ANNAPOLIS -- It was a long day on the water for both fleets of racers and two hard-working race committees when a stalled frontal system turned the first day of Annapolis Race Week into a slow and frustrating mess.
Sailors' post-race discussions and bragging sessions focused more on a game of "can you top this" based on how many times each crew was forced to raise a spinnaker on what should have been a windward leg, and how often and how long they resorted to anchoring in dismally light air and a foul current, than on the brilliance of their tactics and boat handling.
"This was without exception the ugliest race I have ever had the misfortune to be a part of," said Phil Richmond, a member of the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron's Race Committee overseeing
competition for the 94 Fleet 2 starters on an Olympic triangle course near Thomas Point. "My heart goes out to the competitors."
In that fleet, containing the smallest and slowest of the more than 200 boats racing in the three-day event that will run through tomorrow, only 29 boats could finish before the 5 p.m. time limit, even though the course was shortened to a mere 6.9 miles.
Although the Fleet 1 attrition rate was far lower -- 106 of the 112 starters finished the race -- their Annapolis Yacht Club-sponsored windward-leeward contest nearer to Annapolis also was marred by difficult and frustrating conditions.
The committee went through two mark changes and shortened the course, bringing the race down to a three-legged 7.5-mile affair, and at one point seriously considered abandoning the contest.
"The wind was completely dead, but there really were no good legal grounds for blowing it off," said AYC's Race Committee chairman Ron Ward. "Then the breeze came in from both directions at once."
A number of protests across many classes in both fleets added to the misery and further lengthened the day, leaving some classes' final results uncertain.
Today's racing, in winds that are expected to be substantially better, will see the fleets reverse position on the bay.
IMS I (9 starters): 1. Donnybrook, James Muldoon, Washington, D.C., 0:40:11 c.t.; 2. Quintessence, Benjamin Michaelson Jr., Annapolis, 1:43:44 c.t.; 3. Merope, Nick Iliff, Arnold, 1:46:33 c.t.
IMS II (18 starters): 1. Bucentaur, Steve Stunda/Ian Chambers, Baltimore/Annapolis, 1:56:25 c.t.; 2. Wahoo, Henry Fretz, Rock Hall, 1:57:17 c.t.; 3. Whiskers, Neil Siegel, Washington, D.C., 2:01:52 c.t.
IMS III (6 starters): 1. Good Times, William Schwarz, Randallstown, 2:04:01 c.t.; 2. Moonshine, Jim Schneider, Salisbury, 2:11:09 c.t.; 3. Rampage, Chip Thayer, Wilmington, Del., 2:13:57 c.t.
PHRF A (23 starters): 1. Gem, St. Mary's College, St. Mary's City, 3:00:51 c.t.; 2. Red October, John MacCarron, Towson, 3:26:45 c.t.; 3. Tigress, Bob Waldschmitt, Solomons, 3:29:46 c.t.
PHRF B (24 starters): 1. Fast Track, John Yeigh/McFadden, Annapolis, 3:22:16 c.t.; 2. Full Cry, Jerry Czosnowski, Baltimore, 3:23:17 c.t.; 3. PollyWannaCracka?, Larry Kumins, Annapolis, 3:26:04 c.t.
J/35 (14 starters): 1. Outrageous, Henry Judy, Davidsonville; 2. Moonbeam, Will Keyworth/John Danziesen, Annapolis; 3. Sundog, Paul Parks, Shadyside.
J/30 (18 starters): 1. BeBop, Bill Rutsch, Chevy Chase; 2. Wooly Bear, Terry & Ted Rapp, Riverside, N.J.; 3. No Respect, R,B & G Harrison, Chester.
Fleet 2 MORC (13 starters): 1. Mirage, David Lewis/Fred Salvesen, Annapolis/Edgewater, 1:50:56 c.t.; 2. Frog Legs, Paul Awalt, Ellicott City, 1:54:46 c.t.; 3. Skylarkn, Bob Dunning, Easton, 1:55:51 c.t.
PHRF C (20 starters): 1. [no name], John White, Severna Park, 3:32:14 c.t.; 2. Bang, David Gendell, Arnold, 3:52:31 c.t.; 3. Red Streaker, George Culbertson, Timonium, 3:54:22 c.t.
PHRF nonspinnaker (10 starters): 1. Anser, Jim Troutman, Bethesda, 3:36:23 c.t.; 2. Cayenne, Tony Sanpere, Annapolis, 3:37:44 c.t.; 3. Sundae Lovers, Bruce Bogdanoff, Swedesboro, NJ, 3:43:37 c.t.
J/24 (15 starters): 1. Bangor Packet, Anthony Parker, Washington, D.C.; 2. Riff Raff, Paul Borssuck, Annapolis; 3. Twisted Sisters, BJS Syndicate, Annapolis.
Pearson 30 (9 starters): 1. Results, Art Libby, Annapolis; 2. Mr. Hyde, Steve Bandy, Annapolis.
Alberg 30 (8 starters, 0 finishers).
Catalina 27 (12 starters, 0 finishers).
2& Cal 25 (10 starters, 0 finishers).