A Spectacular Race Day Caps Off GPYC’s 2012 Season

Picture perfect in every way. That was the Hurricane Cup.

Gorgeous, sunny weather with ideal wind for champagne sailing; a healthy and enthusiastic turnout of 7 boats, 18 sailors and 2 committee boat operators; a tropical feast at a classic Maine lake house (thanks to our hosts, Bill and Joan Witkin) — and even an impromptu ukelele serenade!

The Captain’s Log

While the Commodore worked hard to set up the race and assure the fun, safety, and fairness of all boats and racers, the rapscallion element of the GPYC was also hard at work, covertly tying a birch log to a spinnaker sheet on Ben’s boat. Fortunately (especially for the eventual race winner), Committee Boat Captain, Barb Ford, spotted the wild-gathered sea anchor just before the boats launched.

The course was set to start from the southern tip of Hoyt Island, head upwind to the rock buoys, and travel counter-clockwise around the island to finish back at the starting line.

7 boats and 18 sailors participated in the Hurricane Cup

Scott Finlay’s Alerion and Sally Beck’s Precision 18 aced the start. At the first mark, the keel on Paul Berkner’s Lightning reminded us, with an audible thump, where the rocks were, and all others stayed clear. Rounding the black-and-white buoy off of Witkin’s beach, the fleet bore away downwind, and spinnakers were set for a long broad reach along the east side of Hoyt Island. On the island’s north end, the usual wind shadow was small, so the fleet could sail close to the island before turning for the upwind beat along the west side of Hoyt.

The two Lightnings in the fleet battled upwind for the lead, with the Berkner/Shontell boat nipping at the Ford/Perkins’ heels. About two-thirds of the way up the windward leg, the wind filled in, propelling the Ford/Perkins boat to an insurmountable lead over Berkner/Shontell.

The finish order:

  1. Ford/Perkins (Lightning) “Dragonfly”
  2. Berkner/Shontell (Lightning) ‘Banana Slug”
  3. Finlay (Alerion) “Take Five”
  4. Gibbs (Nomad) “Hoyty Toyty”
  5. Beck/Donnell (Precision) “Echo”
  6. McManus (Minuet) “Minuet”
  7. Heuberger (Star Wind) “Foggy Notion”

The cookout menu featured Satay Chicken and Asian Cole Slaw.

Fortunately, Social Director, Sheldon (“Captain Chicken Stick”) Perkins, was in the first boat across the finish line, so all the other racers pulled up to the beach where freshly grilled Satay Chicken and Asian Cole Slaw were ready to be served. The beer cooler, however, was on the committee boat, which followed the last sailors in. We’ll manage that differently next season….

While we all enjoyed refreshments, the Commodore calculated and announced corrected race results, based on the Portsmouth Yardstick, a handicapping system designed to compare widely different sailboats on even terms.

Ben Ford and Sheldon Perkins are presented the Hurricane Cup trophy by last year’s winner, Peter McManus

The finish order on corrected time:

  1. Ford/Perkins (Lightning) “Dragonfly”
  2. McManus (Minuet) “Minuet”
  3. Beck/Donnell (Precision) “Echo”
  4. Finlay (Alerion) “Take Five”
  5. Gibbs (Nomad) “Hoyty Toyty”
  6. Berkner/Shontell (Lightning) “Banana Slug”
  7. Heuberger (Star Wind) “Foggy Notion”

Peter McManus stepped up to present the Hurricane Cup trophy to first-place finishers….Ben Ford and Sheldon Perkins.

John Gibbs and his ukelele

John Gibbs poses the age-old question, “What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor?”

At the close of the formalities, the party broke into spontaneous song — literally — when John Gibbs began strumming his brand-new birthday ukelele to the sing-along tune of “Drunken Sailor.”

You just can’t plan these things better than that.

Thank you all for being here, being who you are, doing what you do, and making this a fantastic second season.

This year the club doubled in size and organized four races. Next year, we look forward to building sailing programs for youth and women, and continuing to grow the fleet.

We’ll need members to step up to three officer positions between now and the annual meeting next spring. The Commodore, Principal Race Officer, and Treasurer will come to the end of their two-year terms in spring 2013. We’ll need volunteers for those posts before the annual meeting, when we will vote new officers in. Please contact Ben Ford as soon as possible to let him know how you’d like to serve.

We’d also like to put together a subcommittee to organize a fundraiser to get the youth program started. Please contact Barb Ford, if you’d like to be involved in what we expect to be a pivotal effort in the life of the GPYC.

While the 2012 racing season has come to an end at Great Pond, we hope to stay in touch over the fall and winter, so we can get the 2013 season off to a jackrabbit start!

Click here or on any photo to see the entire Hurricane Cup photo gallery.

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About Great Pond Yacht Club

Great Pond Yacht Club is for avid sailors as well as those new to the sport on Great Pond in Maine's Belgrade Lakes region. Our goal is to create and foster a culture of sailing, racing, and camaraderie on Great Pond.
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