SOLOMONS ISLAND -- When the first starting gun goes off over the waters of the Chesapeake Bay at about 10 a.m. today, the third annual Audi-Yachting Race Week at Solomons will be off and running for five days of racing.
Seventy-one yachts, ranging in size from three J/24s to North sailmaker Jim Allsopp's Holland 50, Ichiban, will be competing for daily and series class trophies as well as two coveted overall performance trophies: the Audi Quattro and Yachting Magazine Chelsea Clock awards.
This year's fleet is somewhat smaller than expected, but competition levels will be high, since the turnout includes some of the Chesapeake Bay's hottest boats and strongest contenders as well as top contestants from New York and North Carolina.
In addition to the Annapolis-based Ichiban, the fleet also includes Hampton, Va., sailor Seward Lawlor's Chesapeake 43; Serendipity, which was named the best PHRF yacht of 1990 by Yachting; and Fatal Attraction, a new Tripp 40 out of Norfolk, Va., sailed by Gray Kiger and Gene Thayer.
Also racing from Maryland are Shady Side's Paul Parks and his Northern Bay Race Week-winning J/35, Sundog.
Facts and figures
What: Audi-Yachting Race Week at Solomons, a five-race regatta for 14 IMS and 57 PHRF yachts, using an 8- to 20-mile Olympic triangle or windward-leeward course each day.
Where: On the Chesapeake Bay near the mouth of the Patuxent River.
When: Racing starts at 10 a.m., Monday through Friday; awards ceremonies at 6 p.m. in Solomons at Zahniser's Sailing Center.