Whispering winds

Lackluster breeze makes for troublesome sailing in Holmes Hole races.

Waiting for wind at the Thursday start. — Lisa Stout

Sixteen optimists drifted to the Holmes Hole Sailing Association start line on Thursday evening. The forecast wasn’t encouraging, but determination to sail grows proportionately as the summer wanes. Everyone made it to Nun 6, the first mark. However, after that it was mostly hopeful hunting and wishing for even a whisper of a breeze.

Artful Dodger headed back to Falmouth. The crew of Zenith got out their fishing gear. Some questioned whether this was a sly maneuver to use fish to pull Zenith ahead, since there was no sign of wind in her sails.

The race was called as darkness fell, though the results will not be included in future ratings. For the A Division, Phil Hale’s J100 Tango was first, with Scheggia, Tim Gollin’s Brenta 38, in second. Escape, the J100 sailed by Tom and Laurie Welch, took third. In the B Division, Penelope, an Alerion 28 owned and sailed by Mo Flam, had the first position, with Tamu, Tom Westcott’s Alerion 28, in second place. Another Alerion 28, Providence, skippered by Stuart Halpert, was third.

Sunday was glorious, but not much of an improvement in terms of wind. At least every boat finished the race, except for one that had to drop out after running her engine to avoid the ferry. Despite the shortened course, the ENE 5- to 8-knot wind was barely strong enough to move the fleet out and back across the Sound while combating the hard-flowing current flooding east. Most finished the six-mile course in 1½ to 2 hours.

The A Division was dominated by J Boats in the top three spots: Après, a J120 with Steve Besse at the helm, was first in both elapsed and corrected time. Escape was second, and Tango was third, separated by only six seconds.

For the B Division, Alerion 28s won the first three places: Mead Wyman’s Heimkehr took top honors once again, and Penelope, sailed by Mo Flam, was second by a minute and 17 seconds. Stuart Halpert sailed Providence into the third position, with Gloria bearing down in the rearview mirror.

This week, the Thursday-evening race will begin one hour earlier than usual, at 5 pm, due to the shortening days. All are welcome. Please consult holmeshole.org for details about weekly races, membership, and registration for the 40th annual Moffett Race, to be held on Sept. 9.