New England 100 is a distance race open to all catamarans. Goal is to sail 40-60 miles each day starting and finishing at Bristol Yacht Club in Bristol, RI. This race is for sailors that are confident enough with their sailing ability to self rescue as conditions may warrant sailing in extreme conditions without race committee support. A wrap up by Kenneth Madsen.
The 26th Annual New England 100 Distance Race took place the weekend of August 15-16 with 15 teams showing up from as far away as Maryland and Illinois. Everyone enjoyed textbook Narragansett Bay conditions each day with the light breeze filling in at 11am, building to a pleasant 12-15 kts SSW sea breeze by 1pm that lasted until 6pm.
On Saturday sailors enjoy the 55 nm course 8 (Start in Bristol Harbor, Round the north side of Prudence Island to port and then sail up the west passage, under the center span of the Jamestown Bridge, around Whale Rock then retrace those steps back to Bristol Harbor). It got off to a slow start with Mike Easton and Tripp Burd on their Falcon F18 leading the fleet out of the Harbor. Unfortunately, they chose to gybe away early on the way to Prudence and missed the breeze filling in along the Prudence shore. Bob Merrick and Tyler Burd on their C2 led the charge of boats to the shore that paid off with dividends. After rounding Prudence and heading south, they were the first boat to get the newer strengthening breeze, which allowed them to continuously increase their lead. It took the foiling Nacra N20 over 15nm into the race to finally catch and pass them at Quonset Point. Disaster struck Bob/Tyler with less than 3nm to go in the race when their traveler car eye strap exploded. They jerry rigged the mainsheet to the beam to finish the race but gave up valuable time and distance. They finished the race just 33 sec. ahead of Mike/Tripp. Saturday evening sailors were treated by Sandra Tartaglino’s parents (Jack and Paula) to some awesome homemade Rhode Island stuffed quahogs (aka ‘stuffies’), Rhode Island Clam Chowdah, Brownies, and Watermelon while everyone talked about their day’s adventures and traded tuning tips.
With lighter breeze forecasted for Sunday, BYC member and PRO Oliver Moore selected 45nm course 6 (start in Bristol Harbor, round Gould Island to starboard, round Hope Island to starboard, round Gould Island to port and then return to Bristol Harbor) which had lots of opportunities to shorten the course, if need be. Racing again started in light breeze with the fleet splitting tacks around Hog Island just after the start. Those who started out by following Ben Hall on his A Cat and kept Hog Island to port jumped out to an early lead over those who tried to keep the island to starboard. Again, as the breeze built throughout the morning those in the lead got richer. In the F18s up at the front of the pack for the first 15 nm upwind grind was Sandra/Chas, Mike/Tripp, John/Pete, Jim/Joe and Blair/ Blair/Cat Stavola. Bob/Tyler got stuck in the pack trying to go to the other side of Hog Island after the start and created a full day’s worth of work grinding through the fleet to try and hold onto their lead. As the boats rounded Hope Island, the N20FCS had a huge lead but unfortunately, Todd/Kurt rounded Hope Island the wrong way leading to a DSQ for the race, but they were able to enjoy some 15nm of foiling downwind from Gould to Bristol in steady 12 kts of wind with flat water that had both grinning ear to ear. At the finish, Mike/Tripp had jumped out to a 6 min lead on Sandra/Chas who were followed a minute behind by John/Pete and then Bob/Tyler.
|Race 1 elapsed
|Race 2 elapsed
Full report and more photos on the U.S. F18 website.
Photo credits: Lindsay Smith