A 42-foot wooden schooner called Phra Luang won the 30th annual George Moffett Memorial Sailboat Race on Saturday.
The captain, Jeffrey A. Robinson of Vineyard Haven, was jubilant at the news. He built the schooner in Bangkok in 1984, and has sailed in Moffett Races since 1986.
Winds from the southwest were as high as 30 m.p.h. and there were a few sailors at the awards ceremony at the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club who thought it blew higher. Wind and waves and the course favored big boats with great reaching capability.
At least 50 boats started off East Chop in late morning and the scene was a hodge podge of impressive vessels. It didn’t take long after the start for the boats to stretch out to Falmouth, out along Succonesset Shoal off South Cape Beach in Mashpee and then back to East Chop, a 20 mile race.
Even the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club committee boat Vigilant II, which officiated the start and finish, had trouble. She came down with transmission problems and had to be towed.
Forty-two boats completed the race.
“It was brutal,” said Ken Rusczyk of Oak Bluffs, a crewmember aboard the 22-foot classic sloop Myfanwy. Like many others, Mr. Rusczyk spent most of the race, five hours, being soaked by salt spray. Currents and the wind were seldom in agreement, and when opposing that became a recipe for high seas and lots of spray.
“We had enough wind to save for another day,” said Mait Edey, a crewman aboard a gaff-rigged yawl named Hope.
A 30-foot Nonsuch sailboat named Raven lost its main sheet.
Another, a sailboat called Arion, took on some water in the bilge and had to leave the race off Falmouth. She got shelter in Falmouth harbor. Capt. Peter Strock and his crew returned to Vineyard Haven on the Steamship Authority ferry Island Home and were able to watch the end of the race off East Chop from the deck of the 255-foot vessel.
At least two boats had to withdraw from the race for rounding the third mark incorrectly. They were the 65-foot schooner Juno and Sanderling. They were supposed to round the Succonesset Shoal mark to port and they rounded it to starboard.
There was plenty of opportunity for celebrating when it was learned that Phra Luang had won the race. The schooner is an almost complete copy of another Moffett race winner, Malabar II, another Vineyard Haven schooner.
Malabar II is an Alden design schooner, built in 1922, and owned by James H. Lobdell and his wife Virginia of Vineyard Haven. Malabar II won the race in 1989. Malabar II came in sixth on this day.
Jerry Goodale, commodore, a long-time supporter and participant in Holmes Hole Sailing Association events and races, placed second. He operates a boat called Stormalong, a Pearson 32. Third place went to Bob Jewett in Andiamo II, a Soling. Fourth place went to Don Cohan in Summertime, a Luders 27. Fifth place went to Don Rappaport in Juliani.
Race committee chairman was Harry Duane, the only Vineyard sailor to win the Moffett Race twice in the same boat. Mr. Duane won the race in 1995 and 1998 in the Soling sailboat called Andiamo II.
In seventh there was a tie between Mike Loberg in the Morris 36, Masquerade and Ged Delaney in the Avance 33, Ardent.
In ninth was Dan Culkin in the Vineyard Vixen, Magic Time. In tenth were Ernie Mendenhall and Kathy Logue in the Tartan 34, Rocinante III. Eleventh was Damian McLaughlin in Arion, twelfth was Irving Gates in King Kiwi, thirteenth was Bruce Courcier in Sea Queen, fourteenth were John and Lisa Stout in Isabella, fifteenth were Tom and Laurie Welch in Eastaway, sixteenth was John Amabile in Solitude.
Seventeenth was Roger Becker in Gloria, eighteenth was Bobbie Crosby in Celeste, nineteenth was Jim O’Connor in Glimmer, twentieth was Whit Hanschka in Sally, twenty-first was Doug Heil in Pearly Baker, twenty-second was Robert Robinson in Phalarope, twenty-third was Phil Hale in Mischief, twenty-fourth was Rob Doyle in Hope, twenty-fifth was Sean Burke in Pleione, twenty-sixth was Brian Roberts in Starfish, twenty-seventh was Bruce Slater in Shy Fox, twenty-eighth was Carl Beverly in Vamoose, and twenty-ninth was Mike Jacobs in Sakie.
Thirtieth was Geof Gibson in Latonka, thirty-first was Kevin Nagel in Dawn Treader, thirty-second was Jim Pepper in Agave, thirty-third was Jim Pringle in Myfanwy, thirty-fourth was Frank Brunelle in Restless Wind, thirty-fifth was Nancy Woitkoski in Cetus, thirty-sixth was Bill Coogan in Flying Bugster, thirty-seventh was John Vose in Limulus, thirty-eighth was Robert Woodruff in Tiercel, thirty-ninth was Alan Wilson in High Tide, fortieth was Tom Graham in Swallows and Amazons, forty-first was Rich Washington in Old Cat, and forty-second was Ian McColgin in Marmalade.