About a year after getting my Catalina 36 Cherimarie I began to enter some local club and summer “beer can” races. All of these races were governed by the local PHRF handicap rules and regardless of how one finished on the race course, it wasn’t until the “corrected” times were calculated, that one knew the final race outcome. Frustrated by various handicap adjustments, I fondly recalled for my former one-design racing days (in the Lightning class) where race outcomes were straight forward; and skill, tactics and boat condition were the decisive factors in winning. In the fleets I was now racing in, typically only one or, at best two, other Catalina 36s were in a given race. On those rare occasions, I ignored my usual competitors in various sized vessels and brands and focused on competing with my “equals.”
Here are some pictures from a two day race we did September 28th and 29th. Crew is Zac and my son Tom. The start was off Stonington, CT, finishing in Gardners Bay, Long Island the first day, then back the second day. We are just starting to realize that whatever this wind was, it was "bigger than a bread box". Later on there would be no smiles on our faces. Predicted 15 to 25 by that computerized voice on NOAA. No one said a three day Northeaster!!