A lot of good things come to an end with the Labor Day weekend. Among them is the Annapolis Yacht Club Wednesday Night Series, the secondhalf of which wrapped up with a fast and furious contest in good airon Aug. 28.
The series nearly ended with a real bang. The rapidlyreturning fleet of more than 100 boats wound up jammed in the narrowthroat of Spa Creek against the Eastport Bridge with too many minutes left to go before the scheduled half-hour opening time.
A growing pack of boats waiting to get upstream to their slips clogged the waterway and a large motor yacht, also headed upstream, backed away from the dock into the oncoming sail fleet before parking for a time in mid-finish line.
The bridge tender was paying attention, however, and mercifully opened the span ahead of schedule to relieve the rapidly building pressure before a real disaster could occur. For a few minutes the confusion and congestion added a great deal of extra challenge for the racers and excitement for the spectators.
The second half of the series, scored separately from the first half,began July 10 for the 149-boat fleet divided into 11 classes. It continued flawlessly through its scheduled eight-week run, meaning that since the magic eight-race point was reached, each sailor's worst-race score was thrown out and deducted from his total.
This throwout left many of the top racers in the same relative positions in their classes, but also caused some upsets.
One of the most exciting cameabout in the always competitive J/30 class. Bill Rutsch and the teamon BeBop launched a concerted end run on the series and wrested first place from Tom Donlan and the crew on Tiger by a mere half-point --a dethroning that only took place in the very last race.
Another exciting contest that went down to the wire was the race for second place in the huge and very tough PHRF 2 class.
From fairly early on, Bill Miles and his well-oiled (and well-practiced) crew on Sidekickdominated the contest for first in this 29-boat division. They racked up a straight five aces in the last five races to finish off anyoneelse's hopes for the top, but fierce competition for the slot just behind them continued to the very last minutes of the final race.
In the end, second went to Marty Kiely and his team on Marilyn, who managed to get and stay a single point ahead of their main rivals, Sheldon Mandel and crew on Silent Thunder, and Karl Von Schwarz's team onHuron.
The Silent Thunder and Huron teams tied on points for third, but assuming a standard tie-breaker based on most numbers of firsts, seconds and thirds, the bronze will go to Mandel, with two secondsand two thirds to Von Schwarz's three thirds.
AYC Wednesday NightSeries
Second-half Provisional Series Scores
IMS 1 (12 entries): 1) Quintessence, Benjamin Michaelson Jr., Annapolis, 9 pts. (2-1-2-1-1-2-1-(3)); 2) Bucentaur, Steve Stunda/Ian Chambers, Annapolis, 16.5 pts. (3-2-(DNC)-5-3-1-2-1); 3) Merope, Nick Iliff, Arnold, 26 pts.((9)-3-7-2-5-3-4-2).
IMS 2 (17 entries): 1) Ramrod, Bert Jabin, Annapolis, 19.25 pts. ((6)-1-4-1-1-6-3-4); 2) Farrocious, Talbot Wilson/Jim Hobson/Jim Schmicker, Annapolis, 21.5 pts. (1-3-1-3-3-9-2-(11)); 3) Hilite, Leonard Eastman, Annapolis, 29.75 pts. (2-4-6-(11)-7-5-5-1).
PHRF 1 (25 entries): 1) Eroica, Bill Sutton, Arlington, Va., 18.25 pts. (2-4-1-5-(6)-1-5-1); 2) Pullin' Willie, Kevin McNeil, Annapolis, 31.75 pts. (1-9-8-4-4-(14)-4-2); 3) Gem, Michael Ironmonger, Annapolis, 32 pts. (5-3-2-3-9-5-(DNC)-5); 4) Grayling, Richard Born, Baltimore, 34 pts. (9-4-5-3-(DNC)-8-2-3); 5) Only Child, Bob Muller/Scott Staley, Annapolis, 37 pts. (3-(15)-3-8-9- 2-6-6).
PHRF 2 (29 entries): 1) Sidekick, Bill Miles, Harwood, 7.75 pts. ((5)-2-2-1-1-1-1-1); 2) Marilyn, Martin Kiely, Berwyn Heights, 27 pts. (3-4-7-(DNC)-2-2-5-4); 3) Silent Thunder, Sheldon Mandel, Gaithersburg, 28 pts. (9-3-4-2-5-(10)-2-3); 4) Huron, Karl Von Schwarz, Annapolis, 28 pts. (4-(RET)-3-4-3-3-6-5); 5) Diamond in the Rough, Jim Mumper, Crownsville,30.5 pts. (6-1-1-(DNC)-8-5- 8-2).
MORC (15 entries): 1) Frog Legs, Paul Awalt, Ellicott City, 12 pts. ((DNC)-2-4-1-1-1-1-3); 2) Blue Nemesis, Sam Teague/B. Richards, Annapolis, 32.75 pts. (1-7-2-5-2-(12)-4-12); 3) Posse, Paul Andersen, Annapolis, 40.75 pts. ((DNC)-1-RET-6-8-5-3-2).
Alberg 30 (9 entries): 1) Cannonball, Bill Wallop, Annapolis, 13 pts. (1-1-3-(6)-1-2-5-1); 2) Argo, Peter Scheidt, Highland,15.5 pts. ((5)-2-2-1-3-1-1*-3); 3) Lingin, Bruce Rankin, Annapolis, 19.75 pts. ((6)-5-1-3-2-5-2-2).
J/30 (12 entries): 1) BeBop, Bill Rutsch, Chevy Chase, 20.25 pts. (5-(7)-7-4-1-2-1-1); 2) Tiger, Tom Donlan, Falls Church, Va., 20.75 pts. (2-3-4-1-4-3-4-(5)); 3) Jazz, Jeff Hall, Annapolis, 30 pts. (3-6-6-2-(7)-7-3-3).
J/24 (6 entries): 1) No Smoking, Don Delorme, Annapolis, 6.5 pts. (1-2-1-1-1-3-1-1); 2)AJ, David Scheidt, Annapolis, 15.75 pts. (2-3-4-2-2-1-2-(DNC)); 3) Main Squeeze, Tom Thawley, Annapolis, 26 pts. (3-4-(5)-5-3-4-4-3).