When we last visited, the Ker 11.3 was on their way North and the 50 had just competed the Boston Harbor Wednesday Night Race. On Friday, both boats made it to Marblehead, arriving in such pea soup fog that they directed them to the harbormasters dock and we were able to stay shoreside until the start of the race on Sunday. Score!
Acorns Aidan and Randy, supporter Ann and I drove up on Friday with a car packed full of gear and food and the new emergency tiller for the 11.3. Aidan and Randy had made it themselves from start to finish. Everything from lay up and vacuum bagging to filling and sanding and painting. Everyone else arrived in various forms of transport and we were off the dock on a bright and sunny Sunday. The start had us all go around two marks before heading off to Halifax. It was basically a show for the thousands of spectators but we took it on and the 50 was the only boat to deploy the A3 genneker on the 1st 1.5 mile leg. Hello world Oakcliff is here!
We headed out from Marblehead with a double head rig, jib top and genoa-staysail. Soon we were able to deploy the spinnaker and sailed with the A3, A5 or Jib Top, 90% of the way hardly ever dropping below 10 knots and hitting top speeds of 17. Jeff MacFarlane and Mike Nicoletti double handing the 11.3 were close to the same speed in perfect performance conditions.
Coming into the finish in the middle of Tuesday night we were in pea soup fog with everyone on the rail listening for other ships as well as navigational aids. It was great to have the AIS (automatic identification system) on board both boats as we could see the ships positions and their speed and direction and visa versa. We still used all of the ‘old fashioned precautions’ as well, as in running lights, radar reflector and fog horn tooted regularly and LOUDLY from the rail. The Ker 50 finished at 3:38am on Tuesday morning and the 11.3 a few hours later. This race was the fastest in history with 3 boats breaking the previous record.
When the sun came up and the fog cleared we realized that we were in a beautiful place. I described the place (land and people and restaurants) as cozy like a big welcoming warm hug. We also discovered that there is a fair amount of entertainment in the down town. The very friendly customs agents told us where to go.
Out on the town we ran into a boat that we had beaten in IRC 1. They bought Suzy, Ann and myself a drink and grumbled about being beaten by an ‘all girls team’. Ann informed them that we were actually a coed team to which they responded. “OH thank God!” I said – Really!? and then added – You know what, you weren’t beaten by an all girls team, you were beaten by a team of women and children. For some reason they stopped buying me drinks.
A big congratulations to everyone who raced and raced hard:
Oakcliff Ker 50 – 3rd in Class and 11th Overall in IRC:
Watch Captains Mark DiSanti and Mike Komar who was on his second overnight race. Navigator and acorn, Jacon Mayer who was not only navigating for his first time, it was also his first overnight race. He did an excellent job. Also from Oakcliff, Aidan Vascatto, Randy Neureuter, acorn graduate Colling Leon, supporters, Bob Zazzera, Sue DiSanti, Ann Schwagerl, Dr. Rob Gorski, Dan Nudelman and new recruits, Dan the perma-trimmer Warnekros, Match Racer Bobby Martin, Nick Osvlads and ESPN reporter and America’s Cup veteran Suzy Leech.
The Ker 11.3 – 1st in Double Handed Class and 11th Overall in PHRF:
(including all fully crewed boats!) Jeff MacFarlane and Mike Nicoletti