Saturday, September 21, 2013

The America's Cup comes to Lake Massapoag (Sort of)

Match Racing, America's Cup Style

They say that things in the America's cup eventually make their way down to us average sailors.  Well, the trickling has started.  Our PRO today, Roger Sharp had the terrific idea to honor the America's Cup by running our races on an America's Cup course. Roger set up a course with a reaching start, with the first turning mark in the middle of the course, and gates at the end of each leg. The wind obliged by blowing at the high end of the range, and John Houstle and Mark Stoughton turned the days races into a match race series by being the only two skippers foolhardy enough to sail in the 20+mph breeze.

Keep dreaming Skipper
Like their 72 foot counterparts, leads changed frequently and the racing was close. In Race 1, John took the start,  rounding marks 1 and 2 by only a few seconds, but by the third mark, his lead was insurmountable and he won by about 30 seconds. In Race 2, Mark forced John over the line early, and never looked back. Race 3 proved to be the best race of the day. John took the start, but Mark turned inside him at the 2nd mark to take the lead.  John led again at mark 3, things were pretty much even at mark 4, when the racers split, and Mark took the finish. Race 4, like so many America's Cup races this summer, was decided by an equipment breakdown. Both boats were within inches of each other on a screaming run, when a strong puff hit. John's boat capsized, breaking his halyard cleat and ending the racing for the day.

John's sail isn't supposed to be on the back of Mark's boat!

Thanks to Roger Sharp for coming up with the wonderful idea of running an America's Cup course, and the luck of having only two skippers, making a match racing series possible. It was just like having the America's Cup right here in Sharon!

Mark and PRO Roger Sharp both showed up with GoPro cameras today, so there are a lot of photos and videos that we are still sorting through.  We'll have them posted on the MYCSunfish Flickr page and YouTube channel as soon as we can.

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