Mhead Friday Sonars
MARBLEHEAD, Mass.-The breeze was shifting through 50 degrees and the puffs were frequent and packed significant punch. But for Will Welles and his team on his J/24 USA 3145 the strategy was the same for all three races on Day 2 of the Lands’ End NOOD Regatta at Marblehead Race Week. “Go right,” he said. “All the pressure was coming from the right side. It was right puffs and right flicks [of the wind direction].” This worked liked a charm the first two races as Welles racked up a pair of firsts. Welles also credited his team’s ability to shift gears in the puffy breeze. “We set up the rig under what the breeze was we played the backstay and we played the genoa. We had full jets in the lulls and most people were sailing with too much rig tension and they were bound up in the lulls.” On the third race, however, the WNW breeze faded a bit and suddenly the right wasn’t quite the place to be. “We were the first to the right in all three races,” said Welles, “but the last race there was a left flick and we just could just never get back left.” While the boats that started down by the pin launched out to a big lead, Welles was forced to place catch-up to get back into the race. Fortunately, for him, eight of the boats that started down by the pin were OCS and didn’t go back and after they were all scored OCS, he jumped into a respectable fifth. As a result, Welles leads the 24-boat class by 3 points over Brian Bissell on Preppy J with James Andrew’s Distraction in third another three points behind. Sharing the Tinkers Ledge course with the J/24s is the Sonar class, the biggest of the regatta with 37 boats. At the top of the standings, tied with 11 points each after three races, are two of the best local teams, Bill Lynn and Stew Neff/Henry Brauer. Andrew Crocker is in third with 17 points, and has three teams hot on his tail. Also racing on the Tinkers circle were the Viper 640s-Rob Gorman has the lead by four points over Kay Van Valkenburgh-and the Colgate 26s, where John Devine is winning by two points over Shawn Gauthier. With six races in the back, one might think that the Rhodes 19 fleet would be seeing a little separation at the top. But this isn’t the case as the first four teams are grouped with four points. Ken Cormier, despite a 14th in the final race today, is leading the regatta with 18 points-the 14th is currently his throwout. Right behind him is the Cressy Family with 20 points, Kim Pandapas with 21, and William Heffernan with 22. Then there are two boats tied on points for fifth with 28. Jud Smith is still at the top of the Etchells standings, but he now has company. Bruce Golison and Steve Flam won a pair of races today and finished second in the other and, after a throwout, have eight points and are tied with Smith for first place, on points. Because the Golison/Flam team have three firsts to Smith’s two, they are actually in first, but with two days yet to go, that’s a battle that will, in all likelihood, be decided on the water. Wade Edwards is third with 13 points. Sailing alongside the Etchells were the IODs where Franny Charles and Bill Widnall did themselves one better than yesterday, scoring four points through three races. They have a three-point lead over Kenneth Drewry. With warm temperatures and plenty of breeze, and lightly overcast skies, it was pretty close to a perfect day of sailing at the Lands’ End Marblehead NOOD. But there were three perfect days turned in on the water. Ron Vener won all three races in the Corinthian Class. Though he-and all but one of the six boats registered-recorded a pair of Did Not Competes yesterday, he moved into the first overall on the strength of his finishes today. Brian Jacob, the only sailor to race on Thursday is currently in second. Peter and Doug Morgan won all three races in the 16-boat J/105 division, they have a lead of four points over James Flanagan. And finally, Martha Rice Martini won all three races in the Town Class. But because she didn’t race on Thursday, she’s currently second with 12 points, three points behind class leader Arthur O’Neill. Racing at the Lands’ End Marblehead NOOD will continue through Sunday.