Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Racers Showed Up. The Wind Didn't

Today's third race downwind leg.  By the end of the race, that blue and yellow striped sail way in the back managed to come in second, just behind Jim Ronan in the blue and green striped sail. (Photo by Dan Abram)

Everyone showed up to race today, except the wind.  It tried to show up a couple of times, so 5 of us raced.

Series regulars John Houstle, Skip Russell and Mark Stoughton all showed up, along with long time Sunfisher Jim Ronan returning to racing after a long absence, plus a guest from Barrington Yacht Club, Alex Sellar, also making his first appearance in our series.

Racing was very close all day, with lots of lead changes and lots of chatter between the boats. Actually there was a lot of time for chatter, because the wind pulled a disappearing act for huge segments of the day.  Usually, one skipper pulled out to a huge insurmountable lead, followed by the other four finishing within a few feet of each other.

Mark Stoughton opened the big lead twice, once out distancing Jim Ronan in the first race, and then running a port tack drag race to the windward mark in the second race, opening up a 50 yard gap. That same race saw all of the other boats finish within one boat length, forcing Dan Abram on the committee boat to call names as they went across because all the sail numbers were blocked.

Jim Ronan ran away with the third race, playing  perfect port tack start, crossing the entire fleet.  John Houstle attempted to block Jim and Mark, who both started on port, but only blocked Mark, who fought his way back from 5th place at the last mark to finish 2nd behind Jim.

John Houstle left everyone in the proverbial dust in the fourth race, finding tiny puffs of wind here and there to beat the rest of the fleet by by a half leg.  After four races, the wind completely disappeared, forcing and end to the day's racing.

Skip Russell did really well, taking a second and a third, nearly taking a second from Mark in the third race, and Alex, who is getting used to the boat again after a long absence, finished closer than the scored showed, finishing competitively in all the races.

Today's results and the series standings are here:

Racing continues next Saturday, and don't forget, our Annual Regatta is under one month away!

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