The Baltimore City Yacht Association's Pier Five Cup race from Baltimore Light to an Inner Harbor finish line off Harrison's Pier Five rapidly has become a popular annual event, a kind of celebratory finishto the local racing season.
Joined with the Gibson Island Yacht Squadron's Raceback the next day, the overnight event, complete with dockage and a party at Harrison's, is the last annual entry in the CBYRA Green Book for sailors south of Baltimore.
So for some sailors it was the last chance to better or consolidate their standings in the season-long contest for CBYRA High Point.
Competition was fierce across all five PHRF splits Saturday. An added element confused things when the moderate wind took a sabbatical in midrace before returning in force at 30 knots and more from the northwest, surprising many crews and shredding several sails in the process.
Joining the 85-boat Saturday fleet for the 21.3-mile race north and the 43-boat Sunday fleet in the 11.2-mile "raceback" for the first time this year was the Naval Academy's Offshore Team.
It was represented by four Navy 44 teams and the crews aboard the S & S 49 Cinnabar and Frers 48 Morning Light in PHRF A and a pair of New York 36s in PHRF B. For the midshipman teams it had to have been a satisfying weekend.
Navy teams claimed first through third in Saturday's PHRF A-1 division, including the overall best-in-fleet award, and tookfour of the top five places in Sunday's PHRF A class as well as second in PHRF B.
Midshipman 1st Class Jared East of Salinas, Calif., led the Navy 44 Vigilant team to the top of the 20-boat PHRF A-1 class and the best corrected time in the entire fleet Saturday. That was followed by a respectable fourth-of-19 PHRF A and fourth-overall position Sunday.
"It was light air for most of the race on Saturday," East said. "Then right before we got to the (Key) bridge it died almost completely before it picked back up again to about 30, and from then on it was a different race.
"For most of the race, we just hungin there. We caught a shift and ended up not tacking to the first mark. When the lull hit we were able to catch back up, playing the shifts back and forth in the river. Everyone got stuck when the wind died, and we did about four gybes looking for the shifts and we ended up on the right gybe when the wind came back, did a couple of fast sail changes, and that was it."
On Sunday, in winds he described as being about 15 knots at the start before lightening toward the end, Eastsaid, "We were inside at the start, so we were low and had to work upwind. The whole first leg was a tight reach, but it fell off a little after that until it was a couple of gybes to the finish. It was pretty much a parade."
In other action Saturday, the PHRF B class wasparticularly hot, although the team of Jerry Czosnowski and sailmaker Max Skelley aboard Czosnowski's Capri 30Full Cry left the rest of the class in their dust.
Behind them the competition was hard-fought and even a little surprising for some who did well.
John Sherwood and the team on his Metalmast 30 Witch's Flower, rated the slowest boat in the class, corrected into second out of 23 by 29 seconds overa full-scale war between High Point front-runners Larry Kumins on his Contessa 35 PollyWannaCracka? in third and Don Zinn on his HeritageOne-Ton Goldfish, who fell to fourth after tearing his mainsail twice in the sudden wind.
Pier Five Cup
PHRF A-1 (20 starters): 1) Vigilant, Mid. Jared East, USNA, 4:48:50 c.t.; 2) Lively, Mid. John Ahrens, USNA, 4:51:41 c.t.; 3) Cinnabar, Mid. Robert Bruce, USNA, 4:54:32 c.t.; 4) Carrot, Ed Cilumbrello, Baltimore, 4:54:41 c.t.; 5) Witch, Glenn Robbins, Severna Park, 4:56:14 c.t.
PHRF A-2 (9 starters): 1) Good Times, William Schwarz, Randallstown, 5:03:34 c.t.; 2) Moonlighting, Thomas French, Annapolis, 5:03:55 c.t.; 3) BeBop, Bryan Templeton, Baltimore, 5:05:42 c.t.
PHRF B (23 starters): 1) Full Cry, Jerry Czosnowski, Baltimore, 4:49:02 c.t.; 2) Witch's Flower, John Sherwood III, Annapolis, 4:52:28 c.t.; 3) PollyWannaCracka?, Larry Kumins, Annapolis, 4:52:57 c.t.; 4) Goldfish, Donald Zinn, Annapolis, 4:53:18 c.t.; 5) Thunderbolt, Mid. Kyle Weaver, USNA, 4:57:20 c.t.
PHRF C (19 starters): 1) Sure Cure, Craig Decker, Pasadena, 4:57:07 c.t.; 2) Naked Women Crabs & Beer (Sail No. 32572), John White, Severna Park, 4:58:20 c.t.; 3) Pronto, Steve Rowlands, Baltimore, 5:05:05 c.t.; 4) Bang, David Gendell, Arnold, 5:06:17 c.t.
PHRF Non-spinnaker (14 starters): 1) Sundae Lovers, Bruce Bogdanoff, Swedesboro, N.J., 5:37:31 c.t.; 2) Alize, Chris Chamberlin, Washington, 5:45:23 c.t.; 3) Asbury McClain, Baltimore, 5:48:44 c.t.; 4) Fraulein, John Belas, Glen Arm, 5:55:40 c.t.
Pier Five Raceback
PHRF A (19 starters): 1) Swift, Mid. J. B. Moulton, USNA, 1:32:29 c.t.; 2) Morning Light, Mid. Bo Hornbuckle, USNA, 1:33:18 c.t.; 3)Moonlighting, T. French, 1:33:36 c.t.; 4) Vigilant, Mid. J. East, 1:33:40 c.t.