The first four Saturdays in November were exciting ones for the sailors taking part in the Magothy River Frostbite Series, with the Magothy River Sailing Association as host/manager of the competition.
Using relatively long courses of five to eight miles inside the river mouth, the fleet raced in widely ranging conditions varying from a 15- to 20-knot day to the light-air drifting conditions on the final week.
No one showed up for a planned Nonspinnaker class and the smaller-boat Spinnaker II division had only four or five total starters and only two teams that qualified for scoring in the series based on starting at least three of the four races.
But the Spinnaker I division included a healthy group of 11 qualifiers out of a total of about 16 entrants.
That division, which included boats ranging from Carl Geyer's Hunter 54 La Chasseresse down to Andy and Sue Davis' J/24 L*A*S*S, showed that smaller is sometimes better. Top honors in the high-point-scored series went to PHRF C racer David Gendell and the team on his S2 7.9 Bang, with the Davises' J/24 in second behind them, while Geyer and some of the other big-boat crews had to settle for finalpositions quite a bit deeper in the fleet.
"It was a very nicely run series," Sue Davis said. "We all have some trouble with race management up on the river, but this one was really well run."
Davis was pleased with the course lengths and configurations as well as the conditions for sailing.
"Generally, even the day it blew hard it softened up by the end of the day," she said. "We sailed all of the races with our 150 (percent genoa), and even the day it blew we never had to use our 100. But I think the conditions mostly favored the smaller boats up there in the river."
She pointed out that even thoughBill Weisburger's J/35 Downtown Girl took the gun in three out of four races, corrected-time scores of 5-7-8-2 left him in sixth overall,the leader of the big boats rating higher than a J/30.
Magothy River Frostbite Series results
Spinnaker I (11 qualifiers): 1) Bang,David Gendell, Arnold, 73 pts. (DNC-1-1-3); 2) L*A*S*S, Andy Davis, Annapolis, 33 pts. (1-3-3-6); 3) Better Mousetrap, Bob Putnam, Greenbelt, 29 pts. (2-2-7-7); 4) Encounter, Drew Dowling, Arnold, 27 pts. (3-5-5-8).
Spinnaker II (2 qualifiers): 1) Shockwave, Bruce & AaronSerinis, Severna Park (1-1-1-1); 2) Katherine, (name, address unavailable) (2-2-3-3).
Now that the 1991 season of races sanctioned by the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association for High Point scoring has ended, division scorers rapidly are turning in the final standings for the various classes of racers on the bay.
For PHRF, the largest handicap division on the bay by far, the final results yieldedfew surprises despite some particularly narrow contests.
High Point standings are determined based on a ratio of points actually scored to points it would have been possible to have scored if a competitor had won a particular race.
Each racer earns one point for starting, one for finishing and one for each boat beaten. Extra bonus points for long-distance races also are available, and worst-race throw-outs accrue as more and more races are completed, with five being the minimum number of races that must be sailed to qualify for High Point scoring.
Each sailor's total actual score then is divided by the total number of points he would have earned if each race entered had been won, plus a factor of 30, to arrive at the final score.
Although winning High Point in PHRF B for Region 3 had not been his goal atthe start of the season, a strong season including very intense competition at or near the top of the heap led Larry Kumins to begin thinking seriously about the possibility that he and his PollyWannaCracka? team might actually achieve it, as in fact they did.
"The seasonstarted off in a pretty exciting way," Kumins said as he described last April's season-opening Naval Academy Sailing Squadron Spring Race. "We finished the race just behind (Donald Zinn's) Goldfish, and thenext boat was five minutes behind us, and at the party after that race people started talking about High Point, which had never been a goal of mine before."
Citing competition from boats including John and Karen Yeigh's Fast Track, Jerry Czosnowski's Full Cry, Steve Pollard's Hooligan and the Naval Academy's Thunderbolt, Kumins continued, "It was a very good season of the highest quality competition. As theseason evolved, and it became a situation where three or four boats were able to dominate the class on a reliable basis, it became clear we were going to push each other very hard."
Kumins said an added pleasure to the season were strong ties of friendship and a lot of light-hearted and very creative practical joking among the top contenders.
"It's funny, we only won four races all season, and we won Race Week without winning a race," Kumins said.