On Saturday, May 18th, on a beautiful day with temperatures in the mid-60’s, Indian Harbor Yacht Club hosted the 8th Annual Geartester day race. Twenty-six yachts from twelve yacht clubs from across Western Long Island Sound registered for the event. Pre-start the wind was light out of the northwest and slowly died necessitating a postponement. 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 Island, 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 everyone else. Coyote 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 her 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 in Class 5 as well as correcting ahead of Class 4 winner John Cutting in Easy Red.
The remaining class winner was Ty Anderson (Skye) in the Doublehanded Class.
After racing, competitors enjoyed one of the finest post-races on the Sound.
Gearbuster, October 12 - Mark your calendars!
2019 Geartester Results