2018-08-16 / Sports

Yacht race delayed by slow winds


JOHN WOOMER captains Grin during the Northport Bay Yacht Club race on Saturday. Photo: Mike Sinclair JOHN WOOMER captains Grin during the Northport Bay Yacht Club race on Saturday. Photo: Mike Sinclair A slow wind in the morning turned into one of the best race days of the season for the Northport Bay Yacht Club.

The club held its annual Blue Water Race on Saturday. According to Mike Sinclair, the forecast called for little wind. The club delayed the start an hour and waited before deciding whether to sail.

“By then, there was a light northwesterly so the decision was to go,” Sinclair said. “We shortened the course to round the Bell Buoy, Kalchiks/ Aghosatown buoy and the marina start-finish line.”

“The boats could also choose the direction they started the race.”

The race didn’t start until noon on Saturday, but the wind had sped up for the club. According to Sinclair, the wind stayed strong throughout the course of the race, making it one of the best afternoons for sailing of the year.


JIM ZEVELKINK and his crew ride in Mr. Wizzard through the water during the Northport Bay Yacht race on Tuesday. Photo: Mike Sinclair JIM ZEVELKINK and his crew ride in Mr. Wizzard through the water during the Northport Bay Yacht race on Tuesday. Photo: Mike Sinclair According to Sinclair, only three boats hung around to enjoy the race weather. The three were Grin, Qi Mover and Puff. The yachts were captained by John Woomer, Mike and Tamara Finazzo and Mike Sinclair respectively.

All three boats chose to head east to the Bell Buoy. Puff’s crew struggled to put up its sail, which tangled when they pulled it down and put it back up. By the time they sorted it out, they were too far south and they switched to the west.

When the two groups came together nearly three hours later, Puff was in front by five or six minutes.

“From Puff we could hardly see Grin and Qi Mover even with a monocular,” Sinclair said. “I thought they were clearly ahead of us.

We enjoyed a beautiful beat into the northerly (wind) out in Grand Traverse Bay, enough to produce occasional white caps.”

According to Sinclair, one could hardly wish for a better sail, especially after managing to tie down the kite without the antics of it taking off on them.

With the handicap, Puff finished first, Grin finished second and Qi Mover finished third. The handicap covered six minutes and 30 seconds for three hours of sailing.

Club members competed in the their weekly “beer can” race, and some of the boats suffered the evening curse of disappearing wind. According to Sinclair, half of the boats on Tuesday’s race had good sailing. Six boats came out for the race.

The wind died for the racers, and the lead boats finished and took the handicap prizes while the others drifted into the finish line.

At the beginning of the race, Sinclair in Puff was off to a good start and stayed in front until Doug Kilgren in Asylum moved ahead. As the race turned to Timber Shores, Jim Zevelkink in Mr. Wizzard found a steady wind and was able to pass Puff.

Mike Cann in Kristin B II, Woomer in Grin and Jim Richardson in Legato followed the three respectively.

“The beat back to the finish started well, but the wind faded away quickly,” Sinclair said.

Mr. Wizzard took the first place and won handicap honors. Asylum and Puff battled to line, and Asylum was able to finish the race in second. Puff was able to take second on the handicap by nine seconds. Kristin B II finished in fourth place over the line, and took third on the handicap for the race.

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