Local sailors race around Prudence

By Nick Bowen
Posted 10/15/20

The Twenty Hundred Club had their sixth and final race of the season on Saturday September 19. For such a cold and windy fall day we were quite pleased to have 29 boats competing in five classes. …

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Local sailors race around Prudence

Posted

The Twenty Hundred Club had their sixth and final race of the season on Saturday September 19. For such a cold and windy fall day we were quite pleased to have 29 boats competing in five classes. Twenty spinnaker boats were evenly split between two classes and seven cruising boats also evenly split between two classes. A first for the Twenty Hundred Club was a foiling trimaran class with two TF10s.

The race starts in the vicinity of Pine Hill. This dates back to when the USGC had two government buoys in the area that have since been removed. We kept the starting area there because we thought it would be such a Rhode Island thing to say “the starting area is where those buoys use to be” (and the buoys happen still be on many older charts). From there all classes beat (typically) 3.3 nautical miles (nm) down to QkFl’7’ just off Quonset Point. From there the classes diverge. Cruising class heads east for 3.5 nm to RGN just south of Prudence and then turn for 6.8 nm to RGN Providence Point (a misleading name since this is just a little northeast of Prudence. Then westbound to R’8’ Bell north west of Patience Island for 1.4 nm and finally a turn to the south for a final 1.4 nm beat to the finish line for a total of 17 nm. Spinnaker class sails 1.7 nm to R”2” northeast of the tip of Jamestown and then turns southeast for 3.1 nm to G”17” just east of Gould Island. Then they turn north for 9.7 nm to mark GR at Ohio Ledge, then 1.2 nm back to RGN at Providence where they rejoin the cruising class course for a total of 22.2 nm.

We could tell a story about the weather that day. The forecast called for north winds in the 10-20 knot range with a very strong outgoing tide. What the sailors encounted, especially Nick Bowen’s epiphany, Bill Kneller’s Vento Solare, and E.C. Helme’s spirit, who all clawed their way up the bay from Newport where steady winds at 20 gusting to 23 and waves so steep they were rolling over the tops of the boats.

But the story of this race was all about the teamwork of the club’s members. The Race Committee (RC) learned at 7 a.m. that our RC boat was not going to be available. This created two problems: we needed a volunteer to start the race and we needed to move the start to a government buoy. We selected C”3” about a mile west of the official starting area. There was lots of chatter over the very public VHF radio trying to fix the problem when Mike Zani (who was racing Vela that day) volunteered to send out his power cat and leave six people anchored at the line all day. Then Jim Archer and his crew on En Passant volunteered to play the RC role. The race was delayed for an hour to get all the logistics straightened out and ensure that all boats were at the new starting area. They started the race and the sailors had a great downwind start and a very wet and wild beat up the east side of Prudence Island.

A second surprise for the club was that Randy Shore who owns the new sail loft Sailors and Seams (https://www.sailorandseam.com/) and had just built sails for Peter McClennan’s Melges IC37, Gamecock, and needed some high quality photos of the sails. Using Gamecock’s RIB he brought Scott Trauth of Scott Trauth Photography (https://scotttrauthphotography.com) to the race course and was able to get a great collection of photographs of all the racers.

Although this is the club’s final formal race we encourage sailors to sign up for the Around Aquidneck Challenge which is a self-timed race around the Island. This is a favorite race for the wild winds of October and is typically won by the sailor who can best predict a major wind shift so that they can circumnavigate the entire island flying their spinnaker.

Nick Bowen is the Commodore of the Twenty Hundred Club and races his Lyman-Morse e33 on Narragansett Bay. He can be reached at commodore@twentyhundredclub.org.

Spinnaker A Class (PHRF <= 85)

1. Gamecock, Melges IC37, Peter McClennan
2. Coconut, First 36.7, Tom D'Albora
3. Leading Edge, J/109, Tom Sutton
4. AmadeusV, Xp 38, Jay Turchetta
5. Falcon, Sidney 36, Charles Stoddard
6. Salacia, J/120, Mark Nannini
7. Vento Solare, J/109, Bill Kneller
8. Serenity, Dufour 36P, Curt Spalding
9. Eclipse, Mills 41, Mark Coleman
10. Moon Dog, C&C 115, Brian Abbott

Spinnaker B Class (PHRF > 85)

1. Mischief, Lyman-Morse 40, David Schwartz
2. Vela, Graves Constellation, Michael Zani
3. Vixen, Jeanneau 37, Jim DelBonis
4. Spirit, J/92S, EC Helme
5. Anser, Beneteau 35s5, Peter Allstrom
6. Blitz, J/30, Chris Tate
7. Bella Vita, Tartan 3400, Robert Suglia
8. Whalayed, Express 35, John Whaley
9. Pau Hana, Catalina 36 MkII, David Wilson

Cruising I Class (PHRF <= 150)

1. Caneel, C&C 41, Chip Hawkins
2. Relentless, First 36.7, Robert Laska
3. R' Bouy, Frers F36, Mark Levin

Cruising II Class (PHRF > 150)

1. Mystic, Ericson 32-3, Christopher Borden
2. Able, Able Poitin, David Christopher Bruce
3. Cetacean, Sabre 36, Peter Maloney
4. Serendipity, Freedom 30 SD, Gary Venable

Multi-hull Class

1. Celeritas, TF10, Malcolm Gefter
2. Fearless Girl, TF10, Stan Schreyer

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.