Thursday, June 11, 2020

J/Crews Dominate Social Distance Race

J/88 sailing offshore
(Greenwich, CT)- With organized racing on New York’s Long Island Sound shut down, UK Sailmakers’ Adam Loory organized a series of doublehanded “pick-up” races over the last three weekends. The races are not run by any club or sailing association, there is no entry fee, no trophies and no party; just boats meeting up to go racing. By sailing doublehanded, crews are able to social distance and nearly eliminate the chance of spreading the Covid-19 virus.

In lieu of an entry fee, all sailors have been donating to the Larchmont/ Mamaroneck Food Pantry, which feeds those in need during this time of massive unemployment. Nearly $5,000 has been donated so far, which makes the races doubly rewarding.

On May 23rd, the race was a 45-miler that went from Greenwich, Ct., around Stratford Shoal Light House and back. Luckily, the no-wind-at-the-start forecast was wrong; there was 8-12 knots of wind out of the east-northeast for the start and the first half of the race. At one point racers sailed through fog so thick they could barely see 100 feet. The forecast did call for a building in the late afternoon, but not the 20-26 knots out of the northeast most of the fleet got hit by when they were within three miles of making the turn home. Once around the light house it was a quick run to the finish. Those who flew spinnakers reported speeds up to 17 knots.

J/Sailors off starting line on Long Island Sound
Andrew Weiss and Lawrence Cutler, co-owners of the J/88 ONE TOO MANY finished first in Class 2 and first overall. After the race Andrew wrote, “We had great trip back. Lawrence hit 14 knots, which we thought was pretty good for a 29-foot boat. We never broached all the way back. It’s a good little boat for doublehanding-- still it was a long beat for us.”

Andrew was happy the race didn’t take much longer as they were navigating with an iPhone and didn’t know what they would do if the battery went dead!

Taking second in Class 2 was yet another J/88- Paul Strauch's ANDIAMO.  Then, winning Class 1 by a handy margin was Barry Purcell's J/27 LUCIDA!

Twenty-four boats signed up, five didn’t start and five more retired during the race, leaving 14 finishers. Everyone, including those who retired wrote thanking for the opportunity to race and for the good time they had.

Long-time Long Island Sound racer Rich Gold said, “Thank you Adam for providing a spring worth remembering amidst a year of Covid-19 we want to forget. Racing doublehanded requires a lot of dynamic skills to enable skipper and crew to have fun safely. Congratulations to the winners, crews and to the entire bunch of sailing enthusiasts that defined their May in a sailor’s way.”

Two more races are planned before the regular season starts up. Anyone interested in joining in should email Adam Loory at:

Sailing photo credits- Suzy Bradford