7/12/05 - Race 7

Faithful Friends and Crew of Strategery,

“Vanderbilt?”  I asked Chris as we approached the fleet on port tack at the starting line. 

“Vanderbilt.” He replied.t start is based on the fact that a sailboat goes the same speed on a broad reach as it does wh

In most races, there is at least one racer who is fairly skilled at using the Vanderbilt start, but you rarely find a racer who can consistently execute it with perfection, because there are too many factors that can interfere with his timing, including interaction with other boats, wind shifts, puffs and lulls, and just plain misjudgments.

We got lucky and timed it perfectly. We tacked over to control the mass of boats that had been setting up on the right side of the starting line. We came around just in time to force Ladyhawke to come up on Marlen, effectively shutting them out of the starting line at the boat. They had to tack over and jibe around to start well behind us. At that point, we tacked when they tacked, jibed when they jibed and were able to come away with a bullet. We are currently still in first place by 1 point…hanging on by our fingernails. Worthy of note is the fantastic performance of our new bowman Mike Hodgens. Mike is an experienced J24 sailor who we were lucky to have join us last week. He will be aboard for the remainder of this season keeping the boat moving fast and calling the line the way he did last Tuesday. His direction was critical in timing the start and winning the race. 

Speaking of hanging on, I have to switch the focus of this writeup to my good friend Bob Amos. Bob is a B-School friend who is also an addicted sailor. When he helped us transport Strategery from NY this spring, Bob really fell in love with the 105. Since he lives in Chicago, Bob was able (through the help of another classmate Ellen van Oostenbrugge [a formidable racer in her own right], and her husband Vince [hardcore to the bone] to land a ride with a 105 in the Chicago fleet. He is the mainsheet trimmer and tactician on “Red Port Left”. Every year at this time, there is a fantastic race that is run from Chicago to Mackinac (at the top of Lake Michigan). 

This is a monster race, with hundreds of boats and a predilection for either total calm or blustery breeze. So far, it looks as though the breeze has been sparse, with boat speed never cracking 5 knots…ouch. In this years 97th running, Bob is making his debut. The coolest thing about this is that they have mounted a transponder on Bob’s boat. His current position and course to date can be seen below. Right now he is running at 3.51 knots and I’ll bet nerves are getting frayed. They are currently in 4th place, fighting it out with “New World” who is currently 30 minutes ahead of them and “Tuxedo” who is only 2 minutes behind. This is after being on the water since Saturday! Wow…this is going to be a close one.

You can follow Bob’s progress yourself at

Tracking - - look for J/105 "RedPortLeft"

They had a bit of a knock pushing them closer to the right hand shore, but seem to have fought their way back to the course. We are all wishing him and his team a safe and fast voyage. Bob promises a writeup of the trip for your enjoyment. A Strategery Sailing exclusive!

Stay tuned for this Tuesday’s race. It is going to be an important one. Also, at the end of the month, we will be racing in the NOOD’s at Marblehead. 3 days of multiple races against 13 105’s currently registered.


MARBLEHEAD NOOD Entries (as of 7/15)

J/105 = 13
Flanagan, 442, Achieve V
Farrah, 398, Strategery
Hardy, Jr., 102, Jaguar
Strauss, 145, Heart Throb
Bowden, 579, Knotless
Polidoro, 51563, vigilante
Small, 80, Marlen
Hollis, 51459, Sirocco
Logan, 240, Keemah
Morgan, 620, SteelAway/3
Williamson, 51682, Jabberwocky
Lowden, 50754, Dark Horse 2
Harrington, 43955, UpRoar 3

Going to be a good one.