With organized racing on New York’s Long Island Sound shut down, UK Sailmakers’ Adam Loory organized a series of doublehanded “pick-up” races over the last three weekends. The races are not run by any club or sailing association, there is no entry fee, no trophies and not party; just boats meeting up to go racing. By sailing doublehanded, crews are able to social distance and nearly eliminate the chance of spreading the Covid-19 virus.
In lieu of an entry fee, all sailors have been donating to the Larchmont/Mamaroneck Food Pantry, which feeds those in need during this time of massive unemployment. Nearly $5000 has been donated so far, which makes the races doubly rewarding.
On May 23rd, the race was a 45-miler that went from Greenwich, Ct., around Stratford Shoal Light House and back. Luckily, the no-wind-at-the-start forecast was wrong; there was 8-12 knots of wind out of the east-northeast for the start and the first half of the race. At one point racers sailed through fog so thick they could barely see 100 feet. The forecast did call for a building in the late afternoon, but not the 20-26 knots out of the northeast most of the fleet got hit by when they were within three miles of making the turn home. Once around the light house it was a quick run to the finish. Those who flew spinnakers reported speeds up to 17 knots.
Andrew Weiss and Lawrence Cutler, co-owners of the J/88 ONE TOO MANY finished first in Class 2 and first overall. After the race Andrew wrote, “We had great trip back. Lawrence hit 14 knots, which we thought pretty good for 29-foot boat. We never broached all the way back. It’s good little boat for double handling — still it was a long beat for us.” ONE TOO MANY sailed with a full inventory of UK Sailmakers sails.
Andrew was happy the race didn’t take much longer as they were navigating with an iPhone and didn’t know what they would do if the battery went dead!
A lot of boats go caught with too much sail up when the wind jumped from 12 to 20 knots. Many took down their genoas and finished the beat with just their mainsails. Richard du Moulin, a UK Sailmakers customer for decades and who has won the doublehanded division of the Newport-Bermuda Race five times, who sailed his Express 37 LORA ANN summed up the day by saying, “My crew Chris Reyling and I were very impressed by how well everyone handled their boats in foggy, wet and windy weather. Doublehanding is challenging and the fleet is moving nicely up the learning curve!”
Twenty-four boats signed up, five didn’t start and five more retired during the race leaving 14 finishers. Everyone, including those who retired wrote thanking for the opportunity to race and for the good time they had. Long-time Long Island Sound racer Rich Gold said, “Thank you Adam for providing a spring worth remembering amidst a year of Covid 19 we want to forget. Racing doublehanded requires a lot of dynamic skills to enable skipper and crew to have fun safely. I enjoyed trying to pull it off with my New York 36, a 42-year-old design that has been with my family from the start. It has defined who I am and now double handed racing…who knows? Congratulations to the winners, crews and to the entire bunch of sailing enthusiasts that defined their May in a sailors way.”
Two more races are planned before the regular season starts up. Anyone interested in joining in should email Adam Loory at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Suzy Bradford photos
1. LUCIDA, J/27, Barry Purcell
2. Turning Point, NY 36, Rich Gold
3. Southern Cross, Frers 33, Brian Higgins
RET. Gringo, Pearson 37 Mike McGuire
1. ONE TOO MANY, J/88, Andrew Weiss
2. Andiamo, J/88, Paul Strauch
3. Group 5, Figaro 2, Vadim Sablinsky
4. Lora Ann, Express 37, Richard du Moulin
5. Bellatrix, Salona 41, Deric Hetzel
6. Charlotte, Ben. First 36.7, Richard West
RET. Growth Spurt, J/109 John Greifzu, Jr
RET. Rascal, Dehler 38, Rory Cumming
1. PHANTOM, XP44, Chris Schoen
2. Soulmates, Custom 40, Adam Loory
3. Wave Rider, Farr 30, Benoit Ansart
4. Loblolly, Sunfast 3600, Michael Greene
Summer Storm, Marten 49, Andrew Berdon ( second over the line but not scored since sailed with four crew)
RET. American Girl, Delher 42, Dan Galyon
RET. Skye, Farr 395, Ty Anderson