2001 Trans Erie Draws Record Fleet as Jazzy, Racer X take honors

The 5th Annual Trans Erie Yacht Race held on August 24-26, proved to be the most popular race to date, and was filled with suprizes. The 140 nautical mile race, which annually reverses direction, was sailed this year from Grosse Ile, MI to Erie, PA. This yearís race drew boats from as far away as Buffalo, NY and Kansas City, KS. It also featured a multihull class for the first time, including Earth Voyager, a 60 foot home built trimaran, and arguably the fastest sailboat on the Great Lakes.

44 boats were entered in 4 PHRF Classes, a doublehanded class, and the multihull class. Starting on Friday evening, August 24th, the fleet beat west toward Point Pelee into 12-15 knot Easterly winds. By the time the lead boats reached the Point Pelee Passage, the boats that had played the Canadian North shore had built a sizeable lead, and then the question became whether to continue to the Southeast to cover the fleet, or to tack to the Northeast, on the more favorable tack to the finish, but away from the predicted Southwest winds. Three boats, Jazzy, a J-33 skippered by Jerry Frabutt of Grosse Ile Yacht Club, Hellion, a Soverel 39 sailed by Bob Coleman of GIYC, and Racer X, an X-3/4 tonner owned by Matt Dubois and Roger Pollack, also of Grosse Ile Yacht Club , took this Northeastern route, and carried it until well into Saturday. When the breeze to the Southwest lightened, and then shifted Northeast, these three boats found themselves all alone, miles to weather of the rest of the fleet. The breeze from the Northeast held at a steady 8-11 knots for most of Saturday, allowing these three boats to finish just as the sun set on Saturday evening. 

Jazzy was the first monohull to finish, at 8:10 PM, followed 49 minutes later by Racer X, with Hellion another 5 minutes back. Meanwhile on the South side of the rhumb line, the wind was light, as Earth Voyager sat almost becalmed off Cleveland for much of Friday night and Saturday morning. When the wind finally did fill in, it was from the Northeast, and Earth Voyager had to beat to the finish, crossing the line barely two hours ahead of Jazzy, at 5:51PM on Saturday evening. 

The next monohull to finish was Kevin Lemondsí Henderson 30, Say Uncle, who crossed the line at 10:54 PM. As the night wore on, a steady stream of boats crossed the line, with the last boat finishing at about 7AM Sunday morning. The predicted southwest wind finally did fill in late Saturday night, allowing the late finishers to reach into the line off Presque Ile, but far too late to catch the leaders.

In PHRF Class A, Jazzy finished first, followed in second by Hellion, with Say Uncle third. In Class B, Racer X took first, followed by Jim Bourgaultís X-3/4 tonner Gus, in second, and Tom Van Cleaveís Sanatana 30/30 GP, Pig Scow, taking third. Class C saw Flak Bait, Duane Burgoyneís C&C 33 take first, followed by Craig Morrisí Yamaha 33, My Nickel, take second, with Horizon, Bill Braunís Sabre 38 in third.

Dick Synowiecís Tartan 30, Shenanigan, won the PHRF D fleet. Andicapp, a Cal 33-1, skippered by Chris Wolford was second, and Cary On, Kerry Deihlís Ericson 32, took third. The Doublehanded class saw a repeat winner, as Jack Wood once again took first with his Pearson 30, LíCheiim. Second in Doublehanded went to Misty, a Soverel 30 sailed by John McKenney, and Wood Chips, Elroy Chenavaireís Catalina 30 took third. In the Multihull class, Jim Fredrickís Big Storm, an F-28 trimaran, corrected to first, followed by Earth Voyager, skippered by Ray Howe. Taco the Town, a Custom 35-foot catamaran owned by Dave Blake, was third. 

In the PHRF fleet, Racer X eked out first place overall, correcting over Jazzy by a mere 8 minutes after nearly 200 miles of sailing. Hellion finished third overall.

This yearís race was unusual in many respects. The wind stayed Easterly for the entire race, unusual for this time of year, making the race an upwind ride, and insuring that none of the elapsed time records was in any danger . The multihull fleet added a dimension to the race not present before, and the presence of Earth Voyager added an aura of excitement before the race. The race also saw itís biggest turnout, as the entry list went over 40 for the first time, including 8 of the 10 boats that did the first Trans Erie in 1996. This bodes well for next yearís race, when the course will again be reversed, starting in Erie, and finishing off Grosse Ile.


Doublehanded: 1. L'Cheiim, Pearson 30, Jack Wood; 2. Misty, Soverel 30, John McKenney; 3. Wood Chips, Catalina 30, Elroy Chenavaire: 4. Tara, Luders 54, Rick Hill; 5. Rampage, C&C Redline 41, Craig Perkins, DNS; Blue, Engelenbak, Valiant 50, Roland Van Ryjn, DNF.

Multihull: 1. Big Storm, F-28, Jim Frederick; 2. Earth Voyager, Greene 60 Trimaran, Ray Howe; 3. Taco the Town, Custom Cat 35, Dave Blake; 4. White, Nice Pair, Crowther Cat 2, Bruce Geffen.

PHRF A: 1. Jazzy, J-33, Jerry Frabutt; 2. Hellion, Soverel 39, Robert Coleman; 3. Say Uncle, Henderson 30, Kevin Lemonds; 4. Big Time, Farr 40 One Ton, Dick Robertson; 5. Air Rocket, J-105, Kirk Groenendaal; 6. Yellow, Raven, Schock 35, Dave Heitzenrater; 7. Fish With Legs, Hobie 33, Al Grossman; 8. Champosa, Nelson/Marek 50, Tim Dunagan. 

PHRF B: 1. Racer X, X-3/4 ton MK II, Matt Dubois/Roger Pollack; 2. Gus (who?), X-3/4 ton Mk I, Jim Bourgault; 3. Pig Scow, Santana 30/30 GP, Tom Van Cleave; 4. Solitude, C&C 38-1, Joe Henry; 5. Great Escape III, Catalina 42 WK, Robert Sheppard; Station Break, C&C 40, Doug Beers, DNS; Heartbreaker, Evelyn 32, Fritz Peterson, DNF; Hurricane, Beneteau 38, Dave & Mary Caracci, DNS.

PHRF C: 1. Flak Bait, C&C 33, Duane Burguyone; 2. My Nickel, Yamaha 33, Craig Morris; 3. Horizon, Sabre 38, Bill Braun; 4. Byte Size, Catalina 36, Mark Weihs/Susan Howard; 5. Zombie Wuf, Jeannau 36 -CB, Brian Duane; 6. Fair Winds, Cal 33, Dave Grassley; 7. De'tente, Gulfstar 50, Robert Pollock; 8. Querencia, Catalina 380, Antal-Yvanavskas; 9. Wetfoot, S2 9.1 SE, Roger Porter, DNS.

PHRF D: 1. Shenanigan, Tartan 30, Dick Synowiec; 2. Andicapp, Cal 33-1, Chris Wolford; 3. Cary On, Ericson 32-2, Cary & Kerry Deihl; 4. Temptation, Catalina 27, Paul Johnson; 5. Night Moves, Catalina 27, Clint Pickett, 6. Sail Naked, S2 7.9 IB, Mike Deye; 7. Supernal, Irwin 32, Joe & Martin Kubera.