Patton Bowl’s Sailing Highlight


The fleet of seven boats, assembled for the 70th running of the Patton Bowl regatta, was pleasantly surprised when the wind, forecast to be light and from the south, turned into a strong 15 knot breeze from the southeast in bright sunshine. 

The Patton Bowl regatta, organized by the Manchester Yacht Club, was founded in 1953 in memory of General George S. Patton of World War II fame, by his wife Beatrice Ayer Patton.

The course, totaling 14 miles, took the competitors on a two and a half mile beat from the starting line at Gales Ledge to the Newcomb’s Ledge buoy at the entrance to the Salem Ship Channel.  From Newcomb’s, the sailors close-reached four miles to Tinker’s Gong off Marblehead, and then set their spinnakers for a beam reach north, passing between Misery and Baker’s Islands, back to Gales Ledge, followed by a quick one mile beat to windward and run back to the finish at Gales Ledge.  Most of the competitors appreciated the scenic route through the islands and reefs of Salem Bay, on a course that required sharp navigational skills as well as tactical input.

In Class B, the two biggest boats in the fleet, David Martz’s Osprey, a C&C 44 from Manchester, and Wilfred Shrigley’s Mischief, a Frers 38 from Sandy Bay, led the fleet around the course, and fought tenaciously, finishing within 23 seconds of each other.  Mischief was closing the gap quickly in the last few minutes of the race, with better spinnaker trim on the final downwind leg. But Martz and his crew were able to keep Osprey in first place across the line, and gained another minute on corrected time, to win by 90 seconds.

In Class C, Carl Doane and his very experienced crew aboard Incentive, managed a convincing victory over Guy Johnson’s Puffin from Jubilee Yacht Club.

Mike Opal from Manchester, skippered Kahala, his Sabre 36, to the overall fleet victory on corrected time, beating the second-place boat, the much larger Osprey, by 24 seconds.

Other competitors included Richard Sides aboard Atalanta, from Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead.  Sides, a long-time sailor who is 87 years old, sailed his ketch with only one crew, around the long course, and finishing in sixth place overall.

George Putnam, from Manchester, in Class F, finished in fourth place overall on corrected time, skippering Larus, his J/100.

The next race to be run off Manchester harbor is the S.S. Crocker Memorial Race on Saturday, July 8.  All skippers of sailboats in Massachusetts waters are encouraged to sign up for this memorable and fun pursuit race, and to attend the party afterwards at the Manchester Yacht Club.

sailing, george putnam, larus, george s. patton, tony leggett, race committee, newcomb, sandy bay, richard sides, manchester harbor, beatrice ayer patton, salem ship channel, david martz, manchester yacht club, marblehead to halifax ocean race, eastern yacht club, mike opal, guy johnson, wilfred shrigley, patton bowl