4-Hour Enduro

Rules of The 4-Hour Enduro


1. The Enduro is held at Rosemary Lake on the second Sunday in November.

2. It starts at 11:00 AM and finishes at 3:00 PM.

3. There are no holds.

4. The race is open to any radio controlled model sailing yacht.

5. The order of finish is determined by the number of laps sailed plus the position on the course at 3:00 PM as best the committee and any volunteers can determine followed by the number of laps completed by yachts that are not sailing the course.

6. All rules of right of way are in effect.

7. Hitting of buoys is permissible. Just get around them.

8. There will be a radio check at 10:45 AM. All contestants will turn on their radio to satisfy their concern about how much interference they can expect when all the boats are sailing. This is usually a large fleet.

9. All radios on 75 MHz are expected to be narrow band.

10. Only one boat per frequency. No guarantee that frequency conflicts can be resolved. The committee will try to assist skippers to resolve frequency conflicts. First come first served.

11. A recovery boat must be present to allow the regatta to commence.

12. Bragging rights only. No trophy fee will be collected; no trophy will be presented.

13. The race committee has the option of canceling the regatta if weather or other conditions appear to be unsafe. This race has been sailed on beautiful days and some horrible days. Protect yourself.

14. This is not an AMYA sanctioned event because of the peculiar format and the open classes of boats.

15. These rules are subject to change without notice.


4-HOUR ENDURO


By Jack Sullivan


The Enduro is our traditional end of the season regatta, and it has never been called off. It has been snowed on, sleeted on, rained on, blown on, and baked, but never becalmed. Boats still sailing after 4 hours are scored ahead of others who might have more laps. The course is set as an extremely elaborate double zig-zag (intended to extend the time per lap and reduce boredom). A small “gate” is used to count the boats as they pass. At the end of the day, the skipper on the water with the largest number of laps wins. All classes of boats are welcomed.


Minuteman Model Yacht Club’s first 4- Hour Enduro was only 3 hours long. It was suggested by John Decker and patterned after a 24-hour race run in England. The English race was sailed by teams of skippers on a pond that regularly had wind all night long. There was a pub near the lake where off duty skippers could refresh and fortify themselves with spirits or sleep so they might survive their shift operating the transmitter. The teams made pit stops when they changed batteries and made repairs as needed. We shortened their format to 3 hours. Later we changed the running time to 4 hours and discussed 5 hours but found that the skippers, committee, and boats were plenty tired after a straight stint of 4 hours.


We used to sail the race from the deck of the swimming pool across the lake. The population explosion of Canada geese and seagulls with their slippery excrement on the deck made walking along the deck on a rainy day dangerous and undesirable.


I’m not sure just which Enduro it happened after, but it was after a race that we sailed from the pool deck. We were cold and tired at the end of the race, so we decided to wait until the following Saturday to remove the marker buoys from the lake. We didn’t anticipate the cold snap that occurred during the week. When they arrived, Al Spring and Jack Sullivan found a quarter inch layer of ice on the lake. Thin enough for us to break thru but thick enough to make paddling difficult we had to break our way around the course picking up the buoys on the way.


The First Enduro


7 EC-12s took part in our first Enduro held on a cool windy day the 12th of November 1978 and the first winner was Manny Costa. Dan Jacob was second. Dan sailed 5 laps with Manny only about 50 feet behind trying to put a lap on the entire fleet. Per Eldh tried to take advantage of an inshore breeze but managed to snag his mast in the bushes. Alan Mainwaring was rowing the rescue dinghy. Per was a lap down by the time he got back under way. Les Conner and Dennis Ryan had a very close race. After 3 hours and 18 laps around the huge course we had set out on Rosemary Lake, Dennis had an 8 foot lead over Les. John Decker ran the race with storm sails. Ed Bliven had boat problems and was the first Enduro DNF. This inaugural race was run in an era when we had only 10 CB frequencies available to us.


Some Memorable Enduros


1980: The 1980 race was won via mandatory pit stops. In 1980 we had a rule in effect that you had to make a pit stop and stay in the pits for 90 seconds. This was to nullify the advantage that the new lithium batteries might give anyone who could afford them. In later years the latest alkaline and rechargeable batteries would last 4 hours.


The day started windy and then became nearly calm. We were sailing off the swimming pool, and the lap gate was several hundred feet out in the water.


