LOCHER, WEISS AND AVEN WIN THE 69th EDLU RACE

Three long-time customers of UK Sailmakers Northeast took home the overall trophies at the 2024 edition of Larchmont Yacht Club’s annual Edlu Race. Kurt and Anne Locher’s J/42 ATALANTA was awarded The Edlu Trophy for winning the 39-boat PHRF division and Andrew and Linda Weiss’s Italia 11.98 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON was presented The Nyala Trophy for topping the 11-boat ORC division. Todd Aven’s J/99 THIN MAN topped the Double Handed division.

The 32-mile Edlu Race, saw 46 boats crossing the line ranging from flat-out ORC racers to PHRF club racers, J/88s sailing as one-designs, and double-handers. With a nearly east/west racetrack, the sailors started their first leg with the wind on the nose against a foul current. The easterly wind was predicted to be in the 8-knot range, then die only to fill in again from the south for an upwind return leg with the current having turned against the sailors by then. As it turned out, the wind at the start was a few knots above forecast as the boats split to the Connecticut and Long Island shores to beat out to the Eaton’s Neck turning mark.

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Halfway down the outbound leg, the wind had clocked to 125 o and then 135 o degrees with boats lifting up on starboard to fetch the mark. The bigger boats rounded Eaton’s around 1300 with 11 knots of breeze from the 150o direction allowing them to sail a downwind rhumb line course back to the finish. They knew there would be a shift as they all waited for the southerly to fill in bringing with it new wind conditions. Two thirds of the way back, the wind fell to 2 knots for a short period before the southerly filled in as forecast with 12+ knots of pressure. Chutes were doused and it was a close, port tack fetch back to the finish line off the Larchmont breakwater. Spectators in nearby high-rises were treated to a show as the fleet approached the finish like an armada.

Kurt and Anne Locher’s J/42 ATALANTA sailing with their UK Sailmakers Northeast X-Drive Carbon upwind sails. Image Credit: Buttons Padin.
Kurt and Anne Locher’s J/42 ATALANTA sailing with their UK Sailmakers Northeast X-Drive Carbon upwind sails. Image Credit: Buttons Padin.

In the end, it was two Larchmont Yacht Club boats taking the top prizes. Kurt and Anne Locher’s J/42 ATALANTA won the 32-boat PHRF fleet beating Macre Sykes’s (Riverside Yacht Club) J/125 Good News in second by over seven minutes on corrected time – Sykes also won the Black Watch Trophy for best elapsed time. For their performance, the Lochers received The Edlu Trophy. ATALANTA is a vintage J/42 that the Lochers upgraded significantly with the help of UK Sailmakers’ Butch Ulmer. In addition to a permanent prow, ATALANTA now sports a full suit of UK’s Titanium upwind sails and Matrix spinnakers.

In the keenly competitive, 11-boat ORC division, Andrew and Linda Weiss’s Italia 11.98 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON took top honors and The Nyala Trophy beating David Fass’s (Beach Point Yacht Club/NYYC) Swan 42 Zammermoos by less than a minute in a closely fought contest. As LYC’s Rear Commodore, Weiss took particular pride in this win noting, “I’ve raced in The Edlu for many years and even won it a few times; but it’s not the straight-forward out-and-back race it would appear to be. I spent a lot of time talking with Butch Ulmer about The Edlu and the complexities it can present. It was a challenge getting to Eaton’s in a good position given the shifty winds and having been well down the return leg before the southerly filled-in. One thing that made the difference for us was, as the wind was dying before the southerly filled-in, we saw breeze filling-in on the Long Island shore as everyone else was peeling off to Connecticut. We dropped our spinnaker and actually sailed away from the finish under jib to get into the new wind first. That one move made the race for us against bigger, faster boats that were ahead of us. Also, winning the Edlu as a Flag Officer of the host Club made this win special.”

Andrew Weiss’s Italia 11.98 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON sailing with their UK Sailmakers Northeast J0 Tweener. Image Credit: Buttons Padin.
Andrew Weiss’s Italia 11.98 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON sailing with their UK Sailmakers Northeast J0 Tweener. Image Credit: Buttons Padin.

Andrew continued, “This was the first time we used our new UK J0 (tweener) designed by UK’s Pat Considine. We were pleasantly surprised that we could use it at 65 degrees true wind. We really got back into the race again after setting it.”

This is the 13th CHRISTOPHER DRAGON and the Weiss family has been a loyal UK Sailmaker customer for two generations. Onboard DRAGON for the Edlu were a Titanium main and J3, an X-Drive J1, and Matrix spinnakers. The accompanying photos show both boats at the start.

At the top of the 9-boat PHRF Double Handed division were Todd Aven and Gerard Girstl about the J/99 THIN MAN. Aven has used UK Sailmakers’ sails on all his boats and for the Edlu had up his X-Drive main and J1 plus Matrix spinnakers.

View the full race results here.

Buttons Padin
Buttons Padin

Edward “Buttons” Padin is a lifelong sailor and a member of the Larchmont Yacht Club and the Storm Trysail Club in New York. He has over 40 years of marketing communications experience, with a focus on the sailing community.

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