeshole.org for details.