Witkin Cup 2015

It was a great day and a great race.

Witkin Cup 2015 StartThe winds picked up at the starting line, as five boats jockeyed for the best start.

Dick and Susan Greenan in “Lazy Daze” sparred with sister ship “Imp” piloted by Pete McManus and Barb Ford; Tree Robbins, Elaine Eadler, and Steve Davis entered the mix closer toward the actual start of the race in their O’Day Day Sailer “Charm”; Ben Ford and Sheldon Perkins sailing Ford’s new and as yet unnamed Vanguard 15 sparred with Lynne Gibbs and me in our Vanguard Nomad 17, “Hoyty Toyty,” for five minutes before the start, just missing each other by inches as we timed our one-minute imaginary line back to the start line before the one-minute horn went off.

Ben got the jump, but the Hoyty quickly recovered and matched the V15 in the upwind beat toward the first mark. The Hoyty smartly jibed around mark number one, set its asymmetrical spinnaker, and smoked a broad reach toward the second mark, once again jibing, but this time additionally with the spinnaker under full sail. We increased the gap by 200 yards over the V15, and in addition more than enough to overcome the generous Portsmouth Yardstick handicaps of the Minuets. The Hoyty crossed first hundreds of yards ahead of the so-called speedy V15 and won in adjusted time as well. Is it not time for a celebration?!

…then a noise outside seemed to disturb my sleep…

As I rolled over, I could see Ben and Sheldon equal with the Hoyty just off my starboard gunwale, seemingly not moving, with glassy waters all about them, and still a hundred yards to the first mark by the northern point of Hoyt’s Island. I leaned over the transom to determine if any discernible current was coming off the rudder, which is normally boiling with activity. But, alas, only a trickle that perhaps a flea could sense was barely evident.

As my attention moved back into the cockpit, there was my bored crew, Lynne, on the starboard gunwale doing yoga; first a downward-dog then a one-legged warrior pose with left arm straining forward as if wishing the boat to move faster toward the mark, and with right leg pointing toward the sloops behind us, as if keeping them in their places. It seemed only Tree’s sloop was making headway as it caught up to the Minuets.

With not much to do other than hope and pray for another set of wind, we chatted.

Sheldon suggested I film the race with my Go-Pro and run it in slow motion, to which I countered maybe 10x would be more exciting. Laughter and a few more jokes ensued, then quiet again, as we prayed for the wind gods to be generous. It seemed unfair, because Friday through Sunday had very high winds all day, with some gusts up to 30 mph. How could it go to zero on race day?!

After mirroring Indian Island for 20 minutes and still 60 yards away from the first mark 45 minutes after the start of the race, I once again got to use my executive privileges as the commodore and declared the race “off” for the day and to be made up later in the summer.

Ben Ford padding his Vanguard 15All sailors were more than happy to agree, so off we paddled back to Tearmann Loch for refreshments. Tree, Elaine, and Steve made it back first in the paddle event followed by John and Lynne. Ben and Sheldon didn’t have a paddle, so Ben lay on the bow and used his hands.

Let’s hope this doesn’t happen again.

After dropping the sails and tidying up the boats, we all grabbed a beer or a glass of wine along with some tasty food, then talked and laughed for an hour or so while sitting in one big circle on the dock.

The Apres-Race PicnicAlthough the sailing was “skunked” due to the lack of wind, it became evident the sailing may, perhaps, just be a good excuse to hang out with good people and good friends. The waters in front of Tearmann Loch never looked better with several masts gracing the expansive view as if to frame it in proper perspective, as race-day pictures will attest.

Moored boatsAs I reviewed my two-dream scenario with Lynne at breakfast Tuesday morning, she confirmed the latter was indeed the reality of the day. I argued but could not produce enough evidence to support my claim, so off to Huntsville I went to work for the rest of the week.

A big thanks goes out to Ben and Sheldon for dragging the two temporary regatta docks to Tearmann from Mill Stream at 9:00 AM with “Junebug,” and to Ben and Barb for dragging them all the way back after 6:00 PM. The Fords are like Jackson Brown’s Roadies: “the first to come and the last to go, working for that minimum wage.”

Moored boatsAlso thanks to Don and Linda Petersen for their enthusiasm and use of their luxury committee party boat. Thank you, Tree and Elaine, for the steady flow of GPYC wine — it surely enhances the après race atmosphere. Lisa, we thank you for the Sailing Handicap Calculator app lessons for Don and Linda. Hopefully, more of us will learn this race app to share in the timekeeper duties.

Later that afternoon, around 5:30, the winds picked to 9 mph, just to let us all know that we are not in control. We’re just here to appreciate all that we are given or not given, as it were. Life is good.

Hope to see you all out there next time for the Rasta Race at Tiki Cove on Hoyt’s Island June 22nd, Witkin Cup’s makeup date to be announced.

Sail on,
Commodore John

Click here or on any image above to see a complete photo album of the Witkin Cup 2015 on Facebook.

GPYC's race results for the Witkin Cup 2015

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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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