One season ends. Another begins for Holmes Hole racers

Photo by David Lott

Summer racing is behind them and the 37th Moffett Race is complete, but the sailors of the Holmes Hole Sailing Association are not idle. Without missing a beat, the chase for the Hugh Schwartz Cup and the fall racing-series title has commenced.

Just five days after the Moffett, eight boats came to the line on a beautiful fall evening with winds coming out of the southwest at a leisurely 10 miles per hour.

Mo Flam and Stuart Halpert kicked off the competition on their respective Alerion 28s, Penelope and Providence, by notching a 1-2 finish separated by just three seconds on the traditional harbor triangle course. HHSA Commodore Jerry Goodale was third on Stormalong, a Pearson 31.

A special salute must be given to Frank DeSimone, who used his Columbia 32 as the committee boat and worked to fulfill all the race-committee roles by himself, raising the course, counting down to the start, sounding the horns and taking times as the boats crossed the finish line. Frank himself will admit that watching a sausage being made would have been a prettier sight. But once all the scores were tallied at the after-race gathering at Rocco’s, the standings finally emerged.

Last Sunday, eight competitors lined up for a double loop around the three harbor buoys in what was anticipated to be a quick race. The wind started enthusiastically from the north northwest at 15 knots for the 10 am start, but increasingly lost interest and stamina over the next two hours. Two boats bailed on the second lap, and a couple more struggled to the finish with the light air. In the end it was Providence taking first and an early lead in the fall series. Steve Besse grabbed second on Apres, his J/120, and Jim Dixon aboard his Alerion 28 At Last took third.

Final standings

The official standings for the summer series released at the annual meeting and potluck supper at the Vineyard Haven home of John and Lisa Stout revealed that Mo Flam and his Penelope had maintained their lead and took not only the A-division crown, but also the Frank B. Jewett Award for the best overall score for the season. Jerry Goodale on Stormalong was second, and Roger Becker aboard Gloria, a C&C 24, took third.

In the B division, David Lott guided Avanti, a Cape Dory 270, to the B-division summer series title over Bow Van Riper on the Vineyard 15 Tyche and Dan Culkin on Magic Time, a Vineyard Vixen.

Fall racing continues on Sunday with a 10 am start. Check the Holmes Hole blog for complete fall racing updates.