TEST IT, THEN BUST IT!
On Saturday, May 18th, on a beautiful day in the mid 60’s, IHYC hosted the 8th Annual Geartester long-ish day race. Twenty-six yachts from twelve Yacht Clubs across Western Long Island Sound registered for the event. The pre-start wind was light out of the northwest and slowly died necessitating a postponement of the start. However, as the wind swung to the south, the breeze picked up just enough, and within 15 minutes, the starting sequence began.
Two fully crewed spinnaker classes, two fully crewed non-spinnaker classes and one double-handed class competed. The spinnaker/double-handed fleet was given Course F (Lloyd Point, Matinecock, GB 1 off Wee Captain, finish – 19.1nm) while the non-spinnaker fleet was given Course D (Scotch Caps, finish – 12.4nm).
Throughout the afternoon, the breeze oscillated both in speed and direction. On the long course, Bill Clemens and Coyote (Bolt 37) thrived in the conditions and was lights out against the competition. They got to Matinecock well ahead of the fleet and given the time of day the Race Committee decided not to shorten Class 1. With that Coyote rounded the mark, hoisted a spinnaker and headed for the finish line while others still battled the increasing ebb tide. Overall, Coyote took advantage of their situation and ran home with a tidal push to correct out 50 minutes ahead of the second place Class 1 finisher.
Mercifully the short-handed and smaller class 2 boats were shortened at Matinecock. Jonathan Nye and Graffiti made the best of the conditions and eked out a 4 minute win over Bridgette and Patrick Croke’s hard charging Melges 24, Crazy Train in Class 2.
The non-spinnaker classes raced a 12 nautical mile course. On the return leg after rounding Bell ‘42’ off of Mamaroneck Harbor, the wind continued moving to the left (South) but, abruptly swung back to the Southwest allowing yachts to hoist whisker poles for ‘wing on wing’ sailing. However, the wind wasn’t content to stay out of the Southwest and swung 45 degrees back to the South and back again – all of which necessitated constant resets of sail position and lots of work for the foredeck crew! John Ekberg and Foolish Pleasure had an excellent downwind leg finishing first across the line for Class 5 as well as correcting ahead of all Class 4 yachts.
IHYC did exceptionally well. Bill Clemens’ Coyote finished first in Class 1 (larger fully crewed/spinnakered), Jonathan Nye’s Graffiti was first in Class 2 (smaller fully crewed/spinnakered), John Cutting’s Easy Red finished first in Class 4 (larger fully crewed/non-spinnaker) and John Ekberg’s Foolish Pleasure earned first in Class 5 (smaller fully crewed/non-spinnaker). Riverside’s Ty Anderson on Skye won the Doublehanded Class.
Race Committee, led by PRO Deborah Davenport Wressell, did an excellent job with race management and the Club welcomed racers to a wonderful awards ceremony with buffet and beer on the South Lawn post-race.