The racing gets underway Aug. 21 with a scramble for (from right) Cybele, Sidewinder and Dreadnought. PHOTO COURTESY OF SUE CHARLES

Dreadnought team closes in on season victory

Dreadnought’s spinnaker pulls her through the finishing line on the Great Harbor of Mount Desert Island on Aug. 21.

MOUNT DESERT ISLAND — David Rockefeller’s Cybele team had a small lead after the first leg out to Seaview from Greening Island in the Cruising Class race on Sunday afternoon. They extended that lead with a move towards Sutton Island on a long downwind leg to Northeast Harbor favoring the cool puffs off Cranberry while Dreadnought favored the Manset and Southwest Harbor shore.  

By turning the red flasher at the entrance to Northeast Harbor first, Cybele was able to take advantage of getting back into fresher breeze going upwind first and really stretched its lead on a second trip upwind to Seaview.  

As the boats passed the town pier at Cranberry on a trip from Seaview to the green entrance can off Islesford, Cybele had a 7.5-minute lead but knew the fickle breezes of the harbor could never be counted on for consistency. Sure enough, the skating rink appeared. The waters were glassy and the sails hung limp. Just a few hundred yards ahead of Cybele was a 10-knot sea breeze from the southeast at Islesford. 

It seemed to take longer than the final minute on a microwave oven.  

Dreadnought was coming fast and everyone in their matching red shirts aboard Cybele thought Dreadnought’s bow wave was a herd of buffalo. Eventually, Cybele got into the fresh breeze and heeled over to scurry away in the new breeze.  

The damage was done.  

Cybele takes advantage of a puff to power downwind in light sailing conditions on the Great Harbor of Mount Desert Island on Aug. 21.

Dreadnought saw Cybele’s predicament and got its sails working through the doldrums and had more than halved Cybele’s well-earned lead. Both boats raced down around Sutton Island with Dreadnought just trying to stay close. Eventually the boats went all the way back out to Seawall before a long run to Bear Island for the finish. Dreadnought was happy to follow and stay close as Cybele would need at least a five-minute lead to beat Dreadnought on corrected time on the slightly longer than 14 miles racecourse.  

A hard-fought and well-earned victory for Joe Weber and his crew brought them close to sealing the 2022 MDI Series Championship for the Carol and Gordon Haaland Trophy. Two more races remain next Sunday for the Max Warburg Trophy and Weber is threatening to bring the screw gun to close the coffin on the Cruising Class season. 

MDI Series Cruising Class results 

Joe Weber, Bill Dowling, Steve Linscott, Kevin Snyder – Dreadnought 

David Rockefeller, Chris Groobey, Carolyn Grooby – Cybele 

Tom Rolfes, Sean Rolfes, Joe Peine, Mark Weber, Chris Groobey – Sidewinder 

Mark Weber, Debra Weber – Halcyon 

Henry Brauer, Steve Madeira – Tio Loco 

John Roberts Jr. – Lark 

Chris Hopkins – Watermark 

Tony St Denis – Eleanor 

Gary Madeira, Steve Madeira – Auriga 

David Rockefeller – Caribou 

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