Deer Isle Yacht Club

Sylvester Cove, Sunset, Maine

2013 Round Pigeon Island Regatta

2013 Round Pigeon Island Regatta, July 6, 2013.

The sixth annual Round Pigeon Island Regatta was held on the Afternoon of July 6, 2013. The Deer Isle Yacht Club float was a bustle of activity in the early afternoon. Skippers were busy preparing their vessels for the annual race around Pigeon Island.

The seas were calm making conditions just about perfect for the rowing class. This however looked to present a challenge to the sailing division as winds were light, and the tide was going. Strategy and local knowledge could be the deciding factor in this years dash for the coveted J.D. Chesney Memorial Cup.

This years entries were:

Sailing Class

Ned Gresham –

Belle Hutchins, Sam Wakelin – Mad Air Yo

Henry Wakelin, Christian Vander Mel – Tweet

Alan Chesney – Encore

Rowing Class

William and Eric Vander Mel – Hen

Steve Wakelin, Madison Wakelin & Lila Hutchins – Pickle

Jim Chesney – Aloha

Brian Chesney – Belafonte

Amy and Allie Hermanson – Sally K

Jean Gresham and Betsy Gooding –

The Race Committee Boat headed out from the dock to set the start finish line, and like a new family of ducklings the intrepid skippers followed in their vessels. R2 gleaming in the distance, the tension was palpable. The Race Committee set the line to the west of R2. The Official Photographer was diligently chronicling the event. All systems were go.

Last minute instructions were given to the sailing class, and the first horn sounded to begin the starting sequence for the Sailing division. As the boats circled around there was no clear indication to what strategy the skippers were going to employ. They were all playing it close to the vest. The horn for the start sounded, and the all clear was given. They were off, would history be made today? Only time would tell.

Meanwhile the rowing division was warming up. Friendly banter back and forth between combatants could be herd from the Committee Boat. Finally the horn sounded beginning their starting sequence. As the horn sounded again signaling the start, the Hen employed their “Power Ten” strategy. It appeared the former member of Colby Blue Mule’s Crew team had a few tricks up his sleeve. He was was “Coaching up” his youngest nephew. Ten strong then glide. The crew of the 2012 rowing champion Pickle had jumped ship to command the Belafonte. Team Pickle clearly had something to prove. Leaping out to an early lead thanks to their first round draft pick Lila Hutchins (I hope she recieved a uniform).

As the rowing fleet closed on the sailing division the rowers were tightly packed, it was anyones race to win. The Sailing division had their collective hands full looking for wind. Some went in. Others decided to head out where the tide was stronger to search for a stronger breeze. Who’s strategy would pay off? That question would have a clear answer soon.

Once the rowing class reappeared from behind Pigeon Island the Sailing fleet was heading to the dark side of Pigeon. It appeared that The Green Gherkin, odds on favorites to repeat as champions, had run into some difficulties behind Pigeon. Once they came back into view The Belafonte had significantly closed the gap to The Pickle. Was there some nefarious activity going on in the shadow of the Island? This all benefited the “Dark Horse” in the race. Jim Chesney in Aloha was mounting a furious attack on the finish line. Were all the years rowing the AL-JI-LU-SU going to finally pay off? Did he have the stamina to hold off the charge coming from his Nephew and Great Nephew in The Hen? The tension on the Committee boat was so thick you could cut it with a knife.

At the same time Jim’s twin brother Allen had emerged from behind Pigeon in The Encore with the lead in the sailing division. Whispers of a historic sweep by the Chesney boys were circulating on the Committee boat. As Jim crossed the finish line first edging out The Hen. All eyes turned to the sailing division. Both Allen and Ned Gresham the defending champion had elected to sail close to the reef. The Allen and Ned were on a tight reach for the pin end of the line. They crossed the line in a finish that was too close to call. The Race Committee and the official photographer were forced to review the digital image to confirm the winner by a nose was Ned Gresham for the second consecutive year.

Congratulations to Ned and Jim for their hard fought victories. The J.D. Chesney Memorial Cup was presented to Ned Gresham on the Yacht Club’s deck, by Marjory Chesney. The rowing division trophy was unveiled this year and is proudly displayed at Silver Hill.

The RPIR committee will be discussing a proposed change to the format of the rowing division race. Head to head tournament style rowing race could add even more fun and excitement to 2014’s rowing event.

The Round Pigeon Island Regatta is truly a labor of love for many of us. I have to thank B.P. and Lucy Vander Mel for providing the Race Committee boat again this year. Thanks to the Rear Commodore for engraving winners names on the J.D. Chesney Memorial Cup, as well as for the procurement of a suitable Race Committee flag. Thank You to Anne Wakelin for taking on the photography duties. Also thanks to Denise Wakelin for her work as the official timekeeper, and recording secretary.

Most of all thank you to all who participated in this years event.

July 6, 2013

(Check back here soon for event photos)


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