|The weather forcast was dismal for the annual
Mallet Bay Boating Club "Chiott Cup" regatta. After
weeks of near drought conditions, The New England forcast called
for rain and thunderstorms as a cold front passed slowly through
the entire area. We hitched up Pinocchio on a fair Friday afternoon
and headed up to Burlington for what we anticipated would be
a cold, wet regatta. Lake Champlain, we were told, is down four
feet. We measured the depth at the hoist - Five feet one inch
- with soft mud below. We launched Pinocchio and set her up,
then put her on a mooring and went to dinner.
Friday night brought rain and high wind as the front came
down upon us. We were glued to the weather channel, hoping
that the next "local forcast" would be different.
No such luck. What we didn't figure was that the local forcast
might be wrong.
Saturday morning we arose to cloudy skies and occasional
showers. The wind was moderate. By 10:30 when we got to the
boat, the showers had all but stopped and the wind had picked
up out of the West. We got in five great races as the wind
continued to build to around 15. The weather continued to
Over Achiever set the pace early on in the first race but
tore their spinnaker during the takedown of the first downwind
leg. On subsequent runs they went wing-and-wing with the jib,
right down the rhumb line. It was impressive to see how little
they lost to the other boats. With good upwind speed they
managed to hold on to a decent place by the end of the day.
On Sunday morning, the sky was partly clear and the breeze
was steady. We completed three more races and were off the
water by early afternoon. Local skipper Rod Carr and his crew
on Phantom had secured a decisive victory with five bullets.
Bob Knowles on Pinocchio had broken the Saturday night tie
and took second with Al Hobart on Knockout dropping into third.
Thanks to the Mallet Bay Boating Club for their hospitality
and we hope to see those Burlington Boats again at the Lake
Winnipesaukee J-Jamboree in September.