Complications at sea

Penelope heading into the sunset. — John Stout

The perfect summer evening on July 2 presented 13 sailors with a steady, light breeze, a rising tide, and a clear sky. Unfortunately, the race itself held enough confusion to remove it from the season’s standings. The posting of the course was changed after the committee boat anchored, with the effect that those who were there early went one way around the triangle, and the rest went the other way. Much self-doubt and qualms ensued on both sides, but both were right. Or wrong, depending on your point of view. Even though there was no coffee cup awarded, everyone had a lovely sail. We are quite happy to blame this indirectly on COVID, since there are new and unfamiliar procedures this summer.

A very nice 10-knot breeze showed up for the Sunday race at 1. The course was clearly signaled, and started on time. The 13 boats dragged a bit heading to Can 23A off East Chop, but had a nice dash to West Chop on the next leg. Some chose port and some chose starboard coming back to Nun 6 on the third part, but it wasn’t clear if one choice was the better one. 

For the first time in memory, it seems that some of the Woods Hole ferries are unwilling to compromise, accommodate, or acknowledge the racing sailboats, even when there is plenty of time and space to steer clear with little adjustment. Always in the past, the captain has seemed to sum up the situation, and calmly steer through the space available. Can we blame this change on COVID too?

in the end, Tyche, a Vineyard Haven 15 sailed by Bow Van Riper, won on corrected time even after being blasted unnecessarily by the ferry — David and Goliath. Adam Hayes sailed Bliss, a J35, into second place, and Altius, a Stuart Knockabout skippered by Alan Wilson, took third.

Holmes Hole races are held on Thursdays and Sundays. All are welcome. Please consult for details.