The Quissett Labor Day races are always a challenging time for the Race Committee and sailors alike as the Race Comittee attempts to haul as many marks as possible and the racers have their last bittersweet chance to test the fickle winds of the late summer. With the wind blowing out of the SSE, the Race Committee of (birthday boy) Ed Jackson and Doug Jones chose to trust the forecast and relied on the wind switching more to the west. For the S class, back from their adventures in New York and Rhode Island, a course of AEZA was posted sending the fleet upwind to Stoney Beach, then on a reach to Knob Cove Beach, another reach to a mark off Gunning Point, a long beat back to Stoney Beach, and a final run to the finish.
Clearly the fleet was a bit rusty as they approached the starting line tentatively with the first boat at least ten seconds off the line. Radiant grabbed an early advantage close to shore while Coyote did her best to make up for a late start by testing the offshore breeze. Radiant’s lead proved too much to overcome as she carefully and methodically covered the fleet for the parade around the course enjoying the perfect sailing conditions.
1. Radiant, Kathy and Doug Cooper 1:36:56
2. Coyote, Eric Karplus 1:39:51
3. Teaticket, Alan Haigh 1:43:30
4. Aeolus, Jeff Whittle 1:44:05
While the S class was working their way around the bay, the eight H-12’s vying for the Labor Day trophy sailed a similar course closer to the shore (AQSA). During one of the most aggressive starts of the year, the fleet was well spread out over the line with three boats timing their starts perfectly with full speed and within a second or two of the line. Tommy and Tom Tullius in Moxie chose the favored port end, while Mort Saunders and Ellen Macrae in Found It hit the middle of the line and Hunter and Ted Grayson in Swizzle protected the boat end from any barging boats opting for the end of the line closest to the next mark.
Swizzle found favorable lifts and puffs by hugging the shore on their way to the Stoney Beach mark and rounded the windward mark with a sizeable lead over Charlotte Wells in Pani Baba and Ali Rodin and Steve Chalmers in Sea Breeze. Brilliant spinnaker work by Ted and expert downwind sailing by seven-year-old Hunter allowed Swizzle to increase her lead during the following two reaches. On the final two legs, Swizzle comfortably covered the fleet while Sea Breeze and Pani Baba battled back and forth with Sea Breeze’s spinnaker work on the final run to the finish making the difference.
1. Swizzle, Hunter and Ted Grayson 1:20:08
2. Sea Breeze, Ali Rodin and Steve Chalmers 1:22:49
3. Pani Baba, Charlotte Wells 1:22:52
4. Found It, Mort Saunders and Ellen Macrae 1:23:52
5. Moxie, Tommy and Tom Tullius 1:24:15
6. Allie Rose, Chuck First 1:26:33
7. Penguin, Betsy Evans and Bill Armstrong 1:31:02
8. Bubbles, Sheila and Scotty Gordon 1:34:22