This year's total of 225 boats registered made CBYRA's annual Annapolis Race Week for 1991, held over the Labor Day weekend, the biggest ever in the 25-year history of the event.
The record number of competitors and the large numbers of sailors from both ends of the bay and just about everywhere in between offered a chance for exciting competition against new and old rivals and helped encourage heavy participation through the regatta.
Frustratingly light and shifty winds coupled with a foul current in Saturday's first contest of the three-race series confounded many sailors in both fleets. But nowhere was the damage worse than in Fleet 2, where only the MORC and J/24 classes finished in substantial numbers, and no Alberg 30s, Cal 25s or Catalina 27s were able to cross the finish line before time expired.
The disappointments of the race were further complicated in the Pearson 30 and PHRF C and Non-spinnaker classes, since there were three finishers in each of the PHRF classes and two in the Pearsons before the end of the time limit.
BySunday evening the requests for redress from competitors who had notbeen able to finish the race before the race committee left had beenresolved by throwing the race out of the series scoring for these three classes.
That left them, as well as the Albergs, Cals and Catalinas, with a two-race series and another flurry of requests for redress on Monday, which changed nothing but probably will result in somecompetitors filing appeals of the decisions.
By 10 p.m. Saturday a fresh breeze from the northwest roared in and held through a wet, exciting race day Sunday in strong chop and brisk winds.
Sunday's air was the best, and the mood afterward tended to be jovial and triumphant, even for those who were not in the day's winners' circle, simply because it had been such a beautiful and exciting day on the water.
Monday's racing again became difficult and challenging as the wind petered out and became fluky and radically shifting. Despite some finish-line anchoring and other difficulties in Fleet 2 -- always thehardest hit by light and difficult air -- the racing generally went well, bringing the event to a pleasant conclusion for most of the sailors.
It seemed that no one was more pleased with their performance than the team from St. Mary's College, sailing the school's Briand 50 Gem to three straight aces under the skilled tutelage of Waterfront Director Mike Ironmonger. That made Gem the only team in the 15-class fleet that accomplished this feat, although three other teams wereat the heads of their classes by the end of Sunday's race.
This team, which includes strong crews from other boats, such as the school's Holland 42 Prelude, has developed over the past two years into an impressive force on the race course, and its successes in CBYRA events as well as in Solomons at Audi-Yachting Race Week are definitely causes for pride.
Other big class winners eked out narrower margins.In IMS II, for example, the team headed by Steve Stunda and Tink Chambers on their Beneteau 42 Bucentaur had an extremely comfortable lead after the first two races with an unbeatable pair of bullets, but their eighth-place finish Monday kept their lead by a mere half-point over Dave Dodge and his team on his Tripp 36, Privateer.
Because of the two-race-only situation in most Fleet 2 classes, some unbreakable ties for first occurred. Among them were John White on his unnamedboat tied with David Gendell's Bang team in PHRF C, and Bruce Bogdanoff and the Sundae Lovers and the Summers family team on Enduro in PHRF Non-spinnaker.
And in the J/35 one-design class, Henry Judy andthe team on Outrageous got the gun in the first two races but took adive into fourth after losing a protest and being disqualified from Monday's race. That left Paul Parks and the crew on Sundog the top dogs in that class, although Sundog never won a race in the series. Consistency, with finishes of 3-2-4, that's how they did it.
Althoughhe and his crew were not at the final awards ceremony Monday night to collect it, Parks was this year's winner of the Anne Arundel CountySun's trophy for most improved performance over last year's Race Week, having sailed his way up from eighth last year in a 14-boat class to first this year.
Parks was not the only skipper whose team won its series without acing a race. That feat was duplicated by Larry Kumins and his team on his Contessa 35, PollyWannaCracka?, sailing to the top of the tightly contested PHRF B class by an extremely narrow margin -- not only in points, but also in time.
"I lost the Governor's Cup by three seconds," Kumins said, "and now I've won this by three seconds. I needed to beat Hooligan today to win the regatta, and we were only three seconds apart. God gives three seconds and takes away three seconds, I guess."
This year's regatta drew a record number of participants and provided fun for all, both on the water and ashore.