Sept. 11-12, 2004
By Mark Forrest
Eleven Santana 20s struggled in fickle winds at this
year’s Harvest Regatta. Race one
started out strong in a light westerly, but the wind shut off as the fleet
neared the windward mark. The next
leg was a drifter, with an occasional breath of wind touching down on a few
boats at a time. Radost was closing
in on Pizzazz approaching the gybe mark until our own personal set of chop came
through the course. It was a patch
about 20 yards square, with no obvious origin other than an angry sea monster.
The chop hit us at an angle that sent the boat spinning out of control
(there was less than one knot of breeze) until we were sailing directly backward
toward the last mark. It took several minutes to build up enough steerage to turn
the boat back the other direction, but when we did, we caught a line of breeze
and passed Pizzazz, who was stuck in a hole near the mark.
The first finish must have been a race committee’s nightmare as the
Santana's, U20's and portsmouth boats all converged on the downwind finish
simultaneously. There must have
been at least 15 boats overlapped and screaming on the finish line.
Billy Crutchfield on Tatoo went from 1st to 5th to
1st in the last 100 feet.
The boat end was highly favored in race two. Just ask junior skipper Nick Genovese who snagged the best start in the fleet on Wing and a Prayer. Some boats were able to lay the windward mark without tacking. Wing rounded in first with H20 Boa close behind. Radost came in on port and had to duck and tack into third. Then the controversy began. Apparently, the race committee had changed the course from a triangle-windward-leeward to windward-leeward at the preparatory signal. Only a handful of boats saw the new course, so the fleet began to split. Boa sailed the correct course with Go Girl close behind.
Confusion ensued and protest flags flew until Boa crossed the finish line and the gun sounded. Fleet 19 tapped the keg early to ensure that no one cared enough to file a protest, so dinner carried on.
Sunday had a promising start, and Radost appeared to be on
fire. We led the fleet until the
last mark in races three and four. In
race three, Giddy Up took the inside at the leeward mark, just as the wind shut
off. We called the last leg poorly
and lost four boats in an upwind drifter. We
also led the fleet to the final mark in race four, but this time Aquila slipped
past us. Positions appeared to
trade back and forth in another upwind drifter, but they found a steady breeze
farther to the East and took the gun. As Radost crossed the line there was no trumpet fanfare as we
had been called OCS. Having started
at the pin end we were unable to hear any hail.
A few boats to windward of us restarted, but weren’t clean as we had
Gordon and team H20 Boa won the regatta and the fleet championship for the second year running. Leanne Bale-Fish and team Giddy Up took second. Bill Crutchfield and team Tatoo took third. Team Radost will try to redeem itself at Columbus Day Regatta in Newport, October 9th & 10th. It sounds like there will be an exceptional turnout this year.
1st Place - H2O BOA
2nd Place - Giddy Up
3rd Place - Tatoo
Junior Skipper Nick Genovese