Jump to content

Monhegan Island Race


Rail Meat

Recommended Posts

Drifter, not Grifter

 

Latitude: 43 33.306

Longitude: 069 49.380

TWS: 5.3 knots

TWD: 248 degrees

Boat Speed: FF#@*%!!

TWA: 155

Sail: Big A2, whose broad shoulders are crying out for more wind

Conditions: Clear cloudless sky

 

So, I figured I would do a quick Dragon Tale from the gulf of Maine. Got a little busy / lazy in the past 24 hours, and probably should have done one earlier.

 

Couple of weeks back we did the Lobster Run from Stonington to Boothbay Harbor. Fun race, and left the boat up there while I went to make some more money to pay for a couple of torn sails and what not. Then this past Thursday, ran down from Boothbay Harbor to Portland under the big kite with 12 knots of wind, breeze that is unfortunately a memory right now. But more on that later.

 

The Monhegan Island race, hosted by Portland Yacht Club, has been on the list for a while and it was good to get a chance to enter Dragon in it this year. On Thursday we tied up at the impeccably maintained Maine Yacht Center on the east side of Portland and drove over to PYC. Checked in, where we found out we were scratch boat in a 12 boat, two class division doing the longer 128 mile Monhegan Island course. The race has a shorter Mana course, and then a middle distance Seguin Island course that is used for Cruising class and the double handed class. While I am doing the race double handed with Maggie Donelan, we decided to stretch our legs a bit and do the longer course against the fully crewed boats.

 

The folks at PYC are quite hospitable. The race committee chair took the time to walk me through the marks on the course and gave me some insight on the local tides and currents. We all were also asigned an ambassador from the club in case we needed any help. And the entry price included a very nice dinner / party on Thursday, lunch when we finish, and pancake breakfast on Sunday before the awards. Although at this rate, we might be lucky to finish before Sunday.

 

Friday the 13th dawned foggy, which only burnt off around 1400 hours, right before the 1500 start. We had been expecting sub-5 knot winds on Friday morning, but were happy to see 11 to 13 on the course at the start. Unfortunately, that did not last too long.

 

The start is in the archipelego of islands to the east of Portland Harbor. You start just south of the yacht club, and then work your way through Hussey Sound and a group of islands that create a fairly narrow channel. Reach the mouth and then you bear off to the west and start working your way down to a weather bouy "B" about 35 miles to the west, just off Cape Neddick. Make the turn, and head back east 60 plus miles to Monhegan Island. Turn and then leg it 35 miles back to Portland.

 

We got off the line with my usual skill and in good Vanderbilt fashion, a solid 90 seconds after the rest of the boats. Then was short tacking for about 5 miles up and out of Hussey Sound. Once we turned west, it was clear that we were going to be tacking for the 30 miles down to "B". And after about an hour, the wind dropped to the 7 to 9 knot range, where it stayed until about 2200 hours when it dropped to 6 knots. At that point we launched the code 0 and got ourselves around "B" after 2 more hours of light-air tight reaching.

 

After we turned the corner, we launched the big kite and have been running as deep as we can under it, which on this boat means about 150 max in this light air. Unfortunately that means we are 25 degrees low of the mark, and will need a couple off gybes to get there.

 

We are currently 21 miles out from the mark. we are racing in Dragon's least favorite conditions... light air upwind and dead down wind conditions, and our placement reflects that. There is one boat in front of us, and one off our quarter. We can see the Seguin Island classes up on the coast headed back to Portland. In the meantime, we are fighting for progress in really light air, making about 4.3 knots of BSP for about 5.4 of wind speed. A symmetic kite would pay off here, if only I had one. My hope is that we get the sea breeze kick in here, since the high pressure system that is killing our wind is also giving us a clear, hot day which hopefully will get a thermal cranking off the land mass soon enough. What I need to hope for is some 8 to 10 knot winds with 80 to 100 degree reaching on the last leg back to Portland and perhaps I can save myself a decent finish.

