The Northeast Harbor Fleet
Ludicrous sailed to victory with two aces Friday, improving to fourth place in the series standings. Alec Fisichella, along with Art Paine, aboard Ludicrous had stellar starts and great upwind speed and that resulted in a perfect score on the day. A gorgeous southerly breeze at 8-15 knots and slow cyclical wind shifts made for ideal racing conditions for the 10 boats that came out to race. Things got a bit soggy as some rain moved through later in the afternoon.
In the first race of the afternoon, all 10 boats hit the starting line almost simultaneously as the breeze was on and the course favored the puffs coming off the Cranberry shore on the left side just enough to let the boats who worked east instead of west to get to the turn a few boat lengths ahead of those who favored the Manset shoreline. Ludicrous got there first, but Ned Johnston in Domino passed it on the long run into Northeast Harbor. All 10 boats were tight at that turn and Ludicrous then turned on its afterburners to haul in the Domino and put enough distance between them to enjoy an almost–leisurely cruise to the finish line. Sea Bee, sailed by Jim Fernald, showed great upwind speed dusting off Sweet Chariot, sailed by the Brookes Family, and Slingshot, sailed by Andrew Kennedy, with Alison ‘Beetle’ Schafer. Freight Train to your Love, Baby, sailed by Bill and Otto Smith, had its rig tangled with Ondine and was forced to retire with a broken mast.
In the second battle of the afternoon, the first turn was all the way at the entrance to the Western Way almost two miles from the start. The tide was starting to flood hard, so all Luders competitors knew that there was only one direction to go. The Manset shoreline out along the Seawall Road offered current relief and the Cranberry shore had nothing but lots of flooding tide along the western side of the island. The middle of the Western Way with the deepest water was an absolute death sentence.
As soon as the boats all started tacking towards the Manset side, Fisichella and Paine went with the crowd. Nobody let anyone else get closer to the shore than they were, and the boats played ‘touch and tack’ all the way along. Johnston touched a little too hard and got his Domino stuck on the boulders.
Ludicrous grabbed the lead early and smacked on second–place David Folger and Auria Mauras in VooDoo for the rest of the race. Sweet Chariot snuck by Sea Bee. The breeze abated a bit as the race got to the outside of Seawall. However, the breeze came back on as boats made their way back to a finish line off Gilpatrick Ledge.
On Saturday, Freight Train to Your Love, Baby filed for redress as they were dismasted by a port tack boat when they were on starboard tack. Bill Smith asked the RC for redress as they had serious damage and could not race in the second race of the afternoon.
A hearing Monday morning granted Freight Train points equal to the position (third) they were in during Race 5 of the series. The RC also granted redress for Race 6 by throwing out the best and worst race score and then computing average points (two).
Standings after six races:
1 Bill SmithFreight Train to Your Love, Baby
2 Ned Johnston Domino
3 David Folger VooDoo
4 Alec Fisichella Ludicrous
and Art Paine
5 Jim Fernald Sea Bee
6 Ken Brookes Sweet Chariot
7 Chris and Carolyn Slingshot
8 Rick Wheeler Ondine
9 Leif Heimbold Triad
10 David Folger North
11 Pancho Cole Dilli Gaff
The Northeast Harbor Fleet
July series for the Rockefeller Trophy
A light breeze tried to get established from the south last Monday afternoon, but the clouds returned in anticipation of a cold front swinging through in the evening. A start was set in the middle of the Great Harbor. Sailing for the first time this season were John Sullivan, sailing Pippa, along with Taylor Martin, and the Little Cranberry youth team on Earl.
The first start was well hit by the entire fleet with groupings split between going to Manset or going east to Great Cranberry Island. The tide was flooding at almost full strength and it was certainly flooding a whole lot more on the Cranberry shore. The Henry Family of John, Jay and Ryder walloped everyone in their Gambler and rounded at least 150 yards ahead of the second place Freyja at the opening of the Western Way at the new mark named for the Great Head of Cranberry. Freyja, sailed by Vice Commodore Mia Thompson, wasn’t giving anything away, and J’Ellie Bean, captained by Fred Ford, battled back to third place in the two–lap race course.
Rain showers appeared to the south and quickly started eroding the nice breeze. The water surface became patchy, and once again, all boats were quite even off the starting line with Sofie Dowling sailing her Mischief and absolutely nailing a perfect start in the center of the starting line. The fleet was only heading to windward for a little less than a mile, so everyone was snarled up together at the first turn. On a long run to Gilpatrick Ledge, the entire fleet spread out laterally trying to make the best of whatever zephyr came their way. Pippa and David Rockefeller’s Caribou worked to the east hoping the cool sea breeze might prevail and allow it to sail the great circle route around the competition. Many others hedged their bets on the warm thermal breeze coming out of Southwest Harbor one more time to deliver them to victory.
