Holmes Hole season finale

Heading East on Thursday Evening — Lisa Stout

Both of the final HHSA races saw perfect summer weather and serviceable, if fickle, 10-knot breezes. Thursday evening brought 10 boats out to sail the Harbor triangle while the wind came from the West, the Northwest, and finally, the South. It more or less disappeared altogether between Nun 4 and Can 23a off East Chop, and combined with a foul current, some of those trailing were able to catch up with the leaders. As a result, fourth, fifth and sixth places finished within 15 seconds of each other, and there was even a tie for the eighth spot. Apres, a J100 sailed by Steve Besse, was first across the line in just 46 minutes, but after handicaps were applied, Sandpiper, a Cape Cod 25 skippered by Megan Mendenhall, won by 12 minutes. The second spot was taken by Gloria, Roger Becker’s C&C 24, and third place went to Mike Powers’ Artful Dodger, a Tartan 3500 from Falmouth. 

Sunday afternoon was glorious, with 22 Herreshoffs decorating the harbor like so many graceful white birds in an all-Island regatta. The breeze was a challenging one. While again averaging 10 knots, it varied from WSW to W to SW, making the proper tack anyone’s guess. There were 10 entrants, but it was a day for J Boats: Apres was again first across the finish, but Escape, a J 100 sailed by Laurie and Tom Welch, took first place on corrected time, and Bliss, a J 35 skippered by Adam Bliss was second. Tamu, an Alerion 28 owned by Tom Wescott, commodore of HHSA, came in third. 

Thus ended the official season of Holmes Hole Sailing Association. It was a fine season with hardly any cancellations, and pretty dependable winds. Participation has been slightly under average, possibly due to pandemic readjustments and recovery. 

We’ll see what 2023 brings. But there is still a lot of sailing to look forward to this year. The Moffett Race is on Saturday, and the Pat West Gaff Rig Race is a week later. Additionally, there is postseason Holmes Hole racing, which continues into the fall for as long as anyone can stand it.