2017-09-07 / Front Page

Newcomer overcomes Harvey effect

Cannon victorious in around-the-island race


Donald Steiner helms My Girl around the Beavertail peninsula Sunday during the Conanicut Yacht Club’s race around the island. 
PHOTO BY ANDREAVON HOHENLEITEN Donald Steiner helms My Girl around the Beavertail peninsula Sunday during the Conanicut Yacht Club’s race around the island. PHOTO BY ANDREAVON HOHENLEITEN Remnants of Hurricane Harvey were responsible for heavy winds, high seas and exhilarating racing Sunday on Narragansett Bay for the 90th annual Labor Day circumnavigation of Conanicut Island. In the end, it was a newcomer from town who was crowned the champion.

The day started with wind speeds north of 20 knots, forcing inshore courses for the smaller boats and 35 teams to withdraw from the 98-boat fleet before starting. Five classes, however, did race the 18.1-mile counterclockwise track, with East Shore Road skipper Chris Cannon helming Verissimo across the fin- ish line with the best corrected time.

“We exceeded expectations by an infinite amount,” said Cannon, whose Alden 63 took two hours, 20 minutes and 47 seconds to circle the island. “It was very windy and wet, but once we got out there, it was great. We had a good start and we just stayed in front of everybody. It was really a reaching race, which was great for our boat.”

According to Cannon, his crew gybed once at Sterns Farm and then tacked at Beavertail. “That was it,” he said.

Cannon captured two of the regatta’s four perpetual trophies. He won the Eads Johnson Trophy, which is given to a member of the host Conanicut Yacht Club with the lowest corrected time on a boat 31 feet or longer. He also took home the Commodore John C. Quinn Trophy for the fastest corrected time.

Mike Hill’s J/24 Obstreperous captured the Robert A. MacLeod Rear Commodore Trophy for being the club member with the lowest corrected time in a boat shorter than 31 feet long. William Hubbard’s Siren was awarded the Commodore Bruce R. Brakenhoff

Memorial Trophy for finishing the race with the shortest elapsed time.

“This is the second year in a row that we’ve had to contend with hurricanes, but I think the conditions definitely made for an exciting race,” said Intrepid Lane resident Alan Baines, the event’s chairman. “All in all, I think we rang in the race’s 90th anniversary in style.”

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