Northeast Harbor Fleet
This year’s cruise, held Saturday and Sunday, featured a morning pursuit race each day followed by a lunch break and then an afternoon corrected time race, with all types of boats together on one starting line.
On Saturday, a very light breeze forecast was fulfilled under exceptionally clear air with a bit of clouds to the south but blue skies overhead.
The first race got going from Gilpatrick Ledge with a starboard almost fetch to Bear Island. The initial blast of east wind was clocking right and fading as the boats got underway. Some boats smoked right through the light stuff and some got becalmed. Cybele was steaming the water off her transom and blasted through all but the IODs and Luders by the second turn. It picked off the small boats and put good distance on the boats astern as well to take the first cannon at the finish line. Ranger sailed well and smacked Tio Loco hard in the last quarter mile to defend that finish.
In the second race, the breeze was having a very difficult time filling down into the inner harbor. Boats were sent for a couple of laps out the Western Way before they had to make a triangular journey over to Islesford, back to Gilpatrick and finish at Manset. Tio Loco had a good lead and was trying to stretch it on Cybele when they sailed into the hockey rink. Their sails went limp and then backed and they stopped. Cybele followed them into the hole and came to a halt as well. Lynnette couldn’t believe what it was seeing and jumped right in as well. And then came Ranger and Dreadnought and … guess what happened?
The boats eventually broke through but then, after turning the mark, they all fell right back into the doldrums. Lynnette broke through first and Ranger sailed the great circle route to windward and smoked over Cybele and Tio Loco. Lynnette got to the line first. Magic Bus corrected out in front of everyone on corrected time for the entire fleet.
“It was extremely challenging on both days of competition and conditions rewarded the sailors to show patience and keep looking for signs of where the next puff of wind might fill from,” Fleet Director Fran Charles said. “Everyone was a champ at some point during a race, but Mother Nature always had to change the music and make you dance differently.”
The Sunday morning race saw Freight Train to Your Love, Baby, sailed by Bill and Otto Smith, leading at the first turn as well as heading into the second turn at the Coast Guard station in Southwest Harbor.
A massive hole formed off Kings Point’s lee shore that slowed both the Luders 16 and the IOD Class sailboats. Dakota sailed by Pancho Cole got a puff first and stole the lead from the Smiths in Freight Train. Back in the pack, Ranger stopped to inspect a few boulders with seaweed along the Manset shoreline and after deciding that they were a bit too close, freed themselves while Lynnette snuck by on the outside.
Aboard Cybele, the Burnes and Rockefeller consortium were getting ready to pounce when they saw the boats ahead sail into the vacuum. They jibed to sail around but actually got stuck without wind for longer than anyone else. It was one of those days where every good deed would get punished. Boats continued north to the entrance buoy of Somes Sound and then had to return upwind.
Tide was starting to flood very hard and sailors chose which side of Greening Island to sail on their route to the finish line just outside Southwest Harbor. Those who took the inside route sailed a much shorter distance but had to break through the doldrums again in the opposite direction. Freight Train and Cybele sailed to the east of the island and made huge gains back on the leaders who spent lots of time drifting with their sails slack. Lynnette sailed expertly by Commodore Mike Cook took the victory gun with Ken Weg’s Ranger in second and the Luders Freight Train just sneaking ahead of Tio Loco sailed by Steve Madeira and Henry Brauer.
The afternoon race affair started with all of the boats lined up perfectly and Ned Johnston in his Luders 16, Domino, nailing the perfect start at the boat end of the starting line. Everyone had to seek current relief along Manset’s shoreline on their way out of the Western Way. Tio Loco grabbed the lead and needed to stretch it to win on corrected time.
Cybele and Dreadnought would see nothing of that. They kept picking away and performing their maneuvers flawlessly for every sail change, tack and jibe. Lynnette was right with them and was poised to pounce.
The breeze swung 90 degrees to the west and the course was changed into Southwest Harbor and a run to Bear Island following. Many tacks and turns and then trying to stay in the rapidly decreasing wind pressure on the sail to Bear Island. Tio Loco got there first but Dreadnought reeled everyone in for the win on corrected time.
Lynnette beat defending champ Ranger by 8 seconds on corrected time to beat them in the race and to take the overall 2020 August Cruise Series Title as well.
Courtney Jenkins won the IOD Class title for the weekend.
1 Mike Cook Lynnette
2 Ken Weg Ranger
3 Joe Weber Dreadnought
4 Henry Brauer & Steve Madeira Tio Loco
5 Nonnie & Rick Burnes, David Rockefeller Cybele
6 Courtney Jenkins Eagle
7 Henry Lee Magic Bus
8 John Henry Gambler
9 Ned Johnston Domino
10 Bill Smith Freight Train to Your Love, Baby
11 Mark Weber Halcyon
12 Scott & Melissa Hirsch Batty
13 Pancho Cole & David Schoeder Dakota