Blustery conditions greeted fifteen IOD teams from as far away as Bermuda as the IOD Fleet kicked off its 75-year Jubilee celebrations at the Eastern Yacht Club on Friday June 3rd. With winds blowing a steady 20-22knots, and gusts into the mid-30s, PRO Anne Coulombe (BYC) wisely held boats on moorings for a few hours, waiting for the winds to abate.
Some of the competitors breathed a sigh of relief when the AP flag when up on the EYC yardarm. Because of the recent issues with the north crane, there had been a general scramble to launch visiting and local boats. The Corinthian Yacht Club generously opened up their crane to competitors and the last boats were launched at the very end of Thursday. But this last-minute scramble meant that many boats had not been tuned, or really set up for racing. So the two hour respite gave teams a change to make sure their spars were straight, their sails were bent on, and that all their running rigging was in the right place and working.
The winds did come down, and the fleet sailed out, just after 12 noon, for two races. In the first race conditions were north winds 15-18 kts and fairly flat seas. Bill Widnall and Charlie Van Voorhis (multiple-IOD-World Champion from Fishers Island NY) battled up and down the 7.4 NM course, with Van Voorhis managing to pass Widnall on the final downwind leg to take the opener. The second race (lnorth winds 12-14 kts) saw many position changes, with the right side eventually paying off big for those lucky enough to be there on the final beat. Van Voorhis again took the gun, followed by fellow-Fishers Island competitor Peter Rugg (standing in for John Burnham on day 1).
Day two featured crystal clear skies and strong NE winds, 16-20 knots. Bill Widnall broke through with a bullet in race one (8nm) , but Van Voorhis again countered with a first place finish in the second race (10nm). The conditions were perfect for IOD sailing! Event Judge Tripp Alyn took many wonderful photographs of the sailing, which are uploaded to a EYC photo album here.
As boats sailed out for the final race of the series, Charlie Van Voorhis of Fishers Island had built an unassailable lead. The final race of the event was sailed in a building southeast breeze -- the race began in 6-8 knots of wind, but by the final leg of the 7.5 nm course, the winds had built to 12-14 kts. Van Voorhis started well, and established a lead during the first beat, he would never look back.
The IOD World Championship is next on tap at the Eastern, with racing beginning on June 12th and ending on June 17th. If the New England Challenge provides a taste of what the IOD Worlds will be, the Eastern will be hosting another wonderful international competition!
New England Challenge Results:
1 Charlie Van Voorhis (FIS) 1-1-(2)-1-1; 4
2 John Burnham (FIS) (4)-2-3-2-4; 11
3 Bill Widnall (MHD) 2-(7)-1-3-7; 13
4 Bruce Dyson (MHD) ...6-(10)-7-4-2; 19
5 David Poor (NTK) 3-6-8-5-(9); 22
6 Bob Constable (NTK) 5-8-6-(13)-3; 22
7 Tom Price (NTK) 11-3-4-6-(12); 24
8 Ed Kavle (FIS) 10-(12)-5-8-5; 28
9 Roy Weedon (NTK) (13)-9-10-7-8; 34
10 Herb Motley (MHD) 12-(13)-9-9-6; 36
11 Bob Duffy (BER) 9-4-(13)-11-13; 37
12 Greg Mancusi-Ungaro (MHD) 8-5-(15)-15-10; 38
13 Fred Callori/Bob Lyons (MHD) 7-11-11-10-(15); 39
14 Ian Morrison (MHD) (14)-14-12-12-11; 49
15 Tom Dittrich (MHD) (17x)-17x-14-14-14; 59
16 Dick Levine (MHD) (17x)-17x-17x-17x-16; 68
17x = did not sail in that race
PRO: Anne Coulombe (BYC);
Chief Judge: Mike Posey (USA); Judges: Tripp Alyn (USA), Peter DeWolfe (USA)