On Monday morning, September 7, the Quissett H12 class wrapped up its 2020 racing season enjoying some of the finest weather of the year with a fluky but strong wind blowing out of the south-southwest. The race committee of Ed Jackson and Doug Jones opted to use the standard Quissett starting mark for the final race and posted a course of EDE (with the finish stated to be at mark E). The wind was fluctuating mightily at the start with variations of at least 10 degrees. The majority of the fleet was overeager and forced to sail down the line toward the unfavored end, while Jancy and Ted Grayson in Swizzle opted for a boat end start a few seconds late; however, they had full boat speed and clear air and were able to point at least 10 degrees higher than the earlier starting boats. Three minutes after the start, Swizzle had opened up a sizable lead, and the rest of the fleet had to play catch up. Fortunately for the fleet, the wind was oscillating enough that everyone had a chance, and by the time they reached E, Chris and Fay McGuire in Tagalong had snatched first position from Swizzle. Excellent spinnaker work on both boats allowed them to stretch their lead early on the leg, but Betsy Hunt and Randy Evans in Penguin were quickly making up lost distance.
As the lead boats passed by the starting mark, Tagalong thought that this was the leeward mark and dropped their spinnaker; however, they quickly realized their mistake and rehoisted their chute. By this time Swizzle had pulled ahead and held on to this lead for the rest of the run. Now it was up to the fleet to make Swizzle’s job of covering both sides of the course as hard as possible. However, to the dismay of the spectators, the lead pack chose to follow in Swizzle’s wake and hope for a mistake on her part to allow them to pass. Swizzle was not about to let this happen and expertly covered the fleet tack for tack.
On the final beat to the finish, with the puffs alternating between lifts and headers, Swizzle’s mainsheet pulley pulled out of the boom, and it looked like Tagalong and Penguin had a chance, but fine seamanship aboard Swizzle allowed her to hold on to claim the coveted Labor Day Trophy.
1. Swizzle, Jancy and Ted Grayson, 46:48
2. Tagalong, Chris and Fay McGuire, 46:55
3. Penguin, Betsy Hunt and Randy Evans, 47:06
4. Allie Rose, Chuck First, 47:30
5. Sea Breeze, Ali Rodin, 49:12
6. Chez Nous, Bernie and Peter Levesque, 49:25
7. Bubbles, Scotty and Sheila Gordon, 49:50
8. Windhandel Soren and Gunnar Peterson, 50:07
9. The Cog, Bill and George Armstrong, 50:47
10. Moxie, Tom Tullius, 52:06
11. Sea Glass, Jessica and Rebecca Hunnewell, 55:27