Nearing the finish

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Only three races remain on the Holmes Hole Sailing Association schedule — a harbor race on Thursday, August 30, and two harbor races on Sunday, Sept. 2. The competition is hot. As of last week, Altius, Alan Wilson’s Stuart Knockabout, was in a tie for overall standings for the B Division withTamu, an Alerion 28 owned and sailed by Tom Wescott. Jerry Goodale’s Sienna, a Catalina 43, is leading the A Division, with Steve Bessie’s Apres and Phil Hale’s Tango tied in the second spot.

A spritely Thursday afternoon breeze on the 23rd diminished as the day wore on, and by the 5:30 start time, the 16 competitors had to struggle up the harbor to the dreaded Can 23A in a barely perceptible west-northwest breeze. The flooding tide made rounding the can possible, but then sailing to West Chop was a challenge. The back of the fleet had a chance to catch up before the breeze picked up enough from the west-southwest to bring everyone around the triangle.

Roger Becker sailed his C&C 24, Gloria, to victory in the B Division. A minute behind Gloria was At Last, Jim Dixon’s Alerion 28, and Tamu only 30 seconds after that. The J100, Tango, owned by Phil Hale, was third in the A Division. The second spot was taken by Zander Meleny aboard Truckin’, a J70. The winner was King Kiwi, a Sabre 38 skippered by Irving Gates.

Sunday, although a perfectly lovely day, was a bit of a repeat of Thursday. The light westerly air at the start deserted the leaders, allowing others to catch up. The race effectively began again when the wind filled in from the southwest. Boats separated by as little as 50 yards found entirely different wind in strength and direction, always a source of gnashing of teeth. The course headed west from East Chop to a mark near the Big Bridge and back. It was almost 10 miles in length, and took between 2½ and 3½ hours, with the average speed of the winning boat 2.8 knots.

A Vineyard 15, Tyche, sailed by Bow Van Riper, came in third for the B Division. Altius was second, and Woody Bowman’s Catboat, Julia Lee, nabbed the first spot. Jerry Goodale’s Sienna edged out Irving Gates’s King Kiwi to win the A Division. Phil Hale, aboard Tango, finished third.

All are welcome to participate in the Holmes Hole races, but, as mentioned, there are just three left for this season. Please consult holmeshole.org for details.