 

Regardless, it is hard to feel sorry for us. It is a gorgeous day out here on the Gulf of Maine, and last night the clear skies provided an awesome back drop for what remained of the meteor showers.

 

Off to work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Balls. Sweaty balls.

 

So the forecast is for sub-5 knots all day out here. So my thinking was to work my way into the coast and catch the sea breeze. Sound logic.... crappy results. I am in here and 4 of my competitors are about 6 miles south and moving at least 2 knots faster than I am. This sucks.

windless monhegan.bmp

Link to post
Share on other sites

Too bad work made you miss the Lobster Run party, it was none too shabby. Good luck to ya!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hang in there Rail Meat...Monhegan is too often a battle of attrition. You may not finish 'til Monday but there is still plenty of time to "earn" Line Honors for Class A. I see BDP and Buzz just rounded "R14" at 14:52 and 14:55 respectively (24 hours in = OUCH!). Plenty of places out there for them to park and you to pass!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Shortage of reach (around)

 

Latitude: 43 45.013

Longitude: 069 28.472

TWS: 11.6 knots

TWD: 214 degrees

Boat Speed: 5.09 knots

TWA: 35

Sail: Genoa

Conditions: Pretty much a perfect summer day. Except for the part where we are getting our ass kicked.

 

 

So we tacked our way out of the start, tacked our way down to Cape Neddick, gybed our way down to Monhegan and are now pinching to get past Seguin and will likely need to tack at least once or twice on the way back to Portland. This is like a 128 mile W/L.

 

Needless to say, we are being destroyed with at least two of our competitors in front of us. The wind direction and speed have not been optimal for the mighty Dragon to show her stuff, but I did my part too. Bad choice to go in towards land when the pressure stayed offshore. Bad choice to leave the Code 0 up too long instead of swapping back to the kite. A couple of sail changes that were less than crisp. As a result, we are being out-sailed in a decisive way. Thems the breaks, but it still sucks. I had been hoping for a reach on this last leg to help me earn some of my rating, but it does not look like it is going to happen.

 

We are off of Pumpkin Ledges and Poor Shoal. Ya gotta love the names people attached to these things? Makes me wonder how they came up with the names. We are approaching Seguin Island, west of Boothbay Harbor and east of Casco Bay. The island is actually a giant hunk of iron, so anything in the area that is magnetic (including your boat's compass) is impacted.

 

30 miles to Portland, and it ain't gonna be enough time to find redemption.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Too bad work made you miss the Lobster Run party, it was none too shabby. Good luck to ya!

 

Sorry I missed it as well... I like the parties where I actually get to pick up a pickle dish. Happens too infrequently!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Recap

 

Well, the results were posted and indeed we got thumped. The two boats that beat us to the finish got there 45 minutes in front of us. Tip o' my hat to the skippers and crew - we were out sailed.

 

This was a fun race. The hospitality is top notch, the setting is beautiful, and there are great ways to combine the race with vacations in Maine. I would highly recommend it. I would also recommend that if the wind is soft, make sure to stay offshore. Also, come prepared with a good way to deal with kelp. Lots and lots of kelp.

 

If I can figure out how to combine it with other events, I definitely would like another shot at this race. Hope springs eternal!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Recap

 

Well, the results were posted and indeed we got thumped. The two boats that beat us to the finish got there 45 minutes in front of us. Tip o' my hat to the skippers and crew - we were out sailed.

 

This was a fun race. The hospitality is top notch, the setting is beautiful, and there are great ways to combine the race with vacations in Maine. I would highly recommend it. I would also recommend that if the wind is soft, make sure to stay offshore. Also, come prepared with a good way to deal with kelp. Lots and lots of kelp.

 

If I can figure out how to combine it with other events, I definitely would like another shot at this race. Hope springs eternal!

 

Did you get to meet any of the other ME SA folk on your visit? I was sadly(?) at the boatshow in Rockland all weekend or I would have made you abuse a bottle of rum with me. There are at least one or two others up here...

