Dear Friend of CHARIAD:
The CHARIAD crew won of the Storm Trysail sponsored Ted Hood Regatta in Marblehead. The tree day regatta is the re-branded New England PHRF Championship and by far the most competitive regatta we compete in this season. The CHARIAD team dominated our PHRF fleet.
After being out of the water for a month under repair, the mighty CHARIAD was back on the water and competing at the highest levels.
This past Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we had six races in light to moderate winds. We won five of the six races and were the first to cross the finish line – getting the gun – in four of the races. Most of our competitors are rated faster than CHARIAD and should have crossed the finish line before us even if we “corrected over them” and beat them on corrected time.
This is the winning crew on Friday with our battle flag created by Shayna Loeffler.
Each day, we had an hour or so of floating around waiting for the sea breeze to fill in. When it did, the Corinthian Race Committee got two windward/leeward races in before calling it a day.
The boat is approaching the windward mark and preparing to raise the spinnaker for the downwind leg.
We are going upwind with a faster boat close on our stern. Note the focus of our crew on making CHARIAD go fast and point higher rather than be fearful of the other boats.
Kathy Gunst shot several videos from her cell phone. She would show you lots of cannons blasting when we crossed the finish line. But here are links to the start and finish of the last race of the regatta.
You will get some idea of the boat to boat interaction. But there is more to the story of the finish of the last race on Sunday afternoon. We have already won the regatta. Because the wind had gone up and down, we had the wrong jib up for the first leg of the race. We were behind at the first windward mark. We gained ground on the spin leg and rounded in a cluster of boats at the leeward mark. We fought our way to the top of the fleet by the next windward leg. After coming down the last spin leg, we were on starboard and barely laying the committee boat at the finish line. Two boats were coming to the finish on port on a collision course with CHARIAD. All the boats have their spinnakers up and are at high speed.
We would cross the finish line first by staying on starboard and crossing the line at the committee boat – the right end of the line. The first boat on port, approaching from our right, is calling for “room to finish” and claiming that we had to give them room between our boat and the committee boat. Did not make sense to me since we were sailing in a direction to cross the finish line and they were sailing parallel to the finish line and would have to change course to finish. Our legal team advised me that we needed to give them the room so we jibed over to port just before the finish line and crossed one second behind the first port tack boat. That was one of the two races we did not get the finishing gun. You will see in the video the second port tack boat coming in between CHARIAD and the boat that finished with us. Kathy had to stop shooting the video stopped while we jibed so you see the approach and the finish.
Ted Hood grew up in Marblehead and won a couple of Americas Cups. His son, third from right in back row, gave us the trophy for the overall regatta win.
The CHARIAD crew won the regatta. This was a huge accomplishment by the team and everyone on board. I said after getting back to the mooring Sunday afternoon that I could not remember another race where the boat was sailed at such a high level of competence and determination, including coming back from behind, as the two Sunday races.
If you have not done so, join the Friends of CHARIAD group on Facebook. That is where you will get the updates and pictures in close to real time.
I cannot tell you how honored I am to be sailing with this team.
I hope you are enjoying the end of the summer season.