ANNAPOLIS -- After the second day of the J/24 East Coast Championships, the world's largest single starting line J/24 event, Harwood's Terry Hutchinson, sailing on Coal Pile Express, had a clear lead with victories in both of yesterday's races.
The series, co-staged by the Severn Sailing Association and J/2 Fleet 8, began Friday and has drawn a fleet of 86 boats, including teams from the United States, Canada, Bermuda and Poland.
Friday's racing had to be canceled in the face of sustaine winds between 32 and 36 knots with higher gusts, but yesterday's breezes were more conducive to sailing.
The first race, a five-legged windward-leeward contest of abou 6.5 miles that began at 10:30 a.m., was sailed in a northwesterly breeze of 8-10 knots and dropped off as the race progressed. The second race, started at 3:30 p.m. after a two-hour postponement waiting for a new wind to fill in and settle, took place on a 5-mile windward-leeward course in a southerly breeze of 8-10 knots.
Hutchinson's back-to-back victories came against national an international champions in J/24s and other classes, including two-time world champion Ken Read of Newport, R.I., and current world champion Jim Brady of Annapolis. Hutchinson -- who is associated with Shore Sails and was named Collegiate Sailor of the Year in 1989 and '90 -- attributed some of his success to local knowledge and most of it to his crew, including tactician Brad Read of Newport, former Annapolitan Mark Hillman of Boston, and Traverse City (Mich.) sailors Bruce Lockwood and Tom Roop.
Of the first race, Hutchinson said, "Sailing around here so much you know you've got to get left when the course is up near Whitehall, so I knew I had to protect the left [side of the course] no matter what."
In the second race, after rounding the first mark in fifth and having to fight his way forward, he said: "We got really lucky. On the last beat, it was really shifty, and so it was hard to make decisions about covering. We went to the layline and the breeze held."
Race 1: 1. Coal Pile Express, Terry Hutchinson, Harwood; 2. Maxx, Ken Read, Newport, R.I.; 3. Latent Defect, Tim Mowry, Annapolis; 4. American Garage, Jim Brady, Annapolis; 5. Lucy, Cory Sertl, Rochester, N.Y.; 6. Rush Hour, Pat Fitzgerald, Baltimore; 7. (no name), Mike Hobson, Annapolis; 8. Not To Worry, Geoff Moore, Newport, R.I.; 9. Love Shack, Chris Larson, Clearwater, Fla.; 10. Blitz, Al Constants, Lincoln Park, N.J.
Race 2: 1. Coal Pile Express, Terry Hutchinson, Harwood; 2 Lead Sled, Jim Gluek, Pewaukee, Wis.; 3. Lucy, Cory Sertl, Rochester, N.Y.; 4. U2, Lee Morrison, Darien, Ct.; 5. Maxx, Ken Read, Newport, R.I.; 6. Latent Defect, Tim Mowry, Annapolis; 7. Downtown, James Kinsey Jr., Ft. Myers, Fla.; 8. Pt Blister, Kirk Reynolds, Skaneateles, N.Y.; 9. Dusty Work, Doug Clark, Annapolis; 10. Not To Worry, Geoff Moore, Newport, R.I