Saturday was a day when most sensible people stayed indoors, out of the 20-knot winds and 40-degree damp that added up to a serious wind-chill factor.
But it was also a day when seven teams from the local J/29 class, frustrated at the loss of their biggest annual event, the North American Championship that was fogged out two weeks earlier,decided to sail one more regatta before quitting for the winter.
Steve Olinger and Joel Hamburger organized last weekend's informal event despite the bone-chilling conditions.
Maryland Capital Yacht Club's Bob Polk, who had been Race Committee chairman for the aborted North Americans, and his wife, Patty, agreed to serve as the R. C. and set up three short windward-leeward courses for the fleet.
"It's terrific that they agreed to do it," Olinger said. "I was all geared up for the North Americans, and I just couldn't stand to put my boat away for the winter without racing it one more time."
Racing was fast and furious, and extremely competitive, with highest marks going to those with the best boat-handling and tactics. The short courses reduced the overall importance of minor boat speed differences inthe one-design racing, and those who braved using heavy genoas instead of working jibs found that in the long run it made little difference.
"It was very competitive," Olinger observed. "In the last race, the second through fifth boats finished within 10 seconds total."
Winner overall, with a third and two aces, was the red-boat team onPosse, headed by Annapolitan Mickey Campagna and Paul Andersen, who trekked the distance to and from his new home in Urbanna, Va., for the event.
Although the J/29s had been dwindling as a one-design class in recent years, this year has marked an upswing in participation levels, and the fleet size for this cold-weather, just-for-fun regatta was particularly warming for the class members.
"To have seven boats show up in these conditions," Olinger said, "is a real sign thatthere's a revival of the class."
As the crews mingled at Marmaduke's after the racing, warming up with hot drinks and conversation, a discussion of what to name this unique event took place.
As might be expected, some of the regatta names suggested by the chilly sailors were unprintable in a family newspaper.
But it wasn't long before Andersen suggested, and the other skipper and crews rousingly agreed, that the event be named for the class' senior member, Jack Keniley, who recently has returned to competition after recovering from heart surgery.
1992 Jack Keniley
J/29 Regatta results
1) Posse, Paul Andersen/Mickey Campagna, Urbanna, Va./Annapolis, 4.5 pts. (3-1-1); 2) Breakaway, Joel Hamburger, Schnecksville, Pa., 6 pts. (2-2-2);3) Bandit, Ed Pologruto, Wayne, Pa., 6.75 pts. (1-3-3); 4) Mirage, David Lewis/Fred Salvesen, Annapolis/Edgewater, 13 pts. (5-4-4); 5) Tops Optional, Steve Olinger, Annapolis, 14 pts. (4-5-5); 6) Dilemma, Jack Keniley, Forestville, 19 pts. (6-7-6); 7) Orient Express, Rea Keech, Severna Park, 20 pts. (7-6-7).
Last weekend featured two traditional season-closing events in particularly rough small-boat conditions at Severn Sailing Association.
The Tempest class, with only two starters of the five entrants, was able to sail only a single race before giving in to the cold weather and stiff breeze.
The Solings, with eight boats on the line, including a competitor who had come all the way from Rochester, N.Y., managed to complete four races before the day ended on Saturday.
"They predicted winds in excess of 25 knots on Saturday, so we made the election to race in the (Annapolis) inner harbor," said Soling Fleet Captain John Harper, who placed fourth in tight competition in the regatta.
"That made the course kind of tight. In fact, I grounded at the downwind finish (of the third race), it was that tight. We blew a takedown, broached, and by the time we got under control again, we were on the shoal, and I had to get out and push us off. But it was an extremely close finish. Four of us were within a boat length."
On Sunday, in the face of blustery air and cold rain, the fleet assembled at SSA to decide whether or not to race.
"Everyone was saying 'I'll go if you go,' so finally I made the call to go racing," Harper said. "But by the time everyone got suited up and we got out there, it was freezing cold, pouringrain, and the visibility was closing down, and we didn't know if it was the storm center offshore moving in, so we went back in. Later, as it turned out, it would have been a great day to race Solings, but that was it anyway.
"It was a pretty good regatta. The Soling fleet generally enjoys winds of 20 knots or better, it was very close racing, and there was quite a lot of tactical work, especially with the J/29 fleet out there. They were usually coming downwind while we weregoing upwind, so crossing them wasn't much of a problem, but some ofthem provided nice obstructions you could play (other Solings) off of."
Acors Thompson Regatta results
1) Peter Gleitz, Annapolis, 7.75 pts. (3-1-2-2); 2) Stuart Walker, Annapolis, 8.5 pts. (1-2-5-1);3) Mike Tennity, Rochester, N.Y., 11 pts. (2-3-3-3); 4) John Harper,Great Falls, Va., 16.75 pts. (5-4-1-7); 5) Angus Phillips, Annapolis, 17 pts. (4-5-4-4).
Chesapeake Bay Tempest
1) Dave McComb, Dearborn, Mich.; 2) Dave Duke, (address unavailable).