 

G

Link to post
Share on other sites

Like DRAGON, GREYHAWK also did the delivery from Boothbay Harbor down to Falmouth on Thursday before the race and checked in at PYC. Unlike Dragon, we were the slowest rated boat in the Seguin Island Race (Cruising Canvas Division, aka jib and main only). We were racing triple-handed: myself, my wife, and our 12-year old son, who had been running a fever all day Thursday (which is why we left the Thursday pre-race party early and didn't see Rail Meat). Friday morning we dropped the dog and cat off at a kennel and drove back to PYC for the skipper's meeting.

 

We got a pretty good start, and held our own with the rest of the fleet (most of whom owed us 30 seconds per mile or more) on the beat down to our first turning mark in a pretty good sea breeze. After the sea breeze died, we anticipated a land breeze filling in (the weather was perfect for it) so we went in closer to shore than the rest of the fleet, reaching up pretty high to keep the sails drawing. It payed off when sometime after midnight we got 7 knots of breeze that no one else had and we just zoomed (that's a relative term) away from them. We carried this breeze well up into Casco Bay until we could run wing-and-wing dead down wind to Seguin. It was pretty light through Saturday morning (after the shore breeze died down), but we seem to be pretty slippery in this kind of stuff. Closing in on the mark, as the afternoon sea breeze started to build, we reached up again to keep ourselves positioned between the boats behind and the mark. Taking the times on the two boats ahead of us, it was clear we were well ahead of them on corrected. We rounded the 20ML buoy and sailed close-hauled for the finish line. Some of other boats were tacking out further offshore in hopes of getting more of the building sea breeze, but we didn't want to tack into their bad air and the breeze was filling in nicely so we stayed on the rhumb line since we could point well enough to lay the finish. So now it was just a drag race to the finish, hoping that the two faster boats ahead of us wouldn't be able to open up enough gap to make up the time we had on them. The faster boats behind us were never able to catch up.

 

End result, we took first place by about 8 minutes over some 25 hours of sailing on a 70-mile course against some much bigger and faster boats!

 

This is the third year we've done the Monhegan Race (Mananna class in 2008, Seguin Double-handed last year, and Seguin this year), and we just want to reiterate Rail Meat's comments about the Portland Yacht Club's hospitality. This really is a great event, and they (and we) would love to have more boats come out for it!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Recap

 

Well, the results were posted and indeed we got thumped. The two boats that beat us to the finish got there 45 minutes in front of us. Tip o' my hat to the skippers and crew - we were out sailed.

 

This was a fun race. The hospitality is top notch, the setting is beautiful, and there are great ways to combine the race with vacations in Maine. I would highly recommend it. I would also recommend that if the wind is soft, make sure to stay offshore. Also, come prepared with a good way to deal with kelp. Lots and lots of kelp.

 

If I can figure out how to combine it with other events, I definitely would like another shot at this race. Hope springs eternal!

 

Did you get to meet any of the other ME SA folk on your visit? I was sadly(?) at the boatshow in Rockland all weekend or I would have made you abuse a bottle of rum with me. There are at least one or two others up here...

 

G

 

 

I saw Greyhawk, whom I had met previously at the Lobster Run pre-party. And then one other skipper who knew me as Rail Meat. Since I don't know his posting handle, I won't out him here. But otherwise, no one who identified themselves as from SA. I was only at Thursday's party for a short while towards the end of the evening, and then was there again today for the pancake breakfast. Top notch breakfast, by the way.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hee hee...nice map.

 

Can that be used for navigation?

 

Hope the wind picks up!

 

 

Only if your insurance policy is paid up....

 

Good one! Having sailed around the world with NO insurance, I can totally relate.

Glad you liked the Gulf of Maine...maybe there will be wind next year...

 

And thanks for all the great updates.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Like DRAGON, GREYHAWK also did the delivery from Boothbay Harbor down to Falmouth on Thursday before the race and checked in at PYC. Unlike Dragon, we were the slowest rated boat in the Seguin Island Race (Cruising Canvas Division, aka jib and main only). We were racing triple-handed: myself, my wife, and our 12-year old son, who had been running a fever all day Thursday (which is why we left the Thursday pre-race party early and didn't see Rail Meat). Friday morning we dropped the dog and cat off at a kennel and drove back to PYC for the skipper's meeting.

