By Nick Bowen

Dawson and Ben Hodgson sailing their J/100 Grimace to victory in Spin-A class © Tom D’Albora

The Twenty Hundred Club had their sixth and final race of the season on Saturday, September 24. For such a windy fall day we were quite pleased to have twenty-seven boats competing in five classes. Fifteen spinnaker boats were signed up to race, but because of a high wind forecast and general difficulty raising crews in late September, we had three (of seven registered) boats race in Spin-A and six (of eight registered) in Spin-B. Cruising class had six boats race in Cruising I and five in Cruising II.

We had one multihull compete, a Corsair F-27 trimaran, and the club encourages more multishull to compete in all of our races. We had six boats drop out in Spinnaker class, likely triggered by David Schwartz’s report of a steady windspeed of 28 knots while he was motoring to the racecourse from Bristol Harbor. We did much better than last year’s Fall Race when we had 27 boats registered and only ten competed due to a very cold and windy forecast.

The race now starts at R “14” which is 0.4 nm SSE of the Davisville Piers in the west passage of upper Narragansett Bay. It previously started “in the vicinity of Pine Hill” which dated back to when the USGC had two government buoys in the area that have since been removed. We kept the starting area there because we thought it would be such a Rhode Island thing to say “the starting area is where those buoys use to be”(and the buoys are still on many older charts).

From the start all classes beat (typically) 3.3 nm down to QkFl’7’ just off Quonset Point. From there the classes diverge. Cruising class heads east for 3.5 nm to RGN just south of Prudence and then turn for 6.8 nm to RGN Providence Point (a misleading name since this is just a little northeast of Prudence). Then westbound to R’8’ Bell north west of Patience Island for 1.4 nm and finally a turn to the south for a final 1.4 nm beat to the finish for a total of 17 nm. From Quonsett Point, Spinnaker class sails 1.7 nm to R “2” northeast of the tip of Jamestown and then turn southeast for 3.1 nm to G”17” just east of Gould Island. Then they turn north for 9.7 nm to mark GR at Ohio Ledge, then 1.2 nm back to RGN at Providence where they rejoin the Cruising class course, for a total of 22.2 nm.

The racecourse is pre-dominantly north-south and the winds were such that there would be minimal tacks and jibes during the day. This made for some fast elapsed times: in the longer Spinnaker course, Chris Tate’s Blitz finished in 3:10:22. On the Cruising class course, Gregg Morash’s Miss Molly finished in 1:59:40. Sandy Takacs’ trimaran finished his 22.2 mile course in 2:53:49 at a VMG of 8.6 knots.

Chip Hawkins, who sailed Caneel to second place in Cruising-I, reported great conditions and a solid breeze all the way around the island, noting, “Less tactics as we only did one tack and one jibe, but a lot of strategy for positioning.”

David Schwartz, who sailed Mischief to second in Spin-A, reported that they had a reaching start which was too tight to carry a spinnaker. “Those that tried regretted their choice,” he said. Mischief was able to hoist a chute at the first mark near Quonsett Point and carry it until the leeward mark near Gould Island. “All in all, we tacked two times and jibed two more. It was a pretty easy race, but the bright sunshine, mild temperatures and good winds made it fantastic.”

Although this was The Twenty Hundred Club’s final formal race, we encourage sailors to sign up for the Around Aquidneck Challenge, which is a self-timed race around the island. This is a favorite race for the wild winds of October and is typically won by the sailor who can best predict a major wind shift so that they can circumnavigate the entire island flying their spinnaker. ■

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 <= 100)

1. Grimace, J/100, Dawson & Ben Hodgson

2. Mischief, Lyman-Morse 40, David Schwartz

3. Blitz, J/105, Chris Tate

DNC. Serenity, Dufour 36P, Curt Spalding

DNC. Zephyros, Melges 24, Timothy Grimes

DNC. Shamrock, J/35, FJ Ritt

DNC. Goat Rodeo, Seaquest 36, Todd Johnston

Spinnaker B Class (PHRF > 100)

1. Mutinous Dogs, Tartan Ten, Marc Holdaway

2. Bella Vita, Tartan 3400, Robert Suglia

3. Mystic, Ericson 32-3, Christopher Borden

4. Meddler, J/29, Sam Sylvester

5. Anser, Beneteau 35s5, Peter Allstrom

6. Able, Able Poitin, Chris Bruce

DNC. Audacious, Pearson Flyer, Kenneth Madeiro

DNC. Sail For ALS, Olson 30

Cruising I Class (PHRF <= 150)

1. Miss Molly, Oyster 55, Gregg Morash

2. Caneel, C&C 41, Chip Hawkins

3. Falcon, Sydney 36, Charles Stoddard

4. R’ Buoy, Frers F36SDSM, Mark Levin

5. Whalayed, Express 35, John Whaley

6. Relentless, First 36.7, Robert Laska

Cruising II Class (PHRF > 150)

1. Mental Floss, Hunter 34, Randy Church

2. Serendipity, Freedom 30 SD, Gary Venable

3. Cetacean, Sabre 36, Peter Maloney

4. Our Happy Place, Catalina 27, David Yopak

DNC. Sabbatical, C&C 33 Mk1, Guy Bissonnette


1. Caribbean Dreamin’, Corsair F-27, Sandy Takas