Clouds got thicker and the sea breeze from the east eventually started tickling the flag on the finish boat. Pippa and Caribou showed everyone that the quickest route is sometimes the longer route to the target. Satin Doll, sailed by Syd Roberts Rockefeller, finished fourth right behind Puff. The Henry Family won the day and they were the first all–family boat, too. Satin Doll was second overall on the day, just two points behind Gambler.
On Saturday, the Chamber of Commerce seemed to have ordered up some spectacular sailing with temperatures in the low 70s, abundant sunshine and breezes out of the south, southwest at 8-12 knots. Friendship sloops were everywhere and added to the scene. The Henry Family, with Jay Henry, Allison Gingrich, Scott Lawliss and Captain John, ripped off a win and a deuce but it was anything but easy. Dowling had the taste of victory in her mouth sailing Mischief with Alec Fisichella and Nate Ingebritson not once, but twice, within 100 yards of the finish.
The crazy breezes and hard–fighting rivals, who were anxious to sneak by with any misstep, took it away from the orange–and green–hulled boat that clearly felt robbed as it headed home. Ted Madara took to the water for his first day of racing and came away with a second–place finish on the day in the Moewe after sniffing out a leftie shift and passing the three leaders in the last few yards of the second race. J’Ellie Bean took third on the day with Captain Fred Ford, and young tactician Riley Donahue assisting, with a pair of third–place finishes.
There are always some very smart youth sailors who are anxious to show the old farts how to do it better. Discipline, fantastically aggressive starts and a take-no-prisoners attitude are pushing the younger sailors up the score charts. They want to earn it, and nobody is handing it over easily.
Standings after eight races
1 Mia Thompson Freyja
2 John Henry Gambler
3 Fred Ford J’Ellie Bean
4 Sofie Dowling Mischief
5 Rick Echard Firefly
6 Syd Roberts Satin Doll
7 David Schoeder Dakota
8 David Rockefeller Caribou
9 Nicholas Schoeder Puff
and Sean Smith
10 Ted Madara Moewe
11 John Sullivan Pippa
12 Madeira Family Auriga
13 Tyler Steel Dram
14 Jean Burden Cygnet
15 NEHSS Youth The Magic Bus
16 Little Cranberry YC Youth Earl
Northeast Harbor Fleet
Pursuit-style race for the Connie Madeira Trophy
This race honors a stalwart pioneer of sailboat racing in Northeast Harbor who just passed this spring in her 102nd year. Connie Madeira was a top competitor in the IOD Class boats and in Cruising Class boats and is recognized for her contributions to The Fleet as a champion of promoting youth and women’s participation in sailboat racing.
The pursuit–style race got going at 1 p.m. Sunday for the slowest boats, the Luders 16 Class. It also started almost an hour later for the fastest sailboat in the field of competitors, Tio Loco, a Swan 42 sailed by Steve Madeira. The staggered start takes an algorithm with the rating (speed) of the boat and the total mileage sailed on the race course to make the race a chase for the finish line. The first to finish wins.
Starting from the northeast corner of Baker Island, the fleet of racing boats set off in a 10–knot southerly breeze for the green bell off Otter Cliffs. The breeze had some holes, but all competitors made good progress downwind and turned the buoy in front of the cliffs along the eastern shore of MDI. The boats sailed against the wind in a building breeze that got up over 16 knots back into the Great Harbor of Mount Desert. The smallest boat, a Luders named Domino, sailed by Ned Johnston, held the lead until Sutton Island. Dreadnought, captained by Joe Weber, swallowed Lynnette, sailed by Mike Cook, and trampled Domino on the leg to Great Cranberry Island.
Everything got a bit dicey as the sailors brought their boats back to Gilpatrick Cove and the remarkable sea breeze gave it up and started to disappear. Dreadnought clung to her lead by a boat length over Lynnette, and the Tio Loco was anxiously holding off the hard–charging Cybele, sailed by Rick and Noni Burnes.
1 Joe Weber Dreadnought
2 Mike Cook Lynnette
3 Steve Madeira and Tio Loco
4 Noni and Cybele
5 Ned Johnston Domino
6 Tom Rolfes Sidewinder
7 The Hopkins Family Watermark
8 Peter Walmsley Magic Bus
9 David Schoeder Dakota
10 Debra and Halcyon
11 Rick Wheeler Ondine