Issue #12, Fall 1991
CONCORDIAS TAKE FIRST AND SECOND PLACE IN PACIFIC NORTHWEST WOODEN BOAT RACING SERIES Over 60 yachts participated in the first Northwest Wooden Boat Racing Series. The Series consisted of 8 races at 6 events: The South Sound Woodie Regatta in Olympia. The Heritage Cup Race in Bellingham. The Classic Mariners Regatta in Port Townsend. The Center for Wooden Boats Regatta on Lake Union in Seattle. The Classic Yacht Festival Regatta in Victoria, and the Ancient Mariners Fall Regatta at Eagle Harbor. There was the typical close racing in the Concordia fleet throughout the Series: IRENE and ALLURE were rarely more than a few boat lengths apart in any of the races. But not only that, they were virtually tied for first place overall in the Series. The results of the final race would decide the winner. Wind for the start off Bainbridge Island on October 12 was nearly nonexistent, but when it did fill in KODAMA, participating in her only race of the series, was in the best position to take advantage of allowed closely by IRENE and, much farther back, by ALLURE. It looked like IRENE had it sewn up until both she and KODAMA sailed into the dolrums at the weather mark, and now ALLURE and the rest of the 30 boat fleet caught up. KODAMA never did find a new breeze, but IRENE promptly jibed over to cover ALLURE, and these two Concordias, much to the fleet's amazement, ghosted away towards the finish line, carrying on their usual private battle. IRENE still had a slight lead until her wind (if it could be called that - more like a whisper) evaporated and ALLURE ghosted ahead. Then IRENE. Then ALLURE again, with never more than .20 on the knotmeter. Then IRENE! But finally, with the aid of a lucky zephyr, ALLURE coasted across the finish line a few boatlengths ahead to take the race and the Series. ALLURE and IRENE were the only vessels to finish. ALLURE also won the Concordia Trophy at Port Townsend this year in another closely sailed series of races. Congratulations to ALLURE and to Ben & Ann Niles and Halsey, their 18 month old tactician.
Jonathan Goldweitz, Stamford, CT
Our season started with an annual mid-June cruise to Shelter Island, off the east end of Long Island. It's very quiet and uncrowded then. We stopped of at Dodson Boatyard on the way to have the water pump rebuilt and shared the harbor with Concordias ABSINTHE, DAME OF SARK, SHIMAERA and HARRIER, most preparing for the next day's "Off-Soundings" race to Block Island. We saw SNOWBIRD, YANKEE and CAKER on the Connecticut River on our way home. July 3rd we sailed on the Stamford Yacht Club cruise. We had 34 boats, six "point to point" races, barbeques ashore, raft-ups and an all-around good time! We had one first, one second and four bad finishes. Some of the boats were pretty hot for us to race against, such as a new custom Frers 41, Swede 41, J-37 and Express 37. In early September we took another 8 days to sail to Shelter Island again and arrived only one week after hurricane Bob had left. We only had 50 knot winds in Stamford Harbor during the hurricane, at low tide, but further East they had 100-110 knots hitting at high tide. Shelter Island had large trees down everywhere, and the last of 55 boats that ended up on the beach were being hauled as we arrived. On the way home we had wind on the nose the whole way (as we did on the way up as well) and blew out 20 year old #2 jib (for the last time). I ordered a new 135% from Halsey in Mystic and will have it for the last big (350 boats) SYC sponsored race of the season. ABACO's PHRF rating came to 159 because of a six point penalty for an oversize 164% jib (that happens to be 17 years old!). We'll fix all that by next season. We will sail ABACO back to Dodson's on November 1. Possible winter projects include a diesel engine (even though the old Graymarine purrs away just fine), redo of deck and spar brightwork, or things that haven't broken yet. Maybe radar. The installation on IRENE looks very inconspicuous and we might copy it.
Thomas Franklin, Cambridge, MA
WESTRAY was an active boat for her age this season, logging well over 1,000 miles and three good races. Our principal cruise was to Halifax and west, in july and August, beginning with a whale convocation on Stellwagon Bank that surrounded us for hours and followed by three days and nights of perfect sailing, mostly a spinnaker run and devoid of clouds, fog, headwings or other inconveniences. In Halifax we were "royally" provided for by the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron which was genuinely and graciously hospitable and pleasant. We cruised for two weeks westward through Mahone and St. Margaret's Bays, then along the coast and around Cape Sable to Yarmouth, via Rogue's Roost (of course), Lunenburg, Port Mouton, Port LaTour, Westport and Grand Manan, then back into the U.S. at Cutler, Maine and down through Roque Island, Mistake Island and to Northeast Harbor the day before the Eggomoggin Reach Regatta. Particularity the Cape Sable corner of N.S. was quite foggy and rainy, slow going with (typically) unreliable Loran reception and no radar. But Mahone Bay, Westport (Brier Island) and the passages through the marine-rich waters (e.g., razor billed auks, phalaropes, dolphins, whales and seals in abundance) and the extraordinarily friendly Nova Scotians more than compensated for some bad weather. We enjoyed, as usual, the immense gathering of wooden boats at the ERR at which Concordias were well represented.