Gerry Trahan chose to pit right away in the heavy wind. It took Gerry a matter of seconds to sail from the gate to the pits, hold his boat for the required time, and again a matter of seconds to sail back out onto the course. The other boats waited into the last hour to get into the pits, but they had to do it in the calm air, and it took an excruciating number of minutes to get in and out of the pits. Gerry spent that time putting distance on the fleet in the middle of the lake where there was some air.


1986: Late in the 1986 race Arthur Morrell and Al Spring were close together. Each had a one lap advantage over 3rd pace. They swapped the lead several times as the clock was ticking down. They went around one mark side by side. The next mark was very far out on the lake and in line with the late afternoon sun. Al had a slight lead but he sailed inside the mark. Arthur got by as time ran out.


1989: 1989 was a survival of the fittest regatta. It was the last year we allowed the winner to retire before 3:00 PM. After 1989 we changed the scoring so that boats still sailing at the end of the race were counted before boats that could not sail the last lap even though boats that had withdrawn had many laps accrued before they retired.


13 boats started. Only 2 were still sailing at the end. George Greenhalgh had numerous problems but he kept repairing his boat. He was several laps behind. Al Spring was sailing an EC-12 with a sail that had survived a pounding several months earlier in Newport, RI. The seams of the sails were weakened and started to tear. The further into the regatta, the more the seams separated. Wet radios and broken gear took a tremendous toll on the rest of the fleet, but Al kept on sailing.


1990: 1990 was another year with high winds. We were afraid to let anyone go out in a canoe to rescue a model in trouble so we borrowed the Greenhalgh’s inflatable dinghy. Squalls in the neighboring towns did considerable damage. Roofs torn off. Tree limbs down. Power outages. Art Jacobsen, the winner, was criticized for not having as much trouble as the rest of the fleet.


1991: In 1991, the temperature when we started for the lake was 33° F. Fifteen boats got ready to start. Bob Francis had trouble before the start. Two other boats quit during the first lap. Jack Gregory completed the first lap but was having trouble with his winch. About mid point in the race a soaking drizzle started. Nine of the skippers completed the 4 hours. George Greenhalgh completed 36.9999 laps as time ran out. Norma Greenhalgh was scoring and wouldn’t give him the 37th lap.


1992: In 1992 the temperature was 19 degrees F when we started for the lake. The weather channel was predicting snow offshore and in the mountains. When we were adjusting the marks a brief snow flurry blew across the lake. Eleven skippers started and all of them made it to the half-way time. 9 finished.


1993: In 1993 we had one of those beautiful, comfortable New England days when it’s great to be out of doors. The up and down gusts and lulls gave Jack Gregory and Ken Lamb the setting for a classic 50/800 VS EC-12 contest. They swapped the lead back and forth depending on the strength or absence of the wind until into the fourth hour when Ken pitted to change batteries. Jack gambled and stayed out. That was the margin, Jack over Ken. John Dawber sailed his 2 masted schooner Atlantis until the batteries ran out.


Rules of The Enduro


1. The Enduro is held at Rosemary Lake on the second Sunday in November.


2. It starts at 11:00 AM and finishes at 3:00 PM.


3. There are no holds.


4. The race is open to any radio controlled model sailing yacht.


5. The order of finish is determined by the number of laps sailed plus the position on the course at 3:00 PM as best the committee and any volunteers can determine followed by the number of laps completed by yachts that are not sailing the course.


6. All rules of right of way are in effect.


7. Hitting of buoys is permissible. Just get around them.


8. There will be a radio check at 10:45 AM. All contestants will turn on their radio to satisfy their concern about how much interference they can expect when all the boats are sailing. This is usually a large fleet.


9. All radios on 75 MHz are expected to be narrow banded.


10. Only one boat per frequency. No guarantee that frequency conflicts can be resolved. The committee will try to assist skippers to resolve frequency conflicts. First come first served.


11. A recovery boat must be present to allow the regatta to commence.


12. Bragging right only. No trophy fee will be collected; no trophy will be presented.


13. The race committee has the option of canceling the regatta if weather or other conditions appear to be unsafe. This race has been sailed on beautiful days and some horrible days. Protect yourself.


14. This is not an AMYA sanctioned event because of the peculiar format and the open classes of boats.


15. These rules are subject to change without notice.


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