By Nick Bowen


Bobbie Marelli’s Beneteau First 36.7 Magoo sailing to victory in Cruising Class.   © Scott Trauth/

The Twenty Hundred Club opened their season on Saturday, May 22 with the second annual “Bridge Fiasco” Race on Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay. The rules are simple: start the race just south of Prudence Island and sail under each of the three bay bridges in any order: the Newport Bridge, the Jamestown Bridge, and the Mt. Hope bridge. The course is 27.8 nautical miles on the rhumbline. The format of the race is pursuit style, which means your handicap is taken at the start of the race. The highest rated boat, Aaron Lathrop O’Day 30 Moon Shadow, started at 9:05 and the lowest rated boat, Gamecock, a Melges IC37 sailed by Peter McClennan, started at 10:48.

Eighteen boats competed in three classes, with thirteen Spinnaker boats (in two divisions) and five Cruising class boats. This was down slightly from last year (21 boats), which was likely caused by moving the race two weeks earlier into late May with many boats were not yet in the water. The Jamestown mooring field was mostly empty.

The forecast was ominous for being able to complete the race – with a predicted high wind of the day of 11 knots at noon and dropping to 8 by midafternoon. Low tide was at 10:35, which meant most racers would choose either the Newport or Jamestown Bridges first. The course, with generally north-south routes, means thirteen nautical miles of downwind sailing (with following currents) and thirteen miles of tacking upwind against some very strong currents. Having to tack for half the race means the boats sailed about 40 nautical miles. As fortune would have it, right around 9:30 the wind picked up to 12-16 knots for the remainder of the day.


Chris Tate’s J/105 Blitz passes Wendy & Nick Bowen’s e33 epiphany as they approach the Mt. Hope Bridge.   © Alyce Athay


The fleet was equally split between Jamestown and Newport as the first bridge. All boats were able to enjoy a long downwind sail to the Mt. Hope Bridge. As the fleet approached Mt Hope, there was a sudden and dramatic windshift that caused emergency takedowns of the spinnakers. Tim Grimes, who sailed Zephyros to victory in Spinnaker A, said, “The day was all about hiding from the current as much as possible and minimizing maneuvers.”

Overall, the Bridge Fiasco was a great start to the 2021 season and the first of the Twenty Hundred Club’s six races this summer. All are cordially invited to join the fun at ■

Nick Bowen is the Commodore of the Twenty Hundred Club and races his Lyman-Morse e33 on Narragansett Bay. He can be reached at



Spinnaker A Class (PHRF <= 92)

1. Mischief, David Schwartz

2. Gamecock, Peter McClennan

3. Amadeus V, Jay Turchetta

4. Alliance, Eric Irwin

5. Vento Solare, Bill Kneller

6. Bully Circus, Buster Pike

7. Heat Wave, Jim Archer

Spinnaker B Class (PHRF > 92)

1. Zephyros, Timothy Grimes

2. Blitz, Chris Tate

3. Epiphany, Nick & Wendy Bowen

4. Spirit, EC Helme

5. Party Tree Racing, Michael Filimon

6. Dog Watch, Raymond Way

Cruising Class

1. Magoo, Bobbie Marelli

2. Serendipity, Gary Venable

3. Pegasus, Scott Walker

4. Cetacean, Peter Maloney

5. Moon Shadow, Aaron Lathrop

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