The first half of Annapolis Yacht Club's popular Frostbite Series, which began Nov. 3, came to an end last Sunday with two brisk and breezy contests for the six-division fleet.
Since the tally of races completed came to only 10 of a possible 14 over the seven-week series,there will be no worst-race throw-outs. So, many of those who gambled by staying home for a race or two, or who suffered a disqualification, penalty, or a weak finish or two, will have to keep those expensive point scores in their accounting.
AYC's Special Events Race Committee Chairman Dan Spadone said that the Protest Committee still has some work to complete before the results will be final. But last weekend's racing must have been exciting, since rapid-fire, last-minute changes in the lineups took place that day in puffy and challenging 15- to 18-knot winds.
The most notable change, resulting from a strong push in three of the final four races and a miscalculation by the class' early-series leader, put Robert Reeves and his Laser 28 A Train team on top of the 10-boat MORC class, a mere quarter-point ahead of Jack Keniley and his J/29 Dilemmacrew.
In this class, the series leaders until the final week -- Al Graf and the team on his J/27 Fast Forward -- fell to fourth with a20 percent penalty added to a sixth-place finish in Race 9 on the final day.
Reeves had been third, then tied for second with Keniley at the end of the eighth race the previous week. But he managed an excellent recovery in the latter portion of the series, adding to his previous two bullets with wins in three of the final four races, making him the fleet's top ace with of five.
"It was a very close series, especially with Fast Forward, Dilemma and the two other Laser 28s -- Joe Cool and Second Repeat," Reeves said.
"The first race last Sunday, Fast Forward hit Dilemma at the start, so that took him out of it, and the other two Laser 28s were able to save their time on Dilemma, which left him in third, and us in fourth. That first race, that's what made it for us."
Of course, winning the 10th and final contest was a help as well, and made icing on the cake.
Sailing withReeves were Phil Sebring and Naval Academy Midshipmen Rob Schult of Severna Park and Tim Kelly of San Diego.
Reeves described his series, which included those five aces and a second, as well as a fourth,two sixths and an 11-point retirement, as "kind of all-or-nothing," but promised he'd be back out for the second half "and just try to make fewer mistakes, that's all."
In the Pearson 30 class, another narrowly contested division of the fleet, Phil Tierney and the crew onEnglish Muffin popped out at the top after a list of finishes which never fell below second, except for two DNCs and a fourth-race retirement. Even with this heavy burden, Tierney and company popped out of the toaster first, beating Steve Coe's Rising Star crew by just half a point.
Another narrow class in the upper ranges was PHRF 3, where Tom Walsh and his team on Four Little Ducks swam into first with the final couple of races.
Holding firm at the top virtually from the start of the series were PHRF 1 winner Heinz Scheidemandel on Jezebel, PHRF 2 leader Elliott Oldak on Decoy and J/22 class victor John Sherwood on Double Nickel.
The overall results are still provisional, since some protests are pending.
The separately scored second half will begin Jan. 5, and will conclude at the end of February if the weather holds, but may run into March if bad weather or a solidly frozen river forces cancellation of racing during that time.
NOTE: SEEHARD COPY FOR STATISTICS