Holmes Hole Sailing weekly update: A variety pack

Holmes Hole races are held on Thursdays and Sundays. — Wendell Colson

On Thursday evening, August 13th, there wasn’t a breath of air, and with rain predicted even the most unremittingly enthusiastic sailors had to admit it wasn’t worth raising a sail, and so the race was cancelled. By contrast, on Sunday, August 16th wind gusts were up to and above 30 mph, and  rain was starting to fall sideways. Nevertheless, two of the bigger boats rose to the challenge of the scheduled pursuit race to Tarpaulin Cove. With a strong falling tide helping them on, both finished the 8.5 mile course in about an hour. Sienna, a Catalina 34 sailed by Jerry Goodale finished twelve minutes ahead of David McDonough’s Trinity, a C&C 37. The sail back was another story, but both relished the test of their heavy craft and hardworking crew.

The races of August 20th and 23rd stood in contrast to each other as well. Thursday was perfect for an evening sail, with a steady 9 mph breeze carrying eleven regulars and four Herreshoffs neatly around the triangle. Kintail, an Etchells sailed by Clayton Henke, took first place. Beck Colson brought the (new) Silhouette, an Alerion 33 over the line in second. And Trinity was third, all in under an hour. The 12 1/2s finished as follows: Bazinga (Charlie Felder), Whirlwind (Phil Hale), Providence (Stuart Halpert) and Lila (Jim Jones). Bazinga, though, was reported to have been over early, so it’s unclear who officially won. 

Big surprises on Sunday. Although every forecast pointed to a SW wind filling in during the afternoon, it didn’t materialize except in random spots. Three boats worked their way west, and managed to catch something coming down the Sound and ended up with a thirty minute advantage over the rest of the fleet, who were “twirling in circles as the current carried them east” (Roger Becker). As the SW wind began to build to 12 knots, some on the eastern edge watched as one by one the others took off for Hedge Fence. A sailor’s life is a hard life. But not so hard for Jim Dixon, skipper of At Last, an Alerion 28, who closed the gap on the leaders to take first, just 45 seconds ahead of Silhouette, and, amazingly, surprisingly, Penelope, another Alerion sailed by Mo Flam. There may have been ties before, but certainly not in recent years. 

Holmes Hole races are held on Thursdays and Sundays. All are welcome. Starting on August 27th, the Thursday start will be at 5:35 due to the shortening days, with the first warning at 5:30. Please consult holmeshole.org for more details. Also anyone interested in the Moffett Race scheduled for September 12th should consult moffett@holmeshole.org.