Bar Harbor Yacht Club sailing instructor and Mount Desert Island High School sailor Kincaid MacCulloch took first place in the Turbo 420 class at the Seal Harbor Regatta Aug. 12. PHOTO COURTESY OF SUE CHARLES

MacCulloch, Slater take youth classes

MOUNT DESERT — Thick fog could not keep sailors from coming out in force last week for the annual Seal Harbor Regatta hosted by the yacht club there.

“We’ve gone through a bit of an evolution with the regatta,” Seal Harbor Yacht Club (SHYC) Commodore Stefan Cushman said. “It’s gone more island-wide, and we try to keep it a fun regatta, so participation was up quite a bit despite the weather conditions.”

This year’s races included Mercury, Bullseye and Optimists classes on a course just outside Seal Harbor. Mercury and Bullseye races were an intergenerational affair, Cushman said. “Some boats had an adult and kids and some had all kids who are more advanced sailors.”

Skipper Cece Gray and crew Winn Irwin, Addison Gray and Vernon Gray Jr. were the Mercury winners, sailing VA Reel. Lucas and Simon Clark in Alley Cat were runners-up in the race, which had six boats on the line.

Purple Cow came in first of four in the Bullseye class, with skipper Sarah Neilson and crew Hanna Newhall and Annie Nielson. Captain Lund and Eleanor Rogers sailing Island Girl were runners-up.

Jamie Slater of SHYC was the winner in the Optimist class. Isabela Cushman was runner-up.

Turbo 420 racing was held out in the Great Harbor near the float where those boats are stored, Cushman said. Bar Harbor Yacht Club sailing instructor and Mount Desert Island High School sailor Kincaid MacCulloch took first place. Connor Ratcliffe, instructor at MDI Community Sailing Center and high school team member, came in second. Third went to Ryder Henry of the Northeast Harbor Sailing School.

International One-Designs (IOD) and Luders classes sailed the Seal Harbor Yacht Club pursuit race for the O’Brien Cup, a gold two-handled trophy that was first won in 1949 by Nelson Rockefeller sailing his IOD Queen Mary.

Philip Crain got that honor this year, sailing Dark Star to a photo finish victory over second place Jack Roberts in Woodie.

“Thick fog and a light breeze kept the racing inside the Cranberry Islands and almost cancelled the event this year,” principal race officer Fran Charles said. “Sailors started in a 3-5 knot SE wind from Gilpatrick Cove and headed out to Spurling Rock between Sutton and Cranberry. As they approached the big red flashing buoy, the wind entirely quit. With sails slack, all of the sailboats just drifted in the ebbing current.”

Quick puffs of wind benefited a few boats at a time. Wells and Mary Bacon in their Luders Mary Jane, David Rockefeller in his yellow Caribou and Jack Roberts in Woodie each briefly held the lead.

“Just as the fleet of 12 boats was approaching the finish line, the wind quit again,” Charles said. “Dark Star helmed by Philip Crain went around the boats which were becalmed in the middle of the harbor to win the race by a half-length over Woodie.”

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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