(Revised on March 11th, 2019)


Reingold Trophy Race For Abaco Dinghies, Plus Sunfish Races 

Report by Dave Pahl


An even dozen sailors turned out for the Hope Town Sailing Club dinghy races on Sunday, March 10th. The participants were evenly divided between the Abaco Dinghy class and the Sunfish class. The conditions directly off the harbor entrance were picture perfect, sunny skies and about 8-10 knots of easterly breeze. The Abaco Dinghy class was won for the third time by guru Will Heyer (Mac & Cheese) the driving force behind the revival of the class, with second place going to protege, Ted Estep (Nothin’s Easy). Third place was taken by the only 14 footer in the class, Scully, with Bill Torgerson at the helm and Sam Hummel as able crew. The Sunfish class was won by local ace, Andrew Wilhoyte, followed by Richard Woods in second place and brother Otis Wilhoyte in third. In an effort to take advantage of perfect conditions, the race committee, David Allin and crew, gave the Sunfish class one additional race besides the usual three, which was not scored as part of the series. Mark boat duties were handled by Pete & Linda Eshleman in their new to them, For Pete’s Sake, an Albury 20. The committee boat was Jimandi, provided by Jim Renegar & Gloria Coltharp. 


Photos by Carol Pahl, Art Dennis, & Di Hunter




Spring Regatta

Report by John Storck


Sail La Vie was the committee boat. C’est la vie was the feeling of all eleven racers and their crews after an exhilarating couple of hours on a gusty, boisterous Sea of Abaco day. Yes, this is indeed the life. After a one-day weather postponement, Thursday, March 7, offered up a 13 to 16 knot breeze with a wind chill more like a late New England spring day than Bahamian winter.


The fleet was tightly bunched at the first mark, with six boats rounding it within two or three minutes. The spread increased a bit as the race progressed around the triangle and the windward-leeward legs, but the finishes - on a corrected basis - turned out to be very close. Old Peculier, a Lagoon 45 skippered by Martin Cooper, took first place, and this is the second time that a catamaran has won this season. Only 34 seconds separated the second place boat, Sunrise (Milton Harris) from the third place, and only 35 seconds, the third place boat, Grumpy Ole Men (Don Meinhold) from the fourth. The conditions made for hard work and more than a few bruises, but the after-race get together featured lots of sunny smiles, no grumpiness, and many satisfied participants.

Cherimarie and Brad Poulos generously offered Sail La Vie for the fourth time this season as a stable, comfortable platform for the race committee to set the course and communicate with the racers. Sea Life, skippered by Barry Ainsworth and Will Heyer, was the mark boat.


Photos by Will Heyer & Catherine Allin




Founder's Cup

Report by John Storck


For the annual Hope Town Sailing Club’s Founder’s Cup race, March did not come in like a lion. In fact, after two postponements in late February due to too much wind, there was substantial doubt on Saturday morning, March 2 as to whether to run the race due to a lack of wind. Eventually, the Race Committee decided to proceed and racers were rewarded with an agreeable southerly breeze from the 11 a.m. start to the finish of the last boat around 12:45.


It was a short course: a triangle plus two final legs resembling a “sausage” (otherwise known as a hot dog). Speaking of dogs, Scout, a new four-legged crew member, added his weight and agility to the windward rail on Empty Pockets. Perhaps Scout was looking forward to his boat having a bone in her teeth, but in the light air, that didn’t happen.


The eight participants ranged in size from an 18 foot Marshall Catboat (Sunbeam) to a Leopard 44 catamaran (Diestema). The spectator fleet was at least as large as the racing fleet and included the harbor shuttle, a pontoon boat owned by the Hope Town Inn and Marina.


It appeared, especially over the last two or three legs, that the fleet was quite spread out. However, on a corrected time basis, the first five boats finished within five minutes of each other. And, in one of the closest races in memory, the winner, Sunrise, with owner Milton Harris at the tiller, earned the trophy by only three seconds! Grumpy Ole Men (George Leboutillier) was second. The Abaco Rage, skippered by Richard Cook, took third place.

The committee boat for the day was Shalaylee, owned by Lee and Cheryl Welsh. Check the photos to see the culinary evidence of their generous hospitality. Rolf Sauer provided Two Rock Reef as the mark boat. He was ably assisted by our photographer Will Heyer.



Photos by Will Heyer & Catherine Allin




Sunfish and Optimists Compete in a “Fresh” Southwesterly Breeze, February 24th

Report by John Storck


Winds of 12 to 14 knots, bright sunshine, and relatively little chop drew eight Sunfish and five Optimists out for Sunday afternoon racing. Your correspondent also counted up to ten spectator boats, proving that these events are fun to watch even without the benefit of the drone footage that one might see in an America’s Cup final! It would have been even more entertaining if the Abaco Dinghies had been able to come out, but because of the winds, that fleet regrettably but prudently decided to stay in the harbour. Perhaps next weekend …


In lieu of the usual triangular course, the Race Committee set a windward-leeward course involving a “gate” about 50 yards southwest of the committee boat. The Sunfish went around three times and the Optis twice. The windward mark was set heading towards Eagle Rock, aesthetically positioned between two anchored catamarans. This course worked very well for all.


Jasmine Aberle of Hope Town was the winner of the Optimist series, with two firsts and a second. Everyone is very pleased that the the Hope Town Junior Sailing Program is encouraging participation in these Sunday races. In the Sunfish class series, Richard Woods came across the line first three times, each time well ahead of the rest of this fleet.


The Race Committee was hosted again aboard the comfortable Sail La Vie, owned by Cherie and Brad Poulos. Rocky Keith and his crew on Walk About took on mark boat responsibilities, with backup provided by Sue Holloway on Eagle Light.




Photos by Cheriemarie Poulos, Lauren Storck, & Carol Pahl


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