The windjammer sailing yacht Arabella, a stunning 160-foot tri-masted tall ship, had the perfect vantage point for observing the start of last Sunday's Holmes Hole Post-Season race. The massive vessel was anchored right in the middle of the starting line at red nun #6 in Vineyard Haven harbor.
As boats converged on the starting line, competitors had to eek by the stern of the three-masted ship and its massive fluttering American flag while avoiding each other and the starting buoy.
While the boats slid by within inches of the Arabella, skippers and crew could see a full gallery of racing fans standing on Arabella's observation deck, drinks in hand, as they hooted and cheered the boats whooshing by. If they had stood any closer to Avanti, a 27-foot Cape Dory rushing by, they could have leaned over and helped pull in her jib as she hardened up.
Other boats getting an up-close-and-personal view of Arabella were Aileen, a Sparkman & Stephens 48, and Apres, a J-120. Gloria, a C&C 24, rolled out her big jib in the near-perfect conditions and sailed to victory over the course that went out to buoy 23(a) on East Chop and red nun #4 at West Chop. WNW winds at 10-15 knots suited the fleet just fine under the partly sunny skies. The Post Season races will continue on Thursdays and Sundays into the fall as weather permits.