J/22 Fleet 15 of Annapolis played host last weekend to its second annual Turkey Bowl Regatta, a relatively informal series of windward-leeward races over two days.
Fifteen teams competed in the six-race,one-throwout series that featured a wide range of wind conditions. The top three skippers received turkeys for their holiday tables, while other skippers ranking lower in the overall standings were blessed with awards ranging from boxes of stuffing mix to cooking utensils.
"It was a good regatta," said Fleet Captain Kip Koolage. "On Saturday it was light and variable for the first race with a tremendous wind shift of about 90 degrees. Then for the second and third races itwas pretty good, with the breeze at 5 to 10 knots.
"We started a fourth race, but so many people were over early that we had to have ageneral recall, and then we had to blow it off for the day because we were running out of daylight."
With safety a primary consideration in the chilly conditions on the courses set off of Chesapeake Harbour, in Sunday's stiffer breeze the Race Committee called for non-spinnaker sailing and the mandatory use of life jackets.
"On Sunday it was blowing 20 to 25," Koolage said as he described the series' final three races. "They had their hands full, and there were plenty of keels showing."
Winning the series by a margin of more than three points was the partnership of Greg Gendell and Rich Lambird with no finish below fifth in the competitive series.
"We like the light stuff better," helmsman Lambird said. "But we hung in there and did what we had to do in the heavy stuff."
The team was off and running from the first, having turned in an ace in the first race despite the extremely difficult conditions and the severe wind shift.
"I thought we were in first place anyway when the wind shifted," Lambird said. "We managed to stay ahead and cover everybody."
In the normally aggressive fleet, which is always very competitive, no protests were filed as plenty of 720-degree penalty turns took place.
"The key to the regatta was good starts," Lambird said of the short-course racing. "It's a tough class, so you have to have good starts."
J/22 Turkey Bowl results
1) Greg Gendell/Rich Lambird, Arnold/Upper Marlboro, 11.5 pts. (1-(5)-1-4-4-2); 2) Andy Hughes, Annapolis, 14.75 pts.((13)-3-5- 3-1-3); 3) Todd Olds, Annapolis, 15.75 pts. (7-4-2-2-(PMS)-1); 4) Pat James, Annapolis, 20 pts. (2-2-3-(10)-5-8).
Would you like to win a sailing trophy for having fun on the race course without working too hard at it?
Are you bored with the idea of spending Thanksgiving weekend sitting around your living room eating turkey sandwiches and watching football on television?
Do you wish you had one more light-hearted event to do with your boat before you put it to bed for the winter?
If the answers to any or all of those questions are yes, and you have a sense of humor, the Eastport Yacht Club definitely has the event for you.
It's the club's annual Leftover Bowl Regatta, which can be a very entertaining part of any sailor's Turkey Day weekend. And it's set this year for Saturday.
The regatta is named not only for the spare turkey parts that fill post-Thanksgiving refrigerators, but also for the trophies themselves. They're mostly the various bits and pieces left over from a season's regular competition, for which homes could not otherwise be found.
It'sactually a clever way for the club to clean out its attic of unclaimed hardware while sponsoring a popular afternoon of fun and games.
Check-in and registration for the event will take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon on race day at EYC's clubhouse on the upper deck of the Annapolis City Marina at Fourth Street and Severn Avenue. It will be followed by the PHRF-Nonspinnaker race in and around Annapolis Harbor.
The starting area will be in the usual place for weeknight contests, at buoy '15' off the Naval Station near the mouth of Spa Creek, and the finish will be in Spa Creek in front of the clubhouse.
The just-for-fun race is open to all comers, regardless of club affili
ation or PHRF membership, and those without valid PHRF ratings for their boats will be assigned them.
Regular frostbite-type rules will apply -- nobody is allowed out of the cockpit after the starting sequence begins, headsail changes are prohibited during the race, etc. It's all spelled out in the Special Sailing Instructions, available at check-in, and although regular sailing rules apply, protests definitely are discouraged.
Entry fee is $5.
After racing, EYC invites all participants back for the traditional Chili and Bullshot awardsparty at the clubhouse, where plenty of warmth, lots of laughs and prizes will be available for everyone.
For further information, leave a message on the club's answering machine, 267-8986, or show up atthe EYC bar Saturday morning.