Holmes Hole race report: Wind dropped 60 to 6

Jerry Goodale at the helm of his boat during last weekend’s Holmes Hole race. — Photo by Susan Waldrop

Sunday morning’s Holmes Hole Harbor Race was canceled due to foul weather, but the committee decided to give it a try in the afternoon. Seven sailors showed up for the 2:05 pm and 2:15 pm starts. The wind had dropped from gusts of 60 mph to a wispy 6 mph. And the fog rolled in. With only 100 yards visibility, skippers contemplated crossing between the chops as well as dodging the ferry, but the wind picked up in the nick of time and cleared the fog. It was easy to see Phil Hale cross the finish line from out in the sound. All completed the half-length course at what might be called a leisurely pace. Quite a weather change in just 12 hours.

Two entrants in the A Division: Adam Hayes led Phil Hale over the finish by one minute in his J/34C, Bliss, while Phil was on his J/100, Tango.

In the B division: At Last, an Alerion X28 belonging to Jim Dixon, was first, followed by Gloria, Roger Becker’s C&C 24. Third was Stormalong, a Pearson 31 with Jerry Goodale at the helm, and in fourth place Mo and Pam Flam’s Penelope, a Alerion X28. A new addition to the fleet, another Alerion X28, Heimkehr, skippered by Mead Wyman, rounded out the B division.

In what is believed to be a June record, 19 boats gathered on June 25th in Vineyard Haven for an overcast Thursday-evening Harbor Race. To quote Phil Hale: “Big boats, small boats, old boats, new boats.” While the skies were less than perfect, the wind blew an ideal 12 knots, making for a crisp and tidy race. The span in corrected time was 11 minutes between first and last places.

In Division A, two Morris 36s took the top spots: Undine, skippered by Ed Cerullo in first, followed by Michael Loberg at the helm of Masquerade. Third place was taken by Charlie Felder’s J/70, sailed by his son Will. The next six places went as follows: In fourth, Mike Powers on Artful Dodger, a Tartan 35; fifth, Tom and Laurie Welsh aboard Escape, a J/100. Sixth, Pieter Pil from the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club (joining the fleet for the first time) aboard a Sonar, and Alex Pardo finished two seconds behind him on another Sonar, Go Time. Après, a J/120, was eighth on corrected time (first in elapsed time at 00:37:48). Phil Hale’s Tango completed the A Division. The 10 boats in Division B were led by David Lott on Avanti, a Cape Dory 27, with Isabella, a G&B Bella, sailed by John and Lisa Stout, in second place. Jerry Goodale’s Stormalong came in third. Spots four through 10 were taken by: Roger Becker’s Gloria, fourth; in fifth, At Last, skippered by Jim Dixon. Next came Tyche, a Vineyard 15, sailed by Bow Van Riper and his daughter Katie. Stuart Halpert’s Alerion X28 Providence placed seventh, followed by the Flams’ Penelope, another Alerion, just 45 seconds later. A third Alerion, Heimkehr, sailed by Mead Wyman, was ninth, followed by Thera, a Katama 25 from Tashmoo, sailed by Alexander Kerr making his second Thursday appearance.

The breeze was fresh, but oscillated a bit, so it was woe betide the helmsman with wandering attention. The brief appearance of a sunbow after the finish seemed a good omen for future Thursdays.