International One Designs in the Northeast Harbor Fleet finish Saturday’s race on a reach. PHOTO COURTESY OF SUE CHARLES

Height of season finds races galore

MOUNT DESERT — August series races kicked off this week in the International One Design, Luders, Bullseye and cruising classes hosted by the Northeast Harbor and Southwest Harbor Fleets.

The Seal Harbor Yacht Club hosted its annual regatta Wednesday. Youth and adult sailors from all over Mount Desert Island planned to take part. Next Wednesday, young sailors will be in charge in the Barton Eddison IOD race, with the adults on board stepping back to a “safety officer” role.

The IOD fleet saw 19 boats on the line for their races this weekend. “Caribou and Live Yankee are looking awfully smart in the very challenging conditions of early August,” Fleet director Fran Charles said. David Rockefeller in Caribou leads the August series after six races. Rob Van Alen, sailing Live Yankee is a very close second. John Henry and Gambler are in third. Chris Booher of the MDI high school team has been skippering Jason Ingle’s Dram in IOD racing.

“Brilliant sunshine with a very challenging breeze made for a tricky race” for the IODs, Charles said. “Gary Madeira and his team on Auriga protected the left heading downwind, but their lead was diminished by the hard-charging Caribou. The sea breeze started giving up on the run, and the race committee changed course over to Manset and Mark D.” The change required the boats to sail the last leg on a reach with spinnakers still up, a challenging point of sail.

The Bullseye class is back in force, with seven boats in Friday’s two races. Hollis Hirsch came in first in Isabel. Pete Welles was second with Silver, and Kate Laurence in Alert was third.

For the Luders, it’s a very tight race this year between Ned and Anne Johnston in Domino and Art Paine in Ludicrous. Having MDI High School sailor Kincaid MacCullough crewing on Ludicrous is part of the secret, Paine said. After four races, Domino leads with 6 points and two bullets, and Ludicrous is second with 7 points and the other two bullets. Bill Knowlton, sailing Fiona, is in third with 14 points.

In cruising class action Saturday, Poppaea won the day to take first place in the series to date. Lynette was runner up with Lyn Cook at the helm.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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