2008-08-14 / News

Marshalls get back-to-back J/22 wins

By Jeff Westcott

The starting line for this week's racing was shifted to Potter Cove where CYC was holding its annual picnic.

Race Committee Paul and Katie Grimes, assisted by Vic and Judy Calabretta, set a course of a windward mark inside the cove, Gould Island nun, can north of the bridge, finish. Conditions were nearly perfect with a steady southerly breeze of 10- to 12- knots, bright sunshine, and a flood tide. The committee boat end was strongly favored, so the committee aboard Ariel was wise to trail an inflatable as a stand-off buoy to protect her good-looking transom from the more aggressive starters.

Bob'syergrandaddy was just over early at the committee boat end, which opened the door for an opportunistic Machbuster to win the start and control the short first windward leg. Bill Porter's USA 1533 rounded second, just ahead of everyone else. Machbuster, sailing with crew Ellen Noble and Kim Westcott, led the broad reach spinnaker parade to the Gould Island nun with the fleet of seven in close contact. On the beat back to the can the Marshall's Bad News went way right and found the Potter Cove reverse eddy which was so effective that she found herself slightly overstood, but safely in the lead. Machbuster rounded second just ahead of USA 1533. With Bad News cruising on a close spinnaker reach to her first victory of the season, Machbuster saw her day go bad when her spinnaker pole was damaged during the close reach set. This catastrophe allowed first USA 1533 and then Blues eRacer to pass the chuteless Machbuster on the reach to the finish. Good News, Chaos, and bob'syergrandaddy followed in that order.

The course was unchanged for race two, and this time Good News and bob'syergrandaddy won the fight for the committee boat end. Good News, with Eric Senior driving and Bob Miniutti and Pia crewing, rounded the nearby windward mark first. Bob'syergrandaddy was next with guest skipper Cory Sertl and her youthful crew of Katja Sertl, India Johnstone, and Caroline Lippincott. Good News, sailing her best race of the season, reluctantly gave way to the pesky Bad News on the run to the nun, but remained safely ahead of Machbuster who had sailed into third. Once again Bad News went straight for the right corner and Good News stubbornly hung with the leader. By the time the fleet approached the can, Bad News had ground out another safe lead, and Good News was looking back at pressure from USA 1533 and Machbuster. But after rounding the can, USA 1533 unnecessarily defended against Machbuster, perhaps unaware that she couldn't raise her chute on the port jibe reach with a damaged pole, allowing Good News to claim a welldeserved second. Once again the chuteless Machbuster had to watch Blues eRacer steam by in the last 200 yards, and only just held off the fast closing Chaos, with Ganson Evans driving today. Bob's yergrandaddy had again slipped to last.

The Marshall Brothers, with crew Matt Gower and Nick Sertl, showed the form that has them aiming for the J/22 Worlds in two weeks. This event will be hosted by Cory and Mark Sertl's home club in Rochester, N.Y. Cory, a former International Women's Keelboat Champion will also be competing with husband Mark and children Katja and Nick as crew. Fleet 12's season finale will be next Sunday afternoon.

Editor's note: Jeff Westcott is one of the sailors in the J/22 racing series.

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