Strongest winds of the year for Holmes Hole

Sunday saw a windy sailing day (photo from a 2021 Holmes Hole race). —Courtesy Lisa Stout

Sunday was an exhilarating day to be out in Vineyard Sound, punctuated by lightning strikes in the southern skies, and compounded by 13-knot Southwest winds and four-foot seas, which gradually built over the afternoon. 

Seven boats joined in this challenge. It was the first Sound course this season, with a zigzag route across the Sound to the Waquoit Bell off the Cape and back again. It was all downwind to the north, after the half-mile windward starting leg kept the fleet somewhat together and encouraged in the strong winds and high seas, as the ebbing tide clashed with the Southwest winds. 

Then, turning to beat back against the wind and crash into the seas, the sailors wondered when the tide would turn and calm the waters. That happened just a few minutes after the scheduled timing, and by the time the fleet was back between East and West Chop, the water was starting to smooth out. Then the wind started losing interest, and David McDonough’s Trinity and Roger Becker’s Gloria, at the back, found just enough to make their moorings. It was by far the strongest winds for HHSA races this year, and much enjoyed by all! 

Frank Sutula’s Soma Holiday won the first-place cup, and Michael Loberg’s Masquerade came in second, followed by Gloria in third. 

Please note that the annual Moffett Cup race, organized by Holmes Hole, takes place this year on Sept. 9. Join Holmes Hole and register for the 2023 Moffett race! See information at