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A Quick Gearbuster

The Gearbuster (aka The Indian Harbor Stratford Shoal Race) is the club’s annual signature handicap race. Held each year on the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend, this year’s edition was the 63rd running of the race and featured 51 entries from 25 clubs. Entries are spread among three fleets (double-handed, fully crewed spinnakered and fully crewed non-spinnaker). The double-handed and spinnaker fleets sail the Stratford Shoal course (Stratford Shoal Lighthouse off Bridgeport and back ≈ 45 miles) while the non-spinnaker crowd sails to Eatons Neck and back (≈ 19 miles).

Long course winner Hope

The forecasts leading up to this year’s race called for significantly less than gearbusting conditions. Thankfully, by the end of the week, the forecasts improved and any discussion of the dreaded short-course option was put to rest. Ultimately, most models projected some combination of 7 to 10 knots ENE/ESE wind at the start, building and veering throughout the afternoon potentially getting as far around as SW by sunset with winds in the low to mid-teens. And for once, the forecasts were spot on. Combined with temps in the mid-60s, this made for a nice day of sailing and two relatively short races.

Full results at Pictures at

This year marks the second year where prizes are given based on the best performance combining results from the Geartester and Gearbuster (the Geartester is a slightly shorter version of the Gearbuster and is sailed in the spring). 2018 award winners are:

  • Commodore Harold P. Whitmore Trophy (Spinnaker Division, fully crewed): Attractive Nuisance (Jonathan Nye); first in class/first in fleet Geartester; second in class/second in fleet Gearbuster.
  • Endymion Trophy (Non-Spinnaker) Kekoa, Luke Wakeman; second in class/2nd in fleet Geartester; second in class/third in fleet Gearbuster.
  • Commodore Agnew Fisher Trophy (Double-Handed): Max, Moritz Hilf; first in class/5th in fleet Geartester; third in class/14th in fleet Gearbuster.