Holmes Hole Sailing Association

The Moffett Race.

     When George Moffett, a successful yachtsman who was instrumental in the early days of the Holmes Hole Sailing Association passed in 1977, his widow, Lucia Moffett asked the board if the HHSA could establish an annual award in George's name.  It was decided an annual, end of the season race to celebrate the summer's success would be held late in September, when winds were apt to be strong.  All sailors with boats from 15 to 70 feet long would be welcome, regardless of club membership or type of monohull boat.   Many sailors leapt at the opportunity to join in now that the busy summer season was over.  As luck would have it the first race in 1978 was in very light air with about 20 boats entering.  Joe Low, a HHSA regular, won the race in "Mockingbird" a Santana 26.  
     Over the years the race has gained in popularity and has attracted boats of every description.  When the entry list grew to more than 45 boats, the start was divided into two fleets for safety concerns.  At about that time, prizes were established for two fleets, but the race has always been for one winner and now awards are given for overall positions of 1 through 5, with the winner's name placed on the half model of the "Lucia" a cruising boat designed by George for Lucia.  Since 1998, when Harry Duane won his second Moffett race, the winners have been heavily penalized in the succeeding 5 years of races in order to allow others a chance at winning.  
     The race date was shifted to the weekend following Labor day weekend to allow more summertime boats to attend.  A registration of 50 to 60 entries,the norm for years, has dropped off in recent years as has been the case for regatta attendance across the world. The race continues to attract boats of every description and it offers a challenging day of sailing regardless of conditions. The race has taken many different courses of about 20 miles long.  Some years, because of light air, an alternate shorter course has been used.  Boats large and small have won it and the race has provided extremely challenging windward/leeward courses and in other years fast reaches and runs only.   
     Handicapping the Moffett Race has been the most challenging task for the race committee.  The Holmes Hole handicaps are derived by watching the boats perform over many races and conditions but in the Moffett race, many boats are coming out for their first race and some from far away.  This together with the fact that speedy performance boats are competing with classic schooners and 18 foot full keel day sailors, make for a most interesting dilemma.  But, over the years, the committee has been successful in making sure there is only one winner.
     Two memorable races involved mistakes which might be expected from a fleet of irregular racers.  In 1990, Approximately 25 boats, or one half of the racers did not notice the reverse flag posted on the committee boat.  With so many proceeding to Falmouth rather than Edgartown first, it appeared to the racers they were on the right track.  It's always nice to know half of your competitors were out of the running when it came time to hear the results.  In 1992, the lead boat, which will remain unnamed here, turned at a mark 2 miles short of the mark designated for the course.  All but 3 or 4 followed the short cutter and had to drop out when they realized their mistake, or were made aware of their mistake at the awards party.  
     The fleet of Moffett racers has evolved over the years and a progression towards bigger and faster boats has been relentless.  That said, the HHSA welcomes boats of every description and regular tweaking of the rating system has consistantly evened the playing field so that even a well sailed, slower boat, with a little luck can score well.  The mix of classic wooden boats with the latest production and custom boats make the end of season celebration Moffett race totally unique and fun for all.  

Past Moffett Race Winners

               2023                               Peter Cassidy                               Siren
               2022                               Race abandoned for loss of wind.
               2021                               Peter Cassidy                               Siren
               2020                              Mo Flam                                         Penelope
               2019                               Alan Wilson                                   Altius (Stuart Knockabout)
               2018                               Brian Roberts                                Aileen
               2017                               Stephen Besse                            Apres
               2016                               Stephen Besse                              Apres
               2015                               Stephen Besse                              Apres
               2014                               Jeff Robinson                                Phra Luang                              
               2013                               Bill Coogan                                    Flying Bugster
               2012                               Jared Hammond                            Andiamo II
               2011                               Logue/Mendenhall                        Rocinante III
               2010                               Jamie Weisman                           Perception
               2009                               Stephen Besse                            Apres
               2008                             Jerry Goodale                                Stormalong
               2007                             Jeff Robinson                                Phra Luang
               2006                               Sandy Alexander                          Falcor
               2005                               Damian McLaughlin                    Arion
               2004                             Mait Edey and Tom Graham         Swallows and Amazons
               2003                               Dan Eberle                                    Cilista
               2002                             Douglas and Nancy Clark             Gnome
               2001                             Alan Wilson                                    Chantey
               2000                             Dan Culkin                                     Magic Time
               1999                               Carl Beverly                                    Moondance
               1998                             Harry Duane                                    Andiamo II
               1997                               Jim Martin                                       Whisper
               1996                               Robert Blum                                    Music Street
               1995                               Harry Duane                                    Andiamo II
               1994                             William Underwood                      Naiad
               1993                             Alan Wilson                                     Altius (Soling)
               1992                             Frederick J. Crane                          Consolation
               1991                               J. Thomas Franklin                        Westray
               1990                             Richard Meyer                                Teacup
               1989                               James Lobdell                               Malabar II
               1988                               Primo Lombardi                             Liberty
               1987                              Francis West, Jr.                             Erda
               1986                               Jonathan Churchill                         Taygeta
               1985                             Richard Everett                               Vernon Langille
               1984                             George Delaney                              Ardent
               1983                             Allen D. Slater, Jr.                          Cercerelle
               1982                              Don Grassie                                   Fortune
               1981                              Lucia Moffett                                   Lucia
               1980                             Douglas Thacher                           Alis Propiis Volat
               1979                               Hank Scott                                     Shadow
               1978                             Joseph Low                                    Mockingbird

This page was last updated: February 9, 2024
Questions?  Email Moffett@Holmeshole.org
 Moffett Course Diagrams for illustration purposes only.  
NOT FOR NAVIGATION.  Consult Sailing Instructions for actual course.  In case of any variance, Sailing Instructions prevail.  
     2024 Moffett Race Entry Fee = $50
SAVE $10.00!
      Pay your HHSA dues and enter Moffett race with one payment of $140!
Moffett Race Course Diagrams 
SIREN wins 2023
Peter Cassidy and family take Trophy home to Marion, MA. promising to return next year.  

2024 MOFFETT is scheduled 
for September 7th.
Perfect conditions predicted.