By Pam Rorke Levy
It was our first foray to Nantucket with Dorade, and we were lucky enough to find a temporary home on the dock next to Olin Stephen’s Santana (thanks to Terry Halpin and his crew for making that happen!), right near the Nantucket Yacht Club and just a short dinghy ride from our tender and crew quarters aboard Northern Star. Santana and Dorade made quite a sight together sitting end to end on the dock, now that Santana has been re-re-configured as a yawl — albeit a much bigger brawnier yawl than Dorade — but you could definitely see the family resemblance.
On Friday and Saturday we sailed two races a day in the first ever Sail Nantucket Classic Yacht Regatta — mostly short windward-leeward courses that aren’t really our sweet spot — but it was a good workout for boat and crew, particularly as we chose the non-spinnaker class and as a result did a lot of wing-on-wing. There were sails everywhere you looked!
Sunday was the Opera House Cup, which began with a parade of boats out the harbor past spectators on the beach and a flotilla of boats large and small. Just one race, point to point over just under 20 miles, much more to our liking! Winds were in the low teens, and there was a bit of chop so we did do some rolling around, but we managed to pass a number of other boats including Santana on the downwind leg, then hold onto much of that lead throughout the final beat to the finish, winning against Santana boat-for-boat by about four and a half minutes. It was quite the nail biter, watching our bigger cousin get closer and closer to our transom on that 8-mile leg! The crew of Santana was gracious in defeat, giving us a round of applause as we made our way back to the dock. We’ll go up against them again in Newport at the Classic Regatta on Labor Day Weekend, and I’m sure they will give us a run for our money!
We made it to the podium in both events, taking third in the Vintage Corinthian Yacht and Cruising Divisions of the Opera House Cup, as well as third in the Vintage Corinthian Division of the Sail Nantucket Regatta.
Many thanks to the crew of Dorade for making this a memorable few days of sailing, including helmsman Jamie Hilton, tactician Kevin Miller, trimmers John Hayes and Paul Foley, Addison Caproni at the mast, Chewy and Nick Bellico on the bow, Matt navigating and me on the mizzen. Thank also to our gracious and lovely visitor on the Opera House Cup, Jamie’s sister-in-law Jody. And thanks also to the crew aboard Northern Star — Preston, Julie and Tracy — who kept us watered and fed and ferried around throughout all of the events, making it so much easier to focus on the racing.
Onward now to Newport, the last in our 2016 New England series.
Opera House Cup Regatta
OHC Cruising Division – 3rd Place
Vintage Corinthian – 3rd Place
2016 Sail Nantucket Regatta
Vintage Corinthian Yacht – 3rd Place