Strong southerly makes for strong sailing

A breeze for the Holmes Hole racers led to some good sailing in Vineyard Haven. —Courtesy Holly Rodgers Wescott

Holmes Hole had a full week of racing. On Thursday evening, 10 boats sailed the Vineyard Haven triangle from East Chop to West Chop and then back home to nun 6 in the harbor. The reverse course was chosen to take advantage of the strong southerly wind. David McDonough’s Trinity won with time to spare, but the other seven positions corrected to within two minutes. The fresh breeze had everyone flying at hull speed, with a good current to help. 

HHSA competed in a “bonus” race on Saturday, the annual Jewett Bowl pursuit start race, sponsored by the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club. All but a couple of VHYC Sonar sailors were HHSA regulars who sailed together in a battle between winds. Even the good timing of tides was not enough to keep the non-spinnaker boats in the competition with those that had the use of a chute. Steve Besse, sailing Aprés, handily won the bowl. 

The racing continued on Sunday! With a somewhat tentative Northeast wind at the outset, six boats sailed the course around the triangle again, after a postponement to let the wind gather strength. Starting from nun 6 in the harbor, the boats set out on a broad reach to the marker at West Chop. That wind receded, and a new wind filled from the South to blow the remains away. With fluky air, each boat seemed to have its own private wind. Roger Becker’s Gloria lost some steerage in the first leg as she sat becalmed between the two winds, to the east of the fleet, but Kathy Logue’s Sandpiper had a splendid surge when she found some wind and current close along West Chop. Those in the lead lost their wind just as they were attempting to round the West Chop mark in a foul current. That allowed Gloria to catch up in the new wind, and continue to stay close enough along the five remaining legs to finish in first place!

The summer isn’t over yet! Go to to sign up.