Holmes Hole season underway

Sailors race under perfect conditions on Vineyard Sound.


The first official Thursday-evening race of the Holmes Hole Sailing Association proved to be a fine start to the season, with a better-than-forecast breeze, delightful temperatures, and a late, lingering, glowing sunset.

Thirteen sailors competed in two divisions. Truckin’, a J70 skippered by Zander Meleny, was first in the A division, followed by Mike Powers sailing Artful Dodger, a Tartan 3500. Encore, an Etchells sailed by Don Cohan, was third. Truckin’ also had the shortest elapsed time.

Kathy Logue, a longtime HHSA sailor, brought Sandpiper, a Cape Dory 25, in eight minutes ahead of the next contender, Altius, in corrected time. Altius, a Stuart Knockabout new to the fleet last year, is owned by Alan Wilson. No. 3 in the B Division was Mo Flam skippering Penelope, an Alerion 28.

Thursday evening was a treat, but Sunday was even better. As James Russell Lowell asked, “What is so rare as a day in June?” On an icy, raw and nasty February day, everyone needs a memory file to draw upon for comfort. For those sailing Sunday afternoon, June 26 will fill the bill. Eight boats in the morning race, however, found the wind, at times, a bit light for the two trips around the harbor triangle. Truckin’ again had the shortest elapsed time and corrected time in the A division. But Escape, a J100 sailed by Tom and Laurie Welsh, was only two minutes later on elapsed time, finishing second. Another J100, Phil Hale’s Tango, was third.

Five boats competed in the B Division. Tamu, an Alerion 28 sailed by Tom Westcott, bested Penelope by three minutes on both elapsed and corrected time. Altius took the third spot.

The wind filled in perfectly in the afternoon, building to 12 to 15 mph. The sky was clear and the water sparkling for a trip halfway across the sound to Hedge Fence and back on a strong ebbing tide. A heart-lifting and memorable sail for 11 lucky competitors.

In the A Division, Frank Sutula skippered Soma Holiday, a Hanse 335, to victory. Don Cohan brought Encore in for second place, and Tango was handicapped-adjusted third, although she was the first to finish. Stuart Halpert sailed his Alerion 28, Providence, into first place for the B Division. Angelina, another Alerion 28, sailed by John and Lisa Stout, finished second, and a third Alerion, Penelope, was third.


The next Holmes Hole race will be Thursday evening. All are welcome. Please consult holmeshole.org for further information.