Bumper crop for Holmes Hole racing 

Holmes Hole racers anticipating the winds on Sunday. —Courtesy Holly Rodgers Wescott

There has been a strong turnout for Holmes Hole races this summer. Boats of all sizes and makes are regularly joining our races, including a couple of boats coming across the sound from Falmouth. 

This past week brought another bumper crop of racers. Thursday evening, 15 boats raced the triangle around Vineyard Haven Harbor from East Chop to West Chop and home again. It was a one-mile beat to the mark at East Chop, followed by a downwind run to the nun off West Chop, and a close reach to the finish. The wind blew from the east at just under 10 knots. The current was a help, if you could find it. 

HHSA uses a handicapping system so that a variety of boats can participate and have the possibility of winning, even if not first across the line. Thursday’s race resulted in a tie — down to the second! — for first place between David McDonough’s Trinity and Woody Bowman’s Julia Lee. Adam and Elizabeth Hayes’ Bliss came in third.

Sunday was a different story, with very light and somewhat variable winds. Ten boats came out for the race. Because of the dying northeast breeze, the course was shortened to once around the harbor. The wind did indeed die, and the more southerly wind kicked in, but not until an hour was spent wishing and hoping. There was some excitement at 23A, the green can at East Chop, as boats struggled to round the mark with the dying wind and adverse current. 

Adam and Elizabeth Hayes drove Bliss to a clear victory. Frank Sutula brought Soma Holiday out for his first HHSA race this year, and scored a second place, correcting to just under 5 minutes behind Bliss. Mike Powers sailing Artful Dodger scored third, and then hopefully got a good wind for his sail home to Falmouth. 

Go to holmeshole.org to sign up for competition.