Coastal Living Newport Regatta

Saturday morning started off just like every other day earlier this week. HOT. Although the heat is uncomfortable, it is a great sign that the sea breeze will roll through. Forecast for Saturday was cloudy skies, wind from the south blowing 5-10.

The racing scene was very different as the race committee had the fleet of 50 packed into Mackerel Cove. Interesting place to sail because its so narrow running north to south, that if the wind was coming from the west or east, race committee would have to run W8 courses. On the other hand it was a different kind of sailing. With the cove being so narrow, it didn't allow racers to bang the corners. They had to short tack up the coast, testing their stamina, boat handling, and fleet management.

In the first race, there was a huge pile up at the committee boat, leaving a few individuals over early. About 2 minutes after the start the wind clocked left, with pressure, giving Clark Dhein and crew the lead at the first windward mark, closely followed by Matt Goetting. Half way down the run there was a lead change as Matt Goetting and crew passed on the outside, rounding the favored gate, and never looking back.

The Second race was a battle between, sail number 1846, Cole Allsopp and Lucy Wallace, and Thomas Barrows and crew. The order of that race remained the same until the final run, where Thomas Barrows used his boat-speed to sail around 2 boats, and take the win.

The 3rd race of the day was a battle between 2 boats. Matt Allen and Joe Morris. Joe had the lead at the first mark, but was soon passed by Matt Allen, whom extended his lead on ever leg to win the 3rd race.

Earlier this morning while checking the weather, there was a thunderstorm passing towards the north of Newport, but as everyone knows, New England weather is so unpredictable. The storm seemed to be passing, but then stopped and changed direction. Looked as though we were going to get dumped on. Race committee did a good job getting off a 4th race, before the wind died and did a complete 180. The winner of race 4 was David Hyer and Kelly Dunn.

Sure enough the storm came, wind died, clocked 180 towards the north leaving the V15 fleet drifting. Thankfully the wind filled, race committee flipped the marks, and got the race off immediately. Wind was blowing 13 knots, making for better racing.

In the last race of the day, the wind died down to 10 knots, and Ben Spiller was first to the mark followed by defending National Champions Colin Merrick and Amanda Callahan. Ben was able to keep a clear lane and extend to a comfortable lead to win the final race.

-Cy Thompson-

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