2007-03-29 / News

Island Sports

Frostbiters enjoy close sailing in shifty winds
By John Horton

Frostbite sailors get ready to cross the start line in Sundays' race. There were several boats that went over the line early and had to restart the race. Photo by Don Miller Frostbite sailors get ready to cross the start line in Sundays' race. There were several boats that went over the line early and had to restart the race. Photo by Don Miller Eight sailors had a lively day of close racing under partly sunny skies and in shifty, puffy winds. Four different sailors won races. Three of the six races had boats over early at the start and they had to go back and restart. In four of the races, boats fouled each other requiring the at-fault boat to do a penalty 360-degree circle on the course.

One boat swamped and was bailed out just in time for the start and the finishes were close as boats overlapped crossing the line. The sailors concurred that it was one of the most fun days all season.

Dick Allphin, the race committee, had set up the course along the Shoreby Hill Beach. Onboard the inflatable RC boat, which is generously provided by Bill and May Munger for the winter frostbiting season, was photographer Don Miller, who, between writing down scores and calling the start and finish, took pictures of the race. The fleet is appreciative of any photographer and this for this particular race there were three. Jeff McDonough was shooting from the beach and Nancy Logan from the Conanicut Pier. Race committee regular George Rice, was home pouring a concrete floor for a workshop, out of which will come another racing Shellback dinghy.

With a square-to-the wind starting line, the winning start strategy was to reach along the start line for the last 20 seconds before the start whistle, and then, as the whistle blew, head up and go to windward. Unfortunately, on most races many of the eight boats ran out of start line before the whistle blew and had to circle back to start.

The winning windward leg strategy was not clear. Boats won by going along the beach, as well as heading off to the east. The great undoing of a good windward leg, poor mark roundings, happened often. Almost every sailor lost a few places in one race or another by hitting the calm spot at the windward mark.

In computing the scores for the day, the tie-breaker formula required using all six races to determine one tie because the results were so even. Martin Keen won the day with three firsts, two seconds, a fourth and a fifth for 16 points. John Horton was second with 22 points; John Quinn was third with 25; Henry Siegal was fourth with 26; Joe Logan was fifth with 29; Terry Jones was sixth with 39, (tiebreaker) and Gary Fischer was seventh with 39. Unfortunately, Doc Clarke had to drop out after the first race.

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