J/22 Fleet 12 racing results from June 25
Persistent showers and the threat of thunderstorms failed to dampen the spirit of Fleet 12s opening day as Race Committee co-chair and America's Cup veteran Joan Touchette set a starting line several hundred yards south of the club and announced a Race #1 course of Zp, 3p.
The breeze was SSW at 5 to 8 knots. A flood tide current would build throughout the race day. Paladin, skippered by FJ Ritt, squeaked by the pin to win the start and then successfully controlled the fleet to the windward mark. Rhapsody, skippered by Bill Porter, also started at the pin and rounded Z second, just ahead of Bad News. Blues eRacer pinched off Machbuster soon after the start at the committee boat end, as both blue boats struggled early on. The three lead boats stayed in close company but Paladin's lead was never seriously threatened, and the finishing order remained Paladin, Rhapsody, Bad News, Machbuster, Blues eRacer.
Race #2 was also Zp, 3p, the Race Committee having warned of their intention to sail three shorter races rather than the traditional two. The fleet approached the line
in similar fashion to the first race, only this time Paladin was early and forced to spin away at the pin and duck the fleet on port tack. Despite this handicap, Paladin was able to quickly parlay some shifts and good boat speed into the lead at the windward mark with the order the same as the first race only a lot closer. The wide variety of tactics shown on the run didn't seem to matter much as again the order remained unchanged and the finish was identical to Race #1, just in a little tighter formation.
The Race #3 course was changed to the red harbor channel marker and special mark 3, twice around. Paladin, sailing with only two aboard in the light air, continued her mastery of the first windward leg en route to a clean sweep of the first day's racing. This time, however, Blues eRacer with Louis Mariorenzi fresh from a class win in the Bermuda Race, reversed this day's fortune and sailed to second place in the dying breeze, as Machbuster squandered her third place at the final leeward mark to Rhapsody, now happily back in the extended Grimes family for the season. Bad News inexplicably slipped to fifth.