Ranger was the winner of the Max Warburg series Sunday, finishing second and first in the two races. In the stiff breeze, Fleet Director Fran Charles said, “the tension on the lines and sheets felt like you were holding a pipe.” PHOTO COURTESY OF SUE CHARLES

Sailing Leaderboard

Northeast Harbor Fleet 

IOD Class 

August series for the Taormina Cup 

On Monday, Aug. 24, the sailboat racing looked grim out on the Great Harbor with overcast skies and the motionless clouds. Eventually a bit of blue sky got the heat pump working between the east and west banks of Somes Sound and the racers were off from the bowling alley. 

Eagle was sailed for the first time in August by Courtney and Charlotte Jenkins and showed everyone its stern with a brilliant start in the 2.5knot flooding current at Flying Mountain. Moewe, Caribou, Gambler and Auriga were also hitting the line hard, but Eagle made the escape. The breeze built and built as sailors raced all the way to Somesville under their spinnakers. 

Some sailors realized too late that they needed to work to the inside for the turn and were pinwheeled outside of others at the turn. Eagle defended against the wily John Henry and Tyler Steel in Gambler. They got hung up with defending Mischief at the finish and let Syd Roberts Rockefeller slip through for the secondplace finish. 

The second race was another welltimed start with the fleet heading toward the first turn at Acadia Mountain. J’Ellie Bean, skippered by Fred Ford, was in the lead when the sailboat race was abandoned by the race committee due to a very fastmoving thunderstorm front that was red, orange and yellow on the radar map. All boats were safely back on their moorings due to the generous assistance of many spectators in motorboats. 

For the series finale Saturday, David Rockefeller and his ace team sailed Caribou to a firstplace finish in a very breezy and soggy affair. Strong east winds were above 18 knots at the start with gusts occasionally into the mid 20-knot range. 

The boats got off evenly from Greening Island and were headed to windward to Bracy Cove almost two miles away. Many sailors were focused on a showdown between newcomer Sofie Dowling in Mischief and stalwart champion Gambler. 

Both of these boats got off the starting line a little bit later than the others and were quickly glued to each other, with Mischief tacking on Gambler’s wind at every opportunity. Gambler got a chance to steal the lead away from Mischief when they gauged the favorable lift from the ebbing current and tacked early to round the mark. Mischief kept sailing but Gambler slipped by and gained the upper hand. Freyja, sailed by Mia Thompson, had the lead and kept closer to Sutton Island rather than getting current relief along Bear Island on the long run back to Southwest Harbor. 

Caribou stole the lead from Freyja and Satin Doll had moved into third place with Mischief, Moewe and Gambler right on their heels. Dowling needed a top-three finish and to beat Henry to win. Gambler needed to beat Mischief or have both boats finish fourth or worse to win the series. Caribou won the race handily, followed by Freyja. The next four boats finished within 10 seconds of each other, and the finish order decided the August championship. 

Final results 

1 John Henry & Tyler Steel Gambler 

2 David Rockefeller Caribou 

3 Sofie Dowling Mischief 

4 Ted Madara Moewe  

5 Mia Thompson & Andrew Kennedy Freyja 

6 Peter Ill Silver Spray 

7 Gary Madeira Auriga 

8 Sydney Roberts Rockefeller Satin Doll 

9 NEHSS, Henry Lee, Sean Beaulieu Magic Bus 

10 Tom Fremont-Smith & Drew Hopkins Live Yankee 

11 David Schoeder Dakota 

12 Rick Echard Firefly 

13 Fred Ford J’Ellie Bean 

14 Skye Ehrhart & John Sullivan Pippa 

15 Nicholas Schoeder Puff 

16 Courtney Jenkins Eagle 

17 Little Cranberry Youth Earl 

18 John Roberts Woodie 

19 Jean Burden Cygnet 


Northeast Harbor Fleet 

Luders class 

August series 

Ned Johnston sailed solo on a very puffy, shifty day Friday and smoked the competition to claim the series. The top three sailors were within three points heading into the showdown, but Johnston sailed expertly to lead all the way around in the first race and stole the race on the last half of the last leg from Alec Fisichella and Connor Ratcliff, who split tacks and let Johnston find some fresh breeze all to himself. 

