Steve Besse Breaks Course Record, 'Penelope' on Course for Fall Title

Steve Besse Breaks Course Record, 'Penelope' on Course for Fall Title

Apres steve besse
Skipper Steve Besse at the helm of Apres, which recently broke the speed record for course No. 1.

By David Lott
Special to the Vineyard Gazette & MV Times
Photo by Susan Waldrop

The winds are rising and the temperatures are dropping, telling Holmes Hole sailors that they've not much more time on the water. One by one skippers are calling in to say that they've put up sails and are done for the season.

Last weekend it was Fall Series leader Mo Flam who made the lamented call to take take his Penelope out of the water, but was confident in doing so that the fall title was his. Second place Magic Time will need at least two firsts to overtake him.

He was joined on the sidelines last Sunday morning by captain Steve Besse and Apres, a J/120, but not before the sleek racer had set a new course record in covering course No. 1, twice around the harbor triangle, in just 54 minutes and 30 seconds. Besse beat his own record set last year, also on Apres, by two minutes and 31 seconds.

Winner on Corrected Time
Unfortunately, just because one does well getting around the course, it does not necessarily follow that you will score well in the race. In this case Lagoonah, a Columbia 32 skippered by Frank DeSimone, also sailed the course faster than his usual pace. In fact, it was much faster and was declared the winner.

Taking second was Magic Time, a Vineyard Vixen helmed by Dan Culkin. Third was Phil Hale aboard Tango, a J/100, and in fourth came Gloria, a C&C24 with Roger Becker at the wheel. And in, fifth, a case in which the first shall be last, was Apres.

The End Is Near?
Post race, the town dock was busy with Holmes Holers preparing their boats for winter storage and discussions arose on the odds of a final race this coming Sunday.

However, the weather for the week ahead looks sunny and with the prospect of good wind as well, there was hope that not only could a race could be planned, but perhaps there was still more good sailing to come. The season ain't over quite yet.

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