Ella Beauregard and Hamilton Barclay of Southport Yacht Club competed in the C420 New England Championships July 1-2 in Shelter Island, New York. The Shelter Island Yacht Club successfully bid for the event even though it is south of New England. Connecticut College coach Jeff Bresnahan and Steve Houston were regatta co-chairs, while Tufts Coach Ken Legler was PRO, and Olympian Amanda Clark squared the start line from the pin boat. SIYC members graciously housed sailors in their homes as only limited B&B’s and inns were available. The regatta drew 70 teams of sailors from across the country including Florida, Michigan, California, and our Southport sailors.
Sailors began arriving midday on Sunday, June 30 under increasing threat of thunderstorms. Two thunderstorms pelted the sailors bringing 49 knot winds and marble-sized hail that left small cuts on Barclay’s arm as he was ran in from the storm. Sunday’s muggy and stormy conditions led to clear and crisp conditions for Monday’s competitor meeting. The racers launched at 1 p.m. with the first start scheduled for 2 p.m. The breeze backed from north to west with 10-15 degree oscillations of 9-12 knots with flat seas. There was significant current on the south side of the course till about 4 p.m.
Legler used the I-Flag for each start sequence to avoid general recalls. This kept the starts in good order until the last race when 19 boats were called OCS (on the course side at the start). Beauregard and Barclay started five of seven races with speed and on the right side of the line. Race 2 found the pair closed out at the pin and Race 7 in the second row crossing behind the fleet in dirty air.
Beauregard and Barclay started out with a solid Race 1 rounding the weather mark in 8th place falling slightly to finish in 10th. They found the downwind speed of some of their peers to be better on technique. In previous years their relative light weight had been an advantage but as the pair have grown technique and positioning for clear air are critical. The poor start in the second race led to a 44th which would become their dropped score. Race 3 saw the pair round the leeward gate in 4th but struggle to find clear air, dropping precipitously to finish 31st. They finished the day off with a solid start and picking off boats throughout the race to finish 10th again. At the end of the day, the pair were in 18th place.
The following day was not as cool, nor as clear, with the wind slightly stronger in the 10-15 knot range. Barclay noticed a wind shift during the start sequence and was among 10 boats that started at the committee boat and went right early. Our Southport sailors won the boat end and launched ahead. Leading the fleet at the weather mark and leeward gate they were challenged at the second weather mark by a boat that had been OCS at the start. The pair won Race 5. In Race 6, they again started well but with many other boats nearby and finished in 7th place. Race 7’s start in the second row led to sailing in disturbed air throughout the race and a finish in the low 30s.
The Florida sailors from Outfit Sailing and Coral Reef Yacht Club finished in eight of the top 15 spots. Three teams from Annapolis Yacht Club and two teams from Bay Head, New Jersey were in the top 15. Eli Gleason and crew of Connecticut finished 7th, while Beauregard and Barclay finished in a respectable 12th place among 70 boats. Full results can be found at https://www.regattatoolbox.com/results?eventID=r4A0uin0qR.
Our Southport sailors found the high-level competition as expected with four good races marred by three in mid fleet they learned valuable lessons for their next event at Harraseeket Youth Regatta July 11-12.