Thirteen boats took to the water last Sunday on a glorious post-Fourth of July and Hurricane Arthur visit to race to Tarpaulin Cove. The favorable current in 15 knots of southwest wind made for quick work for the experienced HHSA fleet. Replicating America’s first yacht race of 1833, HHSA’s yearly rendezvous race to Tarpaulin Cove is always a treat when the weather behaves. This holiday dash fit the bill.

And what a sprint it was. Even though Phil Hale’s Tango (J/100) placed ninth out of 10 in the A division, actual elapsed time showed a different story. Tango crossed the finish line in a commanding “first” place, considerably ahead of the rest of the fleet.

On corrected time, Soma Holiday (Frank Satula, skipper) and King Kiwi (Irving Gates) showed the A fleet the advantage of a little size (33 feet and 38 feet, respectively) on the bumpy ride to Tarp, taking first and second, respectively. Mo Flam’s Penelope grabbed a third-place finish just a minute ahead of Gloria and was the first of the fleet’s three Alerion X28’s to complete the trip.

Trinity’s David McDonough found himself the winner of a three-boat fleet in the B division for his first-ever HHSA win. The inspired skipper celebrated with a swimming race (with appropriate handicapping) during the anchorage at Tarp, which included HHSA veterans Jerry Goodale (Stormalong), Dan Culkin (Magic Time), Roger Becker (Gloria) and David Lott (Avanti).

Conor Lodge, captain of the committee boat, delivered the victor’s cup by way of a 100-yard Australian crawl to the rafted-up Trinity. Times were certified by Beck Colson and his father Wendell, with Mary Sullivan aboard.

One might ask where do these field-leveling handicaps come from?

Handicapper extraordinaire Roger Becker explains: “This race in particular shows how the favorable currents actually decrease the distance sailed through the water and help the boats with larger handicaps. That is, corrected times are calculated on the distance traveled over the ground in a straight line. And the benefit of the greater distance would have been even more had the wind not been right on the fleet’s nose.”

The Thursday evening race continues to rise in popularity as 14 boats came to the line propelled by 14 mph winds out of the southwest. John Stout guided his G&B design Isabella to first by a comfortable margin on corrected time over Dan Pesch aboard his J/70 Amonili.

The results showed plenty of close racing. Positions two through seven all finished within 29 seconds of each other. Dan Culkin was third aboard Magic Time, just two seconds ahead of Ed Cerullo on Undine, a Morris 36.