Opera House Cup News
OHC Course Shortening
August 22, 2019
Dear Opera House Cup skippers,
Thank you for participating in the 47th annual Opera House Cup Regatta on August 18. What a beautiful group of boats! Since there were questions, I wanted to explain the thinking by the Race Committee and Organizing Authority on the OHC course shortening. Here is a summary of what happened.
- The morning started with almost no wind –the weather forecast was for 7kts, and at 0800 we sent a rib out to the start area and the sea was glass with wind at 3kts. A postponement was announced at 0850. The AP flag came down at 0930.
The signal boat was on station at 1000, there was no wind at the start area.
By 1230 light winds at 315 – 320 at 5 knots, and Course K was selected. This course (start, Mark A, Mark Z, finish, estimated 14.9 nm) is one of the shortest OHC courses.
Class 1 start at 1255 and Class 2 start at 1310 were successful. By the time of Class 3 start at 1325, the wind had died and three boats in that class were unable to cross the start line. The boats already on the course were barely moving.
The decision considered at this time was whether to abandon the race due to lack of wind. It was felt that it was important to try to have a race and allow all competitors the opportunity to start and finish.
Since all boats have to sail the same course for the OHC, the facts considered were that if it was taking most boats over an hour to get to Mark A, by the time the boats got to Mark Z and then the finish, several boats may be finishing after 1800. Many of the smaller boats do not have lights or engines.
After the start of Class 4 at 1340, the decision was made to set the finish line at Mark A, resulting in a 5.86 nm course. The decision was announced to competitors over channel 73 multiple times, although some competitors were not aware of the course change.
The wind filled in at the start area at 1350, and Class 5 started at 1355 in a fresh SW breeze. The wind filled across the course.
The wind stayed strong for the start of Class 6 at 1410 and for the remainder of the race.
At 1416 the first competitor crossed the finish line.
Of course, a one leg race of 5 miles is not the best race course, but the wind had been difficult all day and our decision was a short race was better than no race. The wind was the cause for shortening the race, not the fog. We recognize how much of your time, planning and money is put in to preparing for the Opera House Cup and did not want to let you down by abandoning the race.
We have heard comments from some competitors about the class and division assignments for both the Nantucket Regatta and the Opera House Cup. We are re-evaluating the structures for both regattas, including separating the plank-on-frame vintage boats and Spirit of Tradition boats into separate divisions and considering an 'Invitational' division in the Opera House Cup for boats that would like to participate but don't meet the entry criteria. We welcome your input.
Thank you again for participating in the Opera House Cup and for supporting Nantucket Community Sailing.
Diana L. Brown,
Nantucket Community Sailing