Charlie Felder, longtime manager at the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club and the co-owner of a new J/70, got the Holmes Hole Sailing Association summer series underway last Sunday with a first-place finish (A Division). Eleven boats came to the line for a noon start at Buoy 6 on a stunning Vineyard day.
Accompanied by his son Will Felder, the as-of-yet unnamed boat ran away with the race by nearly five minutes over second-place finisher Roger Becker in Gloria.
The race committee wisely chose Course No. 2 rather than the scheduled Sound Race as the ENE winds remained light for the afternoon. And while the short dive into the sound’s current was challenging enough, the added wind shifts and the current’s unexpected lack of strength caused several skippers to over-think their tactics. Plenty of windward work, in addition to choosing the correct bearing, made for great fun.
Coming in third were Tom and Laurie Welch aboard Escape, a J/100 and another new addition to the fleet. Michael Loberg skippered Masquerade, a Morris 36, to fourth.
David Lott on Avanti, a Cape Dory 270, was the only B Division competitor, and thus grabbed a first-place score for his 10th place finish.
Avanti also made headlines the previous week by taking the Thursday evening race over 13 other boats on corrected time. There are no division designations on the Thursday races with all boats competing against each other. Bow Van Riper captained his Vineyard 15 Tyche to second place, just about a minute behind.
Ed Cerullo aboard Undine, a Morris 36, took third and Jim Dixon on At Last, an Alerion 28, finished fourth.