Gray, soggy weather and intermittent rain did little to dampen the competition for the 140-plus racing teams in the Maryland Capital Invitational Regatta last weekend.
The three IMS classes, four PHRF divisions and the multihulls and J/35s on Saturday made a total of 70 boats on the starting line off R "2" for a 13.9-mile race around government marks.
Sunday's fleet of 72 boats, sailing in 10 cruising one-design classes, also raced around the buoys, on a 13.6-mile course.
"It was really terrific," Race Committee Chairman Malcolm Renbaum said. "On Saturday our biggest fear was that it would be dead calm, but it turned out to be perfect, with winds out of the south between 15 and 25 knots and 4- to 5-foot seas."
Despite sailing one of the lightest-weight boats in the PHRF-A Class through the waves, Tom French and his crew on his Olson 30 Moon Lighting cleared the top of their class by a three-minute margin on corrected time.
"We were fortunate," French said. "We tried to sail conservatively and there was only one shift we missed, but it didn't hurt us too much. The wind and the tide made the waves pretty steep at the start right around Tolley Point. On port tack they were pretty square on the bow, but on starboard it wasbeautiful. And near the middle of the bay it was better."
The Moon Lighting team was holding its own on ratings through much of the race, French said, until a spinnaker run across the bay.
"We went south of the rhumb line and a lot of other boats went north of it," he said. "We passed them boat for boat. It was kind of ironic."
Sunday's conditions also were favorable for racing, with brisk freezes compounding a strong current and kicking up some surface chop in relatively heavy air.
For Catalina 27 class newcomer Francis Wright and his team on Cheshire Cat, Sunday's victory in his 13-boat class was sweet, the result of a good determination of the effects of the wind and current.
"We had a strong ebb at the start," Wright explained, "and the wind from the northeast amplified it a bit. It was pretty choppy and messy out there. We used our blade jib, as did most of the people in the class."
Wright said that trying to stay out of the current on the first leg of the race, up to C "1" of Hacketts Point, wasthe deciding factor for his team.
"We stayed on starboard tack under Hacketts Point all the way up," he said. "It was clearly the way to go. We were farthest to the left and that was the race right there."
Wright said that close racing in the Catalina 27 class has beenone of its major attractions.
"My margin over the second-place boat was about a minute," he said. "The second-place boat had about 30 seconds over the next one. It's my first year in the class, and I'm very pleased with how close the competition always is."
Renbaum said, "We had a fine turnout both days and as always we were pleased to sponsor a race like this. There were some really exciting starts and some good challenges among some very competitive sailors."
MCYC Invitational Regatta Provisional Results -- Protest Pending Saturday, June 22
IMS I (4 starters): 1. Flying Colors, R. E. Michel Jr., Glen Burnie, 1:50.50 c.t.; 2. Quintessence, Benjamin Michaelson Jr., Annapolis, 1:52.48 c.t.; 3. Prelude, St. Mary's College, St. Mary's City, 1:53.20 c.t.
IMS II (5 starters): 1. Bucentaur, Steve Stunda/IanChambers, Annapolis, 1:51.49 c.t.; 2. Privateer, David Dodge, Annapolis, 1:52.06 c.t.; 3. Whiskers, Neil Siegel, Washington, 2:00.44 c.t.
IMS III (9 starters): 1. The Knife, Mack Latz, Atlantic City, 1:55.08 c.t.; 2. Good Times, William Schwarz, Randallstown, 1:56.05 c.t.; 3. Farrocious, Talbot Wilson, Annapolis, 1:56:52 c.t.
PHRF A (10starters): 1. Moon Lighting, Thomas French, Annapolis, 1:53.54 c.t.;2. Patriot, Lawrence Lehner, York, Pa., 1:57.40 c.t.; 3. Jezebel, Jeinz Scheidemandel, Falls Church, Va., 2:01.23 c.t.
PHRF B (12 starters): 1. PollyWannaCracka?, Lawrence Kumins, Annapolis, 1:54.05 c.t.; 2. Hilite, Leonard Eastman, Annapolis, 1:55.33 c.t.; 3. Fast Track,John and Karen Yeigh, Annapolis, 1:56.15 c.t.
PHRF C (10 starters): 1. AJ, Beth Scheidt, Annapolis, 1:55.30 c.t.; 2. Leeway, David LeeSr., Edgewater, 1:58.09 c.t.; 3. Critical Mass, John Lanigan, Reston, Va., 1:58.52 c.t.
Multihull (5 starters, times not available): 1. Leading Lady, Buck Beaver, New Cumberland, Pa.; 2. The Karis, Michael Ivy, Arlington, Va.; 3. Blue Yonder, Douglas Wilson, Arnold.
PHRF Non-spinnaker (5 starters): 1. La Pomme, Tom Apple, Pasadena, 2:06.42 c.t.; 2. Albar5 II, Allen Keiser, Baltimore 2:13.53 c.t.; 3. Tango, Richard Littlefield, Annapolis, 2:14.26 c.t.
J/35s (10 starters): 1. Outragious, Henry Judy, Davidsonville; 2. Sundog, Paul Parks, Baltimore; 3. Moonbeam, John Danziesen/Will Keyworth, Annapolis.
J/30 (21 starters): 1. Tiger, Tom Donlan, Falls Church, Va.; 2. Das Boot, Steve Kaminer, Washington; 3. Deckworks, Doug Ensor, Brookeville; 4. Road Runner, John Heinz/T. H1, Baltimore; 5. No Respect, Richard Harrison & Co., Annapolis.