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The fleet boasted a slew of island-built boats, including two built by Ralph Stanley, Peregrine and Endeavor, and four fiberglass Friendships built by Jarvis Newman, including Osprey, Banshee, Gaivota and Salatia.
“It was a beautiful day to sail and be part of such a talented group of sailors,” said Miff Lauriat, the race’s organizer.
At the finish line, a veteran charter boat, the 42-foot Helen Brooks, emerged as the race’s winner, with the 33-foot Surprise in second and the 42-foot, defending champion, Alice E., rounding out the top three.
“It’s interesting to note that the first three boats are all the local charter captains,” Lauriat said. “It shows that local knowledge and practice makes for a very good sail.”
Lauriat’s vessel, Salatia, was the first Pemaquid (a 25-foot fiberglass Friendship sloop) across the line, battling Gladiator for fourth place.
According to Lauriat, the time difference between Salatia, Gladiator, and Alice E. was just 11 seconds.
“That’s less than a boat-length. It’s really a bowsprit,” Lauriat said.
The Helen Brooks finished the race in 2 hours 6 minutes and 30 seconds and Surprise finished the course a minute and a half after that.
“At the starting bell, Salatia watched the entire fleet sail off toward the Greening’s Island Ledge, from the wrong side of the committee boat,” Lauriat said. “It looked like we were going to the Claremont to have an early drink.”
But on starboard tack, Salatia caught a breeze coming off Clark Point to close in on Eden, a rival Pemaquid that had taken an early lead.
“We’re light, a really light boat,” said Scott Martin, owner of Eden. “And in light air we were riding like a Porsche.”
There was so little air that, on the last of the ebbing tide, several boats were in danger of going aground. In one particular exciting moment, Alice E.’s bowsprit nearly lanced Osprey’s cockpit while rounding a mark.
“Five people on Osprey were pushing Alice. But nobody was injured and there was no damage,” Lauriat said. “That’s the kind of bumper boats we used to experience more often when these were still working lobster boats.”