Severn Sailing Association's annual Keelboat Regatta last weekend was a tough one. It was sailed in light to moderate breezes so shifty they caused some major upsets and highly inconsistent results in the three fleets of J/24s, Stars and Tempests.
If there were a consistency award for the regatta, it would have to go to Washingtonian Rene de la Rie, winner of the five-boat Tempest class' four-race series with a second and three aces. Other class winners had much more of a struggle for the top.
"The hardest part was trying to keep in phase with the wind shifts," said J/24 sailor Rusty Deane, who fought his way into second overall in the 24-boat J/24 class behind Bo McBee and his 1991 High Point winning crew on Rainbo.
"You could be winning, and then you'd get a big leftie [wind shift], and 10 boats would be in front of you. Boat speed was important, too, but it wasn't that important, which was good for us because I'm pretty new to the class, and I was sailing with people who had never sailed together before. But I had some college sailors on board who were pretty good."
This regatta was the second to last in a series of J/24 events since April that will determine the top four placers of the teams trying to earn a slot to compete in this year's J/24 World Championships in Annapolis Oct. 26-Nov. 6. The 13 teams of sailors eligible for that competition are in the final stages of the qualifying series in the Eastport Yacht Club's J/Jamboree regatta.
In the nine-boat Star class, Jim Kee knocked off his Star class mentor, veteran Elliott Oldak, by a point to win the regatta.
Kee began sailing the highly demanding Stars only about two years ago. He clearly has come a long way in a relatively short time and recently attributed improvements in his performance this season to a valuable chance to learn more about sailing Stars when he competed in the Star Olympic Trials in Florida earlier this spring.
SSA Keelboat Regatta
J/24 (24 starters): 1. Rainbo, Bo McBee, Lancaster, Pa., 18 (4-3-2-4-5); 2. US 438, Rusty Deane, Annapolis, 28 (2-5-12-7-2); 3. Bangor Packet, Tony Parker, Washington, 28.5 (18-1-5-1-4); 4. Latent Defect, Stewart Spettel, Alexandria, Va., 32 (5-2-3-15- 7); 5. Dusty Work, Doug Clark, Annapolis, 33 (3-8-7-6-9); 6. Bunky's Boat, Chip Carr, Severna Park, 35.75 (11-15-1-3-6); 7. Blood Sweat & Tears, Rick Bowe, Washington, 50.75 (17-PMS-6-2-1); 8. Dream Girl, Russell Potee, Arnold, 53.75 (1-7-20-5-21); 9. Milk Moustache, Thomas Luscher, [address unavailable], 55 (9- 13-8-17-8); 10. Sailin' Shoes, Scott Leonard, Annapolis, 56 (6- 17-9-9*-10).
Star (9 starters): 1. US 7428, Jim Kee, Annapolis, 13.75 (2-3-3-1-5); 2. US 7370, Elliott Oldak, Annapolis, 14.75 (1-2-2-6-4); 3. US 7307, Craig Coltharp, Stevensville, 21 (DNC-AVG-1-3-2).
Tempest (5 starters): 1. US 315, Rene de la Rie, Washington, 4.25 (2-1-1-1); 2. K 98, Malcolm Lawson, Boylston, Mass., 6.75 (1-2-2-2); 3. US 316, Ray O'Hara, Alexandria, Va., 17 (3-3-4- DNC).
The eight-week First Half of the Annapolis Yacht Club's Wednesday Night Series came to a close on June 24 after a full total of eight races for seven of the 10 classes competing, allowing for a worst-race throwout in the final scoring.
For the 12 IMS 1 and 25 PHRF 1 sailors, however, dying air at the end of the seventh race on June 17 shut them out of a full complement when the first in each class was unable to finish before the expiration of a two-hour time limit.
Recalculation of the results for the 13-boat J/30 class that evening also showed that it, too, did not make the time limit, so the J/30s will join the IMS and PHRF 1 divisions in being scored for a seven-race, no-throwout series.
Although there were many tight contests throughout the 133-boat fleet, perhaps none was closer than that in the 11-boat MORC class. There the final race's results knocked leader Dave Moss on Inside Scoop out of first and into a tie for second with Jack Keniley on Dilemma, both a mere 2 1/4 points behind Robert Reeves on A Train, who moved into first after the throwout.
The separately scored Second Half will begin July 8 and will run through the end of August.
. AYC Wednesday Night Series First Half Provisional Series Results
IMS 1 (12 entries): 1. Yellow Jacket, BFSS & W Syndicate, Annapolis, 36 (3-4-7-6-5-4-[DNC]-7); 2. Predator, Kaminer/Smith, Washington, 36.75 (2-3-2-1-3-[DSQ]-DNC-DNC); 3. [tie] Quintessence, Ben Michaelson, Annapolis, 38.75 ([DNC]-DNC-3-2-4-1-DNC-3); and Bucentaur, Steve Stunda/Richard Neville, Baltimore/Annapolis, 38.75 (6-1-9- [DSQ]-6-2-DNC-2).
IMS 2 (12 entries): 1. Hilite, Len Eastman, Annapolis, 9.75 2. Ramrod, Bert Jabin, Annapolis, 17.5 (1-3- 4- -1-2-4-3); 3. Snow White, Ned Shuman, Annapolis, 31 (7-2-3- 7-2-7-3-[DNC]).