HARBINGER sailed home with firsts in the Concordia fleet and in the ketch and yawl division, earning both through superior strategy that used currents to the maximum in a generally light air race. Later in August we raced in the Opera House Cup off Nantucket, again in very heavy air and 4-5 foot seas, so it was a wet and (for us) slow slog but HARBINGER again raced very well finishing second and missing first by a hair on corrected time. But in our last race of the season, the Moffet Cup off Martha's Vineyard, held in moderate air and without HARBINGER to deal with, we finished first, the first race we have won in WESTRAY, and the first Concordia to win that race, which has been held for 14 years. Our most important race of the season, however was with hurricane Bob in August. At the end of the Opera House Cup it was clear that the hurricane was headed our way but the seas and air from the SW were heavy on our nose so we waited until the storm moved closer, resulting in a wind shift to the SSE, and made a run for home in upper Buzzards Bay and NNE from Nantucket leaving Nantucket at 0200. Skies were clear and the air moderate when we left, and we in fact enjoyed a beautiful sunrise and an easy albiet lonely motorsail to Woods Hole - on that most popular sailing course we saw no sailboats but virtually the entire New Bedford trawler fleet was steaming in from the East. Clearing Woods Hole at about 0830 we were encountering rain and heavier air so that by 1030 when we sailed into Red Brook Harbor it was raining hard and blowing about 30 knots from the ENE. We stripped the sails and dodger, added another mooring line and chafing gear, said a quick prayer and left WESTRAY to her fate (which four hours later included 100+ knot winds and a number of loose boats), but when we returned the next day she was unscratched and secure with only some well polished chafing gear to show for her ordeal. I hope I can afford new keel bolt's this winter and I am ready to spring for GPS in the spring. My B&G Focus depth/log/knotmeter instrument died after barely one year's service, so I am underwhelmed by B&G's vaunted quality. Ballentine's Boat Shop continues to deliver top quality, reasonably priced maintenance to WESTRAY, however, regularity reaffirming that some institutions still maintain reliably high standards, and regularity supporting my confidence that WESTRAY will not let me down so long as I keep her up! (Terrible simile.) Steve Balientine also proved he is a good a sailor as boat builder. He won, for the second time in a row, and thus everytime he has entered, the annual Martha's Vineyard gaffers race, the weekend after the Moffett Cup, beating 40 and 50 foot schooners in his little Herreshoff canvasback - which was built by Gannon & Benjamin on the Vineyard.
Alida Camp, East Blue Hill, ME
THISTLEDOWN continues to be her own perfect self and her bilges are clean too. I can't record any winning races, because I bought her in 1958 after coming to the conclusion that sailing was more fun than racing - which I had been since 1921! There's a guest mooring off my dock waiting for visiting Concordias, though we do let others come too.
Hank Bornhofft, Gloucester, MA
(June) MAGIC is getting better with age. This is the first year since I've owned her - 12 seasons - that I haven't done a major project, just routine maintenance, so I think I'll sail a lot this year and wear something out so I will have something to do next winter. I talked to Bob Cross by phone recently from Florida and he reports that SARAH #27 is in great shape and had recovered from a minor bout with worms in her garboards. He blew out his mainsail in a storm last winter and if anybody has a suitable used replacement (masthead 41 yawl rig), I am sure he would be interested: 407-336-5799.
Dick Keegan, Marlboro, MA
(June) No real exciting news on the boat this year. We spent the winter refinishing parts and making new hatch covers and cockpit cushions. We also used full gloss (instead of semi) on the hull and it really came out great. I can't take all the credit though, we had someone else paint it. Best of all, I finally convinced Martha that the red boat stripe looked terrible, so this year we ar back to Endeavour blue. We were aboard WESTRAY recently and Tom's work on refinishing the interior looks absolutely spectacular! (Editor's note: SUMATRA went ashore in Marion harbor during hurricane Bob after parting her mooring. Major, but not irreparable, damage resulted from the storm and during the removal process. Reports say the main boom and mizzen mast were broken, both cabin trunks were split, the toerails and cockpit coamings were damaged, and much of the planking on the starboards side was damaged. She was considered a total loss and as this time, the Keegans have turned SUMATRA over to their insurance company. Several yards, including Concordia Company, are considering her purchase and repair. Our sympathies go out to Dick and Martha. They had put much work and love into SUMATRA and sailed her in San Diego before moving east several years ago.)
