The winds of change


The conclusion of the 2019 Holmes Hole racing season was more of a sigh than a roar, or more of a whimper than a bang. Fourteen boats showed up for Thursday’s 5:30 harbor race in air that was not only very light, but also quite whimsical, moving from west of southwest through north, all the way around to east in the course of an hour and a half. Heavier boats had a harder time. The A Division saw Tom and Laurie Welch take first place aboard their J100, Escape. Mike Powers brought his Artful Dodger, a Tartan 3500, over from Falmouth to come in second. Another J100, Phil Hale’s graceful Tango, was third. 

For the B Division three Alerion 28s took the first three places out of seven: Heimkehr, with Mead Wyman as skipper, was first, edging out Tom Wescott’s Tamu by 35 seconds in corrected time. Penelope, sailed by Mo Flam, was first across the line, but was officially third, also on corrected time. 

Again, 14 sailors showed up for the final race of the season on Sunday, the first day of September. The course was two trips around the harbor triangle. Because the tide was slack at the start and the air was light, trying to anticipate the currents around Red Nun 4 and the (dreaded) Can 23 A off East Chop was an exercise in futility for most. But Phil Hale had it figured out, and sailed Tango into first in the A Division. Apres, a J120 skippered by Steve Besse, took the second spot, and Escape carried Tom and Laurie Welch across for third. 

The 2019 season had its share of surprises and good times as always. This week will bring the announcement of the winners of each division, as well as those of the Culkin Cup and the Jewett Cup. Competition has been close. 

As this week unfolds, it will be determined whether Hurricane Dorian will affect the annual Moffett Race. Any updates will appear on