By JOHN AMABILE
The Holmes Hole Sailing Association commenced its summer season of handicap sailboat racing from Vineyard Haven harbor with a tune-up race on June 14. Six boats posted at the start at red nun six outside the breakwater for the noon commencement of the 35th season of the association races. Hugh Swarz, one of the founders, was on the race committee boat.
It was a rainy morning with an east wind of 5 to 10 knots. The fleet sailed twice around a triangular course of approximately five miles. The first leg, from red nun 6 to red nun 4 at West Chop, was a close reach on the starboard tack. After rounding nun 4, the fleet beat to windward to green can 23A at East Chop, with most sailors heading into the Sound to take advantage of the east setting current. After rounding the green can, the fleet ran downwind to nun 6.
Finishing first was Jerry Goodale in the Pearson 32, Stormalong. In second was Mike Loberg in the Morris 36, Masquerade. In third was Rob Hale in his Soling, Wicked. Fourth was Phil Hale on Mischief, fifth was Roger Becker on Gloria, and sixth was John Amabile on Solitude.
The next association competition was a Thursday night race on June 25, a muggy, partly cloudy night with the occasional appearance of the sun constituting a dramatic improvement over the relentless rain and cold this June.
Nine boats posted for the start at red nun 6 outside of the Vineyard Haven harbor breakwater. The fleet sailed a triangular course from red nun 6 to green can 23A at East Chop, then to red nun 4 at West Chop, and back to the finish. The first leg was a fun downwind. After rounding the green can, the boats beat to the red nun at West Chop. After rounding nun 4, the homeward leg was a close reach on the port tack.
Finishing first was Phil Hale in the Alerion sloop, Mischief. In second was Stephen Besse in the J 120, Apres. In third was Bob Jewett in the Soling, Andiamo II. Fourth was Roger Becker in Gloria, fifth was Mike Loberg in Masquerade, sixth was Dan Culkin in Magic Time, seventh was Bow Van Riper in Tyche, eighth was Jerry Goodale in Stormalong and ninth was Alan Wilson in High Tide.
The crews were hosted at the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club for a burger and race results, and all admired the new building, the handiwork of Holmes Hole Builders and Gary Maynard.
The Holmes Hole Sailors met for a Sound Race on Sunday, June 29. It was a gray, humid early summer day at the noon start, with rain predicted and threatening, but never coming. The wind was north and variable nought to 12 knots during the race. Eight boats posted for the start gun at red nun 6 outside the Vineyard Haven harbor breakwater.
The race committee set a 10.2-mile course in the waters on the border of Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds, which took the fleet on a triangular course from the starting line north to red nun 16 off Great Pond in Falmouth, then east to red nun 14 off Falmouth harbor, and returning to Vineyard Haven harbor. The current in the Sounds was setting across the course to the east throughout the race.
The fleet beat to windward by nun 4 at West Chop, keeping the buoy to port, and then sailed across the sound on a close reach on the starboard tack,keeping the nose of the boats high of the mark to account for the current. After rounding nun 16, the boats sailed a beam reach on the port tack to nun 16, moving fast with the tide. After rounding the mark, a slow downwind leg commenced with the boats staying further to the west prevailing over those that allowed themselves to be swept east by the current.
In the A Division, finishing first was Stephen Besse in his J-120, Apres. In second was Mike Loberg in the Morris 36, Masquerade. In third was Jerry Goodale in the Pearson 32, Stormalong. Fourth was John Amabile in Solitude and fifth was Bob Jewett in Andiamo II.
In the B Division, first place went to Dan Culkin in his Vineyard Vixen 30, Magic Time. In second was Alan Wilson in the Marshall Cat Boat, High Tide. In third was Jim Pringle in the Sailmaster, Myfanwy.
Holmes Hole sailors welcomed two guest boats: Undine, sister ship to Masquerade, a Morris 36, skippered by Ed Cellio, and Winds Eye, Tom Hale’s old boat, skippered by Larry Otto.
The summer racing series continued with a race last night (watch for results in a future Gazette). Next is the Chappy Rendezvous on July 5 at 10 a.m. New members of the Holmes Hole Sailing Association are actively encouraged, as are guest boats. Races are on Thursdays and Sundays, weather permitting. For more information, call Diane Hartmann at 508-693-6592.