By Adam Loory
Andrew Weiss and Lawrence Cutler’s J/88 ONE TOO MANY was just faster than all the others in the J/88 one-design fleet at the American Yacht Club Spring Series held over the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May on New York’s Long Island Sound. In the 12-race series, ONE TOO MANY won seven races. On the second weekend, in varying conditions, the team was nearly unstoppable winning five of the six races. They scored a come-from-behind series victory to win on a tie breaker. It was seven firsts for ONE TOO MANY compared to four firsts taken by DEVIATION, which had led the regatta until the last race.
ONE TOO MANY’s upwind speed showed several times on the last day when she won every race. Weiss and Cutler’s team needed a perfect day to win the series after getting off to a slow start on the first weekend of the two-weekend series. I was the tactician on the second weekend and, boy, does it make you look smart when the boat is fast. In Race 10, we went to the wrong side of the first beat and, as we approached the windward mark, we got tacked on several times, first by DEVIATION and then by ALBONDIGAS. ALBONDIGAS was coming off a great showing at the 2021 Charleston Race Week where she finished third in the 11-boat fleet. Within moments of rounding the windward mark we were second and chasing down DEVIATION. On the second beat we passed her and went on to win the race.
Our speed and point turned the tables in the second-to-last race. At the start, we got shut out at the committee boat and had to follow the leaders across the line. Going slow in bad air, we were forced to tack away from the fleet onto the less favored tack. After a few minutes of sailing upwind on port, ONE TOO MANY tacked back to starboard to rejoin the fleet. The lead boat, DEVIATION, lee-bowed us. DEVIATION was in a controlling position ahead and close to leeward where she had hoped to force us to tack away. However, we were able to hold our position with speed and height and then lifted away into clear air.
Weiss, Cutler and the crew of ONE TOO MANY could not have been happier. They never imaged coming back from being four points down going into the final weekend. Not only did they pull it off, but they also had to do so with no other boats getting between them and DEVIATION.
Weiss has been a customer of UK Sailmakers for decades; both he and his father before him, have bought sails for over 10 boats all named CHRISTOPHER DRAGON. Weiss said, “The partnership with UK in developing the sails for the J/88 in the last six months has been great. Both the UK Titanium jib and main are really fast as we saw in these past two weekends.”
Kudos to UK Sailmakers Northeast’s Chief Sailmakers Emmett Dickheiser and Pat Considine, UK Sailmakers’ chief sail designer.