Close hauled and heeled right over, Lynnette rips through the water on her way to winning the cruising division of the Hospice Regatta last Sunday afternoon off Mount Desert Island. SUE CHARLES PHOTO

All are winners at the Hospice Regatta



MOUNT DESERT — The 22nd annual Hospice Regatta saw three days of intense racing last weekend and while only one boat could finish first in each event, everyone came away winners.

Until this year, the Hospice Regatta occupied two days, with several smaller boats and junior sailors racing on Friday and International One-Design sloops and cruising boats racing on Saturday.

This year, the Cruising Class race, sailed as one of the Northeast Harbor Fleet summer cruising boat series, was held on Sunday, with Saturday devoted solely to IODs and the Luders 16 sloops and juniors racing on Friday.

Among the big boats, it was Brooklin Boat Yard that was the big winner, with Mike Cook’s Lynnette taking both line honors and the corrected time win. The custom Eggemoggin 47 just edged out Joe Weber’s Dreadnought, a Jim Taylor-designed 49-footer. BBY built both boats.

Steady nerves and a calculating eye help navigate a pair of Luders 16 sloops along a crowded starting line during last weekend’s Hospice Regatta races.
SUE CHARLES PHOTO

On Saturday, light airs held the IOD fleet to just one race. With a record 16 boats coming to the starting line, Gary Madeira, sailing Auriga, finished ahead of Mount Desert Island High School sailor Alec Fisichella in Moewe at the head of the pack.

The Luders 16 fleet managed two light air races on Friday. Art Paine, in Ludicrous, and Ned Johnston, in Domino, swapped bullets in the first and second race, but a fifth place in the race he didn’t win let Johnston finish one point ahead of Paine for the overall win.

The Hospice Regatta is the major fundraiser for the Hospice of Hancock County and Executive Director Jody Wolford Tucker couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.

“This year’s Hospice Regatta of Maine was filled with new opportunities,” Tucker said Tuesday morning. “While the contributions are still coming in, the financial support going into the races was higher than recent years at over $42,000. We are very grateful for the success of this year’s Hospice Regatta of Maine, and sincerely appreciate our community’s generous support.”

According to a report from Fleet sailing master Fran Charles, the cruising boats raced in a southerly breeze under overcast skies on a course around the Mount Desert Island Great Harbor. The tide was high as the race began but the ebb “was really ripping out” during the entire afternoon, raising enough standing waves to “compress the racers when they were running with the wind and against the foul current.”

Like Jack-o-Lanterns lit from within, glowing spinnakers illuminated by the sun draw a trio of Luders 16 sloops on a downwind leg.
SUE CHARLES PHOTO

Saturday’s IOD race was a ghoster in a light easterly breeze. According to Charles, boats faced a tough choice on which way to go on the initial windward leg from the Manset shore up to a lighted gong between Sutton Island and Great Cranberry. Some boats tried a reach for better speed, but the leaders kept going straight to their destination saved the extra distance.

The wind was a little better on Friday for the Luders 16s, but not much.

“There were many holes of no wind on the race course and a few people spent a bit too much time sitting in them with the sails slatting back and forth,” Charles said.

Wind or no, the event was a great success, said Tucker, the Hospice executive director.

“We had additional community members serve on the planning committee, we were joined by several new sponsors,” she said.

Despite, or perhaps as a result of the new schedule, “we received great feedback from guests who joined our race-viewing party on the Maine Seacoast Mission’s Sunbeam and the Rendezvous after-party,” held Saturday at the former Morris Yachts boatyard in Northeast Harbor.

Stephen Rappaport

Stephen Rappaport

Waterfront Editor at The Ellsworth American
Stephen Rappaport has lived in Maine for nearly 30 years. A lifelong sailor, he spends as much time as possible messing about in boats. [email protected]