Racing was very tight for the nine boats out, with many boats overlapped together as they crossed the finish line. 

This series had been called the Danforth Trophy, but the officers of the Southwest Harbor Fleet have decided that the trophy should be retired rather than awarded this year. 

 Final results 

1 Ned Johnston Domino 

2 Alec Fisichella & Connor Ratcliff Ludicrous 

3 Bill & Otto Smith, Norm Reid Freight Train to Your Love, Baby! 

4 David Folger & Auria Mauras VooDoo 

5 Jim Fernald, Bill Knowlton, Ryan Donahue & Stephen Linscott Sea Bee 

6 Ken Brookes & Family Sweet Chariot
7 Wells & Mary Bacon MaryJane 

8 Matthew Baird Sea Wolf 

9 Scott & Melissa Hirsch Batty 

10 Rick Wheeler Ondine 

11 Jay Henry, Kate St. Denis & David Schoeder North 

12 Skye Ehrhart & Fred Ford Watermellon 

13 Pancho ColeDilli Gaff 

14 Leif Heimbold & Abbott Reeve Triad 

 Max Warburg races 

Seven boats were on the line Sunday for the Max Warburg races for keelboats 20 feet and up, the last opportunity of the season for the cruising class sailors. The races honor the memory of two members of the Warburg family, Eric and Max, who inspired many with their courage during their lives. 

The first race was pursuitstyle with a downwind start from Gilpatrick Ledge all the way to the green can northeast of Islesford. Boats split both ways around Sutton Island on the long run and a spectacular wipeout by the scratch boat, Tio Loco, must have had everyone hanging on for their lives with the rigging almost in the water. 

The smallest entry, Domino, was sailed solo by champion racer Ned Johnston. He opted to sail without using a spinnaker and handled the breeze well with his backstay on hard to flatten the mainsail, traveler to leeward and feathering the boat up into the wind when the puffs were whining in the rigging. 

The Luders Class rating makes it very difficult to win in lighter breezes, but when a day like this comes along and the boat is sailed on its feet, Johnston was untouchable. Nobody could reel him in over the 11-mile course. Sailors got washed overboard and retrieved and the tension on the lines and sheets felt like you were holding a pipe. 

The boats worked their way back upwind against the strongly ebbing current with some boats staying south of Sutton Island and Ranger and Sidewinder keeping to the north. After turning the flasher in front of the Coast Guard station in Southwest Harbor, all boats left Greening Island to starboard and finished east of Bear Island at Bracy Cove. 

Between races, there was plenty of wrangling as sailors tried to reduce sail area with a reef or two before starting the second race. Although it was a bit fouled up with its jib sail and was a little more than a minute late for the start, Ranger chose the proper balance between a smaller headsail and the right amount of reef in the mainsail. The balanced sail plan meant that both sails were very flat and both sails were catching wind in the big blasts so the boat was tracking very fast. If one had too little mainsail and too much headsail, the bow would get blown to leeward in the puffs while the mainsail flogged and luffed. Too much mainsail and not enough jib or headsail meant that a boat would naturally want to turn into the breeze too much and get ‘stuck in irons’ or have a very hardtocontrol tiller. 

Ranger hit the ball out of the park with an almost 7minute victory on corrected time. All remaining boats sailed in a very strong breeze from Bracy Cove up to the entrance of Somes Sound with Tio Loco doing its best to stay out of the strongly ebbing current in along the Northeast Harbor shoreline. Ranger was smoking upwind with steam coming off its transom. A long run to Islesford saw the boats trying to sail low to keep their jib sails winging to windward. Nobody dared set a spinnaker. Dreadnought had a bit too much sail up and was getting blown over frequently in the gale. A second windward leg into Southwest Harbor ended the race, and the season, for the cruising class sailors with lots of stories to tell during the short winter days and long nights that will be upon us soon. Aboard DominoJohnston was hanging in there with the big boats but broke his backstay and had to retire. 

Series results 

1 Ken Weg Ranger 

2 Ned Johnson Domino 

3 Joe Weber Dreadnought 

4 David Rockefeller Cybele 

5 Steve Madeira & Henry Brauer Tio Loco 

6 Mike Cook Lynnette 

7 Tom Rolfes Sidewinder 

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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