The Northeast Harbor Fleet enjoyed abundant sunshine for the Labor Day weekend races. SUE CHARLES PHOTO

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Northeast Harbor Fleet 

Labor Day Series for the Burton Gray Trophy Sept. 5-6 

The Fleet’s Labor Day series marks the end of the summer racing season. With IODs and Luders racing together, 11 boats stormed up Somes Sound Saturday morning in the first race.  

Auriga, sailed by Gary Madeira, worked left early and then led that group back to the center to put the nail in the coffin on those who gambled with the righthand breeze. Lisa Erhartskippering Freyja, was right early and then came back in time to get attached to the leftside puff. Ned Johnston beat most of the IODs and all of the Luders‘ sailors to the windward mark and then everyone headed back out to Bear Island on a run. Things got interesting as sailors rode the flooding current into the Sound and the mountains to the west blanketed the breeze. Auriga won huge with Dakota and Mischief filling out the podium. Domino led in Freight Train with Bill and Otto Smith and Sea Bee sailed by Jim Fernald. 

After a raft up picnic lunch in Somes Harbor, the second race got started with a beam reach ‘America’s Cup’ style start from the top of the Sound. Eagle, sailed by Courtney Jenkins, just nailed it, but there was danger ahead as everyone knew that the westerly breeze would give way to doldrums under Acadia Mountain and the seabreaze from the south was going to make it in somewhere in the bowling alley. Mauras in Dakota and Mischief were in a tight battle at the front with Eagle and Freyja hitting on each other’s breeze. Dakota led out of the Sound but held high enough so Eagle could slip through to leeward. Mischief and Freyja sailed extra distance and let the other two get away. Domino and Freight Train in the Luders class were all in a tight battle trying to get through the alley with a helpful ebbing current now. 

Auriga, Freyja and Dakota stayed out in the middle of the harbor in much stronger breeze and were able to slip by right at the finish. Domino, sailed by the very talented Ned Johnston, kept itself between Freight Train and the finish to make sure that it couldn’t slip through. 

Sept. 5 results 

1 Gary Madeira Auriga 

2 Auria Mauras Dakota 

3 Lisa Ehrhart Freyja 

4 Sofie Dowling Mischief 

5 Courtney Jenkins Eagle 

6 Rick Echard Firefly 

7 Syd Roberts Rockefeller Satin Doll 

8 David Rockefeler Caribou 

9 Nicholas Schoeder Puff 

10 Fred Ford J’Ellie Bean 

11 John Roberts Woodie 

The Northeast Harbor Fleet 

Sept. 6                                                                                           

Nine competitors were anxious for the last gasp of summer with a single race to decide the Labor Day Series. The fleet was sent off to Black Island with a perfectly lined up start and all boats evenly spaced on the line at Spurling Point. As soon as the boats sailed south out of the Western Way, the breeze faded. It didn’t just lighten up, it completely went away with sails slatting back and forth and the boats drifting aimlessly in the ebbing current. After 20 minutes of hoping for a breath, a surge of zephyrs filled from Little Duck Island and eventually built gradually so the boats farthest south accelerated first and the course was changed to Long Ledge. Firefly stretched out a comfortable lead on Satin Doll with a very tight fleet just behind. 

The boats reached back to the Western Way and sailed a run to Spurling Point off Cranberry with most boats favoring the western Cranberry shore to diminish the effect of the ebbing water. Auriga, sailed by Steve Madeira, made its move on the tight group and then turned on the inside of Puff, sailed by Nicholas Schoeder, to close the scoring gap on Dakota. 

The fleet made another trip out to the opening of the Western Way and then ran with the wind to a finish at Greening Island with Rick Echard in Firefly relishing in victory of the last race of the season for these boats. Kudos to Lisa Ehrhart who skippered an IOD Freyja for her first time ever this weekend and came away in 4th place overall.  

Ned Johnston came out to race in his Domino against the three other Luders Class boats, but nobody showed. Ned won both races yesterday and will be defending champion in 2021 as well. 

Sept. 6 results 

1 Steve Madeira Auriga  

2 Auria Mauras, David Conway & David Schoeder Dakota  

3 Rick Echard Firefly  

4 Lisa Ehrhart Freyja  

5 Courtney Jenkins Eagle  

6 Syd Roberts Rockefeller Satin Doll  

7 Sofie Dowling Mischief  

8 Nicholas Schoeder Puff  

9 David Rockefeler Caribou  

10 Fred Ford J’Ellie Bean  

11 John Roberts Woodie 

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