 

We got a pretty good start, and held our own with the rest of the fleet (most of whom owed us 30 seconds per mile or more) on the beat down to our first turning mark in a pretty good sea breeze. After the sea breeze died, we anticipated a land breeze filling in (the weather was perfect for it) so we went in closer to shore than the rest of the fleet, reaching up pretty high to keep the sails drawing. It payed off when sometime after midnight we got 7 knots of breeze that no one else had and we just zoomed (that's a relative term) away from them. We carried this breeze well up into Casco Bay until we could run wing-and-wing dead down wind to Seguin. It was pretty light through Saturday morning (after the shore breeze died down), but we seem to be pretty slippery in this kind of stuff. Closing in on the mark, as the afternoon sea breeze started to build, we reached up again to keep ourselves positioned between the boats behind and the mark. Taking the times on the two boats ahead of us, it was clear we were well ahead of them on corrected. We rounded the 20ML buoy and sailed close-hauled for the finish line. Some of other boats were tacking out further offshore in hopes of getting more of the building sea breeze, but we didn't want to tack into their bad air and the breeze was filling in nicely so we stayed on the rhumb line since we could point well enough to lay the finish. So now it was just a drag race to the finish, hoping that the two faster boats ahead of us wouldn't be able to open up enough gap to make up the time we had on them. The faster boats behind us were never able to catch up.

 

End result, we took first place by about 8 minutes over some 25 hours of sailing on a 70-mile course against some much bigger and faster boats!

 

This is the third year we've done the Monhegan Race (Mananna class in 2008, Seguin Double-handed last year, and Seguin this year), and we just want to reiterate Rail Meat's comments about the Portland Yacht Club's hospitality. This really is a great event, and they (and we) would love to have more boats come out for it!

 

Nice job, Greyhawk, and congrats! You done good!

 

We had a relaxing weekend at the Goslings, doing boat chores, drinking, and quite honestly, reveling in the fact that we had not forced ourselves to spend the night listening to a slatting main that would rain dew on us with each slat. Stickboy was monitoring the race tracking on his Blackberry, and we also received occasional updates from another anarchist who was crewing on one of the Monhegan boats. Fortunately for the racers, the wind actually seemed to fill in a little quicker and better than some forecasts had indicated.

 

We considered going to the Thursday night party, just for the social aspect, but the $15/head cover charge was a bit much.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rail Meat - sorry I didn't meet you on Thursday - I showed up late at the party on Thursday. I waved once on Friday at the start, but had to concentrate on trying to stay ahead of you for the rest of the race. (I crewed on Buzz)

 

We had an interesting race that turned out quite nicely in the end. With a solid start we had a nice run out the Hussey and down to Cape Elizabeth. We were quite fortunate to have the legendary Papa Smurf on board who kept us all entertained with stories of Monhegan Race's going back to the 40's. He also did the nav/tactics and I was excited to learn from him. We ran into some trouble off from OOB with some fishing gear in the dark (I'm afraid we are getting a rep for going fishing while racing - it happened again during MS - though this time I avoided a swim) That allowed 3 boats to pass us and the other two to catch us. We managed to get around B after going through a nasty lift that has us running parallel down the coast to the rhumbline. Then the chase was on and we made the most of the symmetrical chute. We were able to get to about 4 minutes behind the leader at Monhegan and then on the leg in we went a bit lower and faster and were able to take the lead. We never got to slatting sails this year, but it certainly wasn't the high octane race you want.

 

Here's hoping that NE Harbor and ME Rocks has better wind.

 

Congrats Greyhawk on your win - Sequin can be pretty tough, especially if you get caught in light air up there. (As apparently Rail Meat found out, I think we have all sat at one point off the light wondering when it would go out of sight)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...