A morning postponement and light air early on made for a slow start to the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta in Marblehead. With the left side of the course favored heavily, it was tactical decisions over routine local knowledge that produced the best results in the J/105 class.
Ric Dexter, skipper aboard Circe’s Cup, favored the left side and finished the day second in the fleet. “Very recently, the pattern has been a strong sea breeze on that side,” he said. “The first race we tried the right side, and it didn’t pay, so we read the course carefully and changed our tactics over to the lefthand side in the second race to improve.”
And improve they did, going from a fourth to first place finish by the end of the day.
“Basically the strategy is clean air,” explained Dexter, “That’s what we’re going to focus on tomorrow. The breeze should fill in and we should have better conditions. The fleet is strong, we have a great showing at this regatta, and the level of competition is great.”
Ahead of Circe’s Cup in the overall standings is Chris Lund and his crew aboard Whomper, who snagged two second place finishes today, placing them at the head of the fleet with four overall points.
“Everything really came together for us today,” said Lund. “We work really well together, we have a lot of great voices on the boat. Collaboration was key in order to read everything that was going on out there. We just trust each other, we’re a more confident team.” The crew has taken a full year off from sailing together, and today’s success was their first foray back onto the water together.
“It came together so quickly, and that first race was almost flawless,” said Whopmer tactician Caleb Sloan. “We recovered from any mistakes we made in the second race quickly, and worked together really well on recovery. Tactically, we paid attention to each other and whoever had the most confident voice made the call.”
Thanks to their tactical teamwork, tomorrow Whomper will be flying the Wilmington Trust leader spinnaker, awarded each night to the J/105 class leader and finally to the overall winner to keep at the end of the weekend. All eyes are on Whomper to see if they’ll hold on to their class lead.