76 yachts compete in annual Turkey Shoot Regatta

Charles Shaffner’s 1926 Herreshoff “S”, Dolcefariente, going to weather in 18 knots of wind. Shaffner won the wooden boat division to claim the Doug Power Wobbly compass trophy.

The 2017 Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta was held October 1 and 2 on the Rappahannock River.

Sponsored by Rappahannock River Yacht Club, Yankee Point Racing and Cruising and Ullman Sails and hosted by Rappahannock Yachts in Irvington, the annual event attracted 76 boats.

The overall winner was Jim Engle in Grey Fox, a 1981 Alajuela 38 with crew of David Kovacs and Greg Lynn. John McConnico, chairman emeritus and a regatta founder, presented Engle the Virginia Spirit Trophy silver bowl and a certificate for a room and slip at The Tides Inn for next year’s regatta, courtesy of general manager Gordon Slatford.

According to co-race chairman Jerry Latell, Saturday racing started out with sunny skies and 14 to 18 knots of wind, gusting to 24, coming from the NNE, resulting in very challenging racing conditions with 2 to 3 foot waves. Sailing a 6.3 nautical mile triangular course with a windward finish, the larger A Fleet boats raced twice around while the smaller B Fleet boats completed one circuit.

Sunday winds were more enjoyable at 8 to 12 knots going from N to NE over the course of the race, with racing as a 10 nautical mile pursuit, where starting times were based on PHRF handicaps, said Latell. The course was from the north shore of the river going around Towles point to a mark up the river towards Urbanna and returning to the finish line at the same position as the starting line.

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