The Enduro is a long-standing tradition that marks the end of the Minuteman Model Yacht Club sailing season. It’s unique in that it has one start and one finish, separated by 4 hours. During that time, a large course is sailed and every time a boat completes a lap it is tallied. At the end of 4 hours, the boat with the highest number of laps, and is still on the water, wins. Oh, yeah! I forgot to mention that there are no breaks and no holds during the 4 hours. Of course, any skipper can stop, for any reason, but the rest of the fleet keeps on sailing, and collecting laps.
This is a “sail-what-you-got” race, so skippers tend to bring the largest boat they have to the competition. However, this is also an endurance race, subject to the winds and weeds of nature, breakdowns of technology, and misdeeds of other skippers. A lot can happen over 4 hours; and does. The expected boats don’t always win. The determined and prepared skipper will come prepared for anything, such as our friend Herb Dreher. He brought, and set-up, a 10-Rater, an EC-12, and an IOM. He didn’t decide which to sail until the last minute, after he had considered all the weather, pond, and competition factors.
Past Enduro’s have been won by EC-12’s, 10-Rater’s, Marblehead’s, Canterbury-J, Star-45’s, IOM’s and US1M’s. It stands to reason that even with all the potential issues, fates more often favor boats over 40 inches in length. So last year we implemented an “Under-40” division, to encourage the skippers with smaller hulls to join the event. This year we had 3 EC-12’s, 2 Canterbury-J’s, a Star-45, a Soling, a US1M, a Schooner, a CR-914, a Dragon, and a Marblehead.
Early winds were light and the first hour of racing was led by the Canterbury-J’s, followed by the EC-12’s, then the rest of the fleet. Even during the first lap, contenders began to falter and fall. The Schooner, the Marblehead, and the Dragon all had issues before they were able to complete the first lap, so they had to be rescued and ended up leaving the race. Meanwhile, everybody raced on.
Early into the second hour, one of the Canterbury-J’s lost a jib sheet and was able to limp to shore, but couldn’t get back into the race. Later in the second hour, winds picked up slightly and the EC-12’s began to show their stuff. The last two hours of sailing had variable winds with Herb Dreher’s EC-12 pulling ahead, thenslowly increasing his lead. Second place became the race as Greg LaPlante’s EC-12 and Paul Mercer’s Canterbury-J jockeyed for position. In the under-40 division, Rick Gates’ US1M and Al Fearns CR-914 battled for the lead in their division.
Skippers who had to leave the race early hung around, cheered on the other skippers, critiqued the sailing, helped with the scoring, and took the opportunity to eat some of the leftover Halloween candy that someone brought. In the end, there is only one winner in each division and Herb Dreher won the Over-40 division, while Rick Gates won the Under-40 division.
Many thanks to everyone who came to spend their Sunday afternoon with us, and to Sue Martin, who was our main lap counter.
The full results in order are below.