Maine Rocks Race

The Maine Rocks Race is a 112nm race from Rockland, ME, down Two Bush Channel, leaving Metinicus Rock to port, then rounding Mt. Desert Rock, leaving Metinicus to starboard and back to Rockland, ME. This was the first running of the race which is sponsored by Rockland Yacht Club.

Here's the race course (click on course for larger sized image):

Here are some of the stats from the race:

Finish Time: 7/14 06:26:12 PM
Ellapsed Time: 32:26:12
Corrected Time: 28:36:38 (time on time correction)
Position: 1st Place

Other Stats:
Among the single handed boats, I was second over the line and lots of double handed boats beat me over but luckily they all owed me time as Jeroboam was the highest rated boat in the fleet. On corrected time, I took first place, beating out the other single handers as well as the double handers. I was the recipient of The Francis Stokes Award which is presented to the boat with the best corrected time for a single hander.

This was the first annual running of the Maine Rocks Race and contained some excellent competition including three former Bermuda 1-2 winners in their respective divisions. A bunch of the race participants submitted their log notes which I'm told are to be published on the Short-handed Sailing Association web site. My notes are below:

Interesting start as those boats favoring the shore along Owls Head moved decisively to the early lead (Adhara, Williwaw and I think one other). After yawing about in the lobster boat wakes, a N-S column of air materialized and I was able to capitalize for a short clip while considering using the momentum to drive West toward a second column forming. I noticed Panacea moving toward it and made the mistake of not doing the same which soon afforded me last place in the fleet and a long tedious wait in the doldrums of Monroe Island while Peter rode that column of air for quite a while.

When the wind gently came up, I worked my way down Two Bush Channel, carefully using each shift to my advantage then got a big break at the South Breaker mark when a SW shift allowed me to avoid a couple tacks at the end. I think I made some ground on someone here as a radar spot just in front of me came around the mark from the West but with the fog I couldnít see who it was.

The Metinicus-Mt Desert leg proved a windfall for my progress in catching up with the fleet. I opted for a port tact to work with the tide, even though my VMG was materially less than a starboard tact would have afforded. I gambled on the predicted SE shift for my next tack and it worked, leaving me upwind of most of the fleet and with a good line for Mt. Desert Rock. I hoped the shift would steady but it kept clocking, allowing some of the downwind boats to make the mark without the need for a hitch, but for those who did, I made some good ground.

The leg back to Metinicus again proved favorable for Jeroboam as she needs plenty of wind to attain hull speed and catch up with the shorter waterlined, similarly rated boats. The chase to catch up with Williwaw was intense with both boats carrying too much sail, rounding up, though I rounded far more frequently than they, and hand steering for hours on end. I passed just prior to Metinicus then we were off to the downwind races.

Williwaw chose a direct route up Two Bush Channel with their whisker pole out while I ran West a bit to go dead down, wing-and-wing (no whisker pole) and maximize the surfing angle. By the time we reached Monroe, we were still neck and neck, as each of our strategies proved as effective as the otherís. I over stood the jibe toward Rockland and Williwaw took advantage of the hole to regain the lead. I tried desperately to catch up again, giving it the whole main and jib, but couldnít retake them and crossed just after Williwaw. What a great battle we had!