I heard about the racing series in the Northwest and am pleased that Concordias are doing so well for the "home team." As far back as the 1960's we received more interest in traditional boats from that area than from our own. It's music to my ears. Newer types are so specialized in these days that they can't retain their popularity as families grow older. It is interesting to me that the new boats being built by the new department of Concordia Company (an offshoot building company that has nothing to do with the Howlands) are doing so well in racing. The latest 45 footer launched in June got 1st in everything at a Block Island regatta under IMS. (Editor's note: We were sad to hear that Katy Howland, Waldo's wife of many years, passed away in early November. Our condolences go out to both Waldo and his family.)
Gerry Smith at Concordia Company reported that 110 boats washed ashore in Padanaram harbor during hurricane Bob in August. Only two were wood boats. Most of the Concordias in the harbor were tied up behind South Wharf and suffered no damage. EDEN and HAVEN rode it out on their buoys. Water was knee deep over the wharf but there was only minor flooding. Peak wind was around 120 knots. ARAWAK was rammed while riding out the hurricane in Nantucket but suffered minor damage. She's now in the "ICU" (intensive care unit) having new teak decks fitted using the vacuum bag method previously used on CHOSEN and HARRIER. CHOSEN is getting new floor timbers, keel bolts, and cabin sole. Gerry reports that 15 Concordias are wintering in the yard.
Elizabeth Meyer is proposing a Concordia cruise and rendezvous in 1992 to celebrate the 55th year of the Concordia yawl. "It will be similar to the 1988 schedule, beginning in Maine in early August with the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta, followed by a Maine cruise, then on to Mystic and a race to Newport. Next will be the Classic Yacht Regatta and a cruise to Padanaram where a major gathering will take place at Concordia Company. Your Concordia is planning to attend. So should you." Elizabeth and Michael sailed MATINICUS #78 to Maine this summer and also played around on their 1930 30' S Boat (the smallest of the Universal Rule designs) and the J Boat Endeavour, their "other" Universal Rule design. Endeavour sailed La Nioulargue in France, the world's largest classic yacht regatta, and won "all collisions, races, and parties." Endeavour is now crossing to the West Indies for winter chartering.
CORIOLIS #82 was selected the Best Classic Yacht in the Seattle Yacht Club's opening day festivities. According to Doug Adkins, "We just dressed up in white pants and blue blazers. CORIOLIS did the rest." KODAMA #46 completed a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island this summer. Stuart & Denny McDougall just closed up the boat shop and disappeared for nearly 3 months. VINTAGE #51 is making steady progress in her restoration. John Foley had new wood spars built to replace the aluminum "stubs" she sported while in San Francisco and had new sails bulit to match. He also added a new Yanmar diesel and a waste treatment system. I suspect VINTAGE is one of the few Concordias to now conform with EPA requirements. Complete cabin repainting is underway and John reports that the yellow Imron paint will be coming off next spring. We're waiting with baited breath to see what color the new enamel will be. Dennis Gross is still plugging away on the overhaul of SOVEREIGN #15. She has been in a shed alongside his house near Olympia, WA for 2 years, and he estimates at least one more year until completion. He recently recanvassed the house top and is preparing to resurface the decks with Dynel cloth over marine plywood. Denns and Cathy spent several days in October at Concordia Company building inspiration for the final stretch.
MOANA #9 - Norman Britting, Hull, MA. MOANA had suffered many years of neglect (such as the mast laying in the mud) and Norman is reportedly getting her back in shape.
STARLIGHT #23 - Benjamin Mendlowitz, Brooklin, ME. Can we expect to see a few photos of Concordias published in the Calendar of Wooden Boats now?
GOLONDRINA #65 - John Eide, Portland, ME.
ORIOLE #84 - George Gans, Louisville, KY. Home port in Rockport, ME.
POLARIS #71, a 1959 41' masthead sloop with teak decks and toerails. Asking $75,000. Owner's agent is Ed Harner, Annapolis Yacht Sales. 800-452-6287.
FLEETWOOD #20 (Miami area)
MOONFLEET #49 (Maine)
I still have Concordia burgees for sail. $25. If I have sent a burgee to you and you've not yet sent your $25, please do so at this time.
Where are the Concordias? I am often asked where the fleet is located and according to my information: Washington - 7, California - 2, Louisiana - 1, Florida - 6, Georgia - 2, Chesapeake - 4, Michigan - 1, Ohio - 1, Newfoundland - 1. The rest can be found between Long Island Sound and Maine.
Louie Howland of Howland and Company - Books - Prints - Paintings writes: "The 11th issue of the The Concordian has just arrived and I have read it with utter fascination and delight -- as I have read the previous ten. Five bucks a year seems like an awfully small amount for such a wonder publication. My check is enclosed." You have it from an expert, so do like th experts do and send $5 to keep The Concordian coming next year. No bills will be sent.
As always The Concordian relays on YOU, the Concordia owner and enthusiast, to keep us all up to date on Concordia news. Please send in any stories, news or maintenance items for publication in the Spring edition. If you haven't sent anything in yet, now is your chance. Literary contributions are considered much more valuable than cash ones.