Cape Cod Frosty North American Championship

April 25-26, 2009
New Castle, NH

What a fantastic weekend to wrap up our Frosty season with the North American Championship hosted by Frosty Fleet 9 in New Castle, NH. With the mercury breaking 80 degrees and several unfinished battles to settle within the ranks, 26 sailors participated in this year’s event. Peter Shope returned to defend last year’s title, but several veteran rock stars as well as a few new faces were going to make Peter’s repeat a challenge.

Day one provided warm temperatures but light southwesterly winds ranging from zero to 10 knots with the occasional puff. Despite the light winds, we had enough to provide competitive racing. No one was vocally complaining about the wind, but I know we were all wishing for a little more. Current played a big factor on the windward leg, favoring the portside layline. This left many trying to find holes to tack into the starboard tack parade of fetchers. I know I found myself sailing the wrong way down the starboard layline on a few occasions until I found an opportunity to do a U-turn. At the leeward mark, the current was really ripping on the right side of the course, so I found myself gaining back a couple of spots by tacking to the left side as soon as I could get clear around the leeward mark.

We completed a total of eight races on Saturday and our defending champion, Peter Shope stole the show by taking 7 bullets and one third, totaling 10 points for the day. This left a formidable gap of 15 points to the second place finisher, Ross Weene, with 25 points and third place went to Larry Christian with 34 points. A few of the other likely big names (Peter Follansbee, Bill Smith and Bruno Paciulli) put some low scores on the scoresheet, but were plagued by inconsistencies by also posting double digit finishes. In the first race, former commodore Bruno Paciulli, lost focus and sailed through the closed start finish line and was served a DSQ. Was this an innocent mistake or was Bruno a victim of Geoff’s potent Sangria from the prior evening?

Back on shore, people immediately went to work to prepare for Sunday. Eli Slater went back to work on his new boat that was not quite ready for day one, but he was determined to get it into the action for Sunday. Groves went to work to finish a new sail and Geoff brought back his Sangria to try to sabotage yet another person on his “Hit List”. Unfortunate to Geoff, I think he was victim to his own countermeasure, as later in the evening, he had the bright idea of removing unneeded weight from his mast step with a circular saw. This resulted in a dismasting during the prerace on Sunday. Besides the few that were busy on their program for the following day, most of us had a fantastic evening as our families and friends joined us for a wonderful dinner prepared by Eli’s parents, Dr and Dr Slater. As the evening waned and the crowd at KPYC thinned, the last few stragglers cleaned up and prepared the yacht club for the next day and in the distance, there was the faint sound of sanding and the whirl of a circular saw.

In the morning of day two, the wind showed promise. Overnight, the wind changed direction and was now coming from the northwest with a steady 10 knots. Paying off, from the prior nights work, Eli launched his new boat and Groves was sporting a new sail. As mentioned earlier, Geoff’s mast step modification could not stand up to the stiffer breeze, but he was able to borrow Eli’s old ride and was back in the action prior to the first gun. The heavier wind also claimed Vince Todd’s tiller, but with a hose clamp and some duct tape, he was able to make an “on water” repair and only missed out on one race. Most surprisingly was that Peter Shope, Peter Follansbee and Ben King did not return for the second day of the Regatta. With Shope in a defending position and Follansbee and King showing promise in the top ten, it was unfortunate that they had conflicting commitments for Sunday. The Regatta’s dynamic had changed.

By the time of the first gun, the wind direction remained unchanged, but the velocity began to fade to similar conditions from the day before. We had a period of 10 knot winds, but equal periods of lulls. In the first race, I punched out on a port tack at the boat end and took a flyer on the right side of the course. This paid off as I rounded the weather mark in third. Downwind, we all watched Tom King sail deep with incredible speed, passing most of us and got inside the pinwheel at the leeward mark. This proved to be a winning tactic all day.

It was amazing to see a number of people make large improvements in their results compared to the first day: Josh Carroll improved 10 places; Geoff Hayhurst and Emmitt Todd improved 9 places; Tom King improved 8 places; Bruno Paciulli improved 6 places and CJ Gilman improved 5 places. The winner of the day went to Larry Christian with 17 points, with Bruno Paciulli in second with 25 points and a close third went to Ross Weene with 26 points.

With his consistency in the two day Regatta, Ross Weene (31 points) proved to be our North American Champion in 2009. Congratulations Ross! Finishing six points behind, Larry Christian took second place with 37 points and third was earned by Bill Smith with 57 points. With 60 points each, Eli Slater won the fourth spot due to his better finishing scores and Bruno earned fifth for this year’s regatta.

Congratulations to the podium winners and good job to all that competed in this year’s regatta.

I would like to say thank you to our sponsors. Because of their generosity, we had a world class event while keeping our regatta fees low. Please thank them with your business:

And finally a special thanks to Trisha McElroy for running a competitive regatta, to Dr & Dr Slater for cooking a great feast on Saturday, to Kittery Point Yacht Club for hosting the event, to Jon Taft for his on water photography, and to Cindy & Bruno Paciulli for putting together yet another legendary Piaya party of Friday.

Have a great off season and encourage your friends to join us for our Summer Regatta in August. Keep your eyes on the website for the announcement of this events as well as the Scallop Cup in October. See you on the water.