Friday, July 05, 2019

On the Harbor: Summer racing update...all week long

It appears the marine layer has dissipated and you can finally feel the heat of summer soaking in. I began feeling it eight weeks ago with the start of the summer twilight series in our harbor. One of the beauties of our harbor is that you can race, at almost every skill level, each day of the week.
On Mondays, the American Legion hosts the “Sundowners” which has 33 boats entered. The fleet that caught my attention this year is UCI/City of Newport J/22s. With five J/22s on the starting line most Mondays, by the way, this has to be the best deal in town to race in a summer season. If you are interested, head down to Marina Park and inquire about the requirements for checking out these boats at the Sailing Center. This June, Paul Zubaton edged out Chris Hill to win the month. In the Harbor 20 fleet, Tucker Cheadle aboard Summer Dream has been the boat to beat, even though Herb Fisher and Kevin Hampton have been keeping Cheadle on his toes and not making it easy on him. In PHRF A, Haydon’s Havoc devastated the fleet for the month of June, followed closely by Whisper. In PHRF B, Jim O’Conner aboard Celiatook the top spot over Gary Miltimore’s Hobo Flats.
BCYC Taco Tuesdays have become the popular spot for summer sailing with 52 boats entered this summer. Commodore Tolar knows how to promote a sailing event and again, for more than 10 years now, is crushing it with more than 230 sailors showing up for the awards presentation and opportunity drawing after each week’s race. At BCYC, the real prize is at the end of the season with who wins the overall series. Now halfway through the summer, don’t cringe when you read that in PHRF A fleet, Tim Harmon aboard the J/124 Cirrus is tied with Tim Richley sailing Amante, the Choate 48. In B fleet, Joe Degenhardt’s Lickity Split holds a slim lead over John Szalay’s Pussycat, and over in C fleet, Stuart Leigh on Rylacade is competing with Jim O’Conner sailing Celia. The Harbor 20 fleet is also very involved with Taco Tuesdays, with more than half of the summer series entries. In A Fleet, Len Bose sailing Only Child has a three-point lead over Mark Conzelman sailing Shana’s Secret. In B fleet, PJ Kohl aboard A-tack-Dragon has a two-point lead over Max Moosman at the helm of Boomerang. In C fleet, Debra Haynes sailing Spirt has a comfortable lead over Dick Somers skippering Stop Making Sense.
South Shore Yacht Club has the harbor on Wednesday nights with Scott Karlin sailing Valhalla III leading PHRF A with Valentine looking to gain that overlap as we start July sailing. In PHRF B’s, it’s Rylacade and Stuart Leigh facing off again with Jim O’Conner aboard Celia. The battle continues throughout August.
On Thursday nights, it’s all about NHYC’s Twilight Series with 46 boats entered. Most of the fleet consists of the Harbor 20 fleets, comprised of the most competitive sailors, with Bill Menninger consistently sailing to the top of A fleet. In June, he was challenged by Chris Allen sailing with Greg Helias aboard Zephyr and Shana’s Secret sailed by Mark Conzelman and Phil Thompson. Karen and Gary Thorne sailing Blue Skies took heart in the marine layer lifting and placed the dart for a bull’s eye on the last night of the series taking a 3-1-1 and moving into fourth place for the month. Give you one guess who was left with his tiller in his hand for fifth by the Thrones sailing so well. In B Fleet, Randel Hause sailing Second Wind had placed his siren on the bow of his boat and asked everyone to pull over and let him play through to win the month. Tom Corkett took second place aboard Sail Dates while Tyler Macdonald sailed into third place.
In C Fleet, Bob McDonald sailed consistently to take the top spot and was chased by Dick Somers in second and Roxanne Chan in third. For most of the month, the breeze was out of the south, so one had to navigate through the mooring to get to and from the weather mark which was placed just in front of the NHYC. Lead changes were drastic with many competitors going from first to last on one leg of the race. A big shout out to NHYC race committee for keeping the course balanced and the racing moving along.
Stuart Leigh aboard Rylacade
Looking over the results of most active skippers are Karen & Gary Throne sailing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays on their Harbor 20 Blue Skies. Jim O’Conner is sailing his Catalina 32 Celia on Monday, Tuesdays and Wednesday nights, along with Stuart Leigh sailing his Hunter 46 Rylacade those same nights. I also noticed that Tucker Cheadle aboard his Harbor 20 Summer Dream is participating on most Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights. Now if I was to award the golden pickle dish to the most active sailor this summer so far, it would have to go to Stuart Leigh aboard Rylacade. This team consists of at least 12 crew members each night, in their team shirts who are just having too much fun.
As you know, I am off to Hawaii in this year’s Transpac and will be taking the rest of July off from writing a column. I will be back in August with my Transpac recap along with any updates on harbor issues. Wish me luck!
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.