By Bob Naylor
The view from Spinnaker Point seemed even more spectacular in the air of a clear, cool, autumn morning as the women skippers and their crews huddled around PRO Skip Kempff. After Skip discussed the race and a few last-minute course changes, AYC’s annual Ruth Beals Cup was ready to begin.
A nice breeze greeted the competitors pacing the start line, and as the horn sounded and the board flipped, the tight cluster of nine boats crossed the start line and soon spread out beating windward for Horse Island. On reaching Horse Island, Maryellen Ferring had skippered her J/70 into the lead position, followed closely by new AYC member Dawna Uchtmann on Escapade, a Holder 20. Deb Heisler and defending champion Brooke Miller were trailing on Santana 20s, bringing up the fleet’s rear, with everyone else in between.
With Horse Island still ahead of them, the teams hit the typical lull with each boat trying to eke out enough movement for the HI rounding and to get away from the multitude of powerboats and jet skis going in and out of the Humbug Bay access point. The water movement from the wakes was enough to create sea legs for some.
Shortly after the lead boats cleared HI, spinnakers went up until the southerlies arrived, and the teams trimmed in for the beat to the final rounding at No Name Island. A few boats remained stuck in the doldrums and clocking breeze near HI with spinnakers flailing but eventually caught the draft for a decent upwind sail towards No Name and a brisk downwind sprint north to the finish line.
Many thanks to the Race Committee led by PRO Skip Kempff and supported by Lori Reger, Tom Fuge, Bob Naylor, and new members Gene Peterson and his daughter Paige. Paige also volunteered to take the event photos.
Photos below by Paige Peterson.