On Sunday, July 26, the Holmes Hole Sailing Association race headed to Tarpaulin Cove on the southern shore of Naushon Island. While research doesn’t reveal the source of the name, the Tarpaulin Cove Light is the fourth oldest on the Eastern seaboard. Although it was originally built in the late 18th century to assist whale boats and coasters, it was first occupied in 1817. The currents in that area of Vineyard Sound are very strong and often treacherous.

Nothing daunted Woody Bowman as he sailed his 21-foot catboat, Julia Lee, very tidily to a first place finish not only in the B division, but also overall. Another cup or two for his collection. He was a whopping 18 minutes ahead of the next boat, Tyche, a Vineyard 15 sailed by Bow Van Riper. Third place in the B Division was taken by a Sabre 38, King Kiwi, sailed by Irving Gates.

Soma Holiday, a Hanse 335 with Frank Sutula at the helm, won the A division. In second place was Masquerade, a Morris 36, sailed by Michael Loberg. A J/100, Escape, skippered by Tom and Laurie Welch came in third.

Fellowship on the seas. — Susan Waldrop

Although overcast, Sunday’s conditions were ideal for this race. A fair southerly wind built all day from the start until the return to Vineyard Haven. Going out (except for a half mile beat at the start) it was a run and a reach all the way to the finish at Tarpaulin Cove. At the same time, the tide was favorable in both directions. The trip home was described as “rip roaring.” Excellent planning on the part of the race committee!

On the previous Thursday, July 23, the evening race presented sailors with a quandary: with a 15 mph SSW breeze, many had to decide whether or not to shorten sail. A reef can make for a more efficient sail when the wind threatens to overwhelm the hull, but if the wind should then moderate, potential speed is likewise diminished. In the end about half the fleet was reefed, and all enjoyed the breeze as they circled the harbor on a triangular course after a beat to Nun 6. Fifteen boats finished.

Julia Lee won the B division, just 19 seconds ahead of Avanti, a Cape Dory sailed by David Lott. Jim Dixon finished third aboard At Last, an Alerion X28.

In the A division, Tom and Laurie Welch took the top honor aboard Escape, a J/100. Tango, another J/100 sailed by Phil Hale was 35 seconds later in second place. Third was Go Time, a Sonar skippered by Alex Pardo.

Holmes Hole races are held on Thursdays and Sundays. All are welcome. For more information, please visit holmeshole.org.