"TC West River Sailing Club in Galesville is known primarily for high-quality, one-design, small-boat racing. But every year, the club generously shares its resources with bigger boats, playing host to a Summer Regatta for PHRF sailors and a few cruising one-design classes.
As in the past, this year's format included a 17.4-mile race from Annapolis to Galesville June 27, followed by a 13.4-mile buoy race on Sunday.
A 64-boat fleet made the trip from Annapolis on Saturday, and 50 of them stayed on in Galesville for the next day's event.
Unfortunately, some of the Saturday racers forgot to read the bottom of the Region 3 Annapolis Area racing marks page in their Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association Green Books. They wound up having to retire from the race or spend some time in the protest room for failure to honor Tolley Point buoy as a channel mark -- a long-time no-no any time it isn't specifically a rounding mark of the course.
Most of the other sailors found great competition. Though Non-spinnaker winner John Coyle and his Bluejay crew were the only ones to rack up aces both days, a number of racers scored one-two punches on the competition to win their classes for the regatta.
Among them was PHRF-B winner Richard Heintz, sailing his J/27 Yellow Bird to the gun both days, but falling to second the first day on correction behind Jervis Dorton's Pearson Flyer Flying Circus.
"Jervis is a real strong competitor," Heintz said. "He's a good sailor and is always very tough to beat."
Dorton was second on Sunday. Though the combined corrected times for both races give him a narrow edge, a stipulation of the General Sailing Instructions in the Green Book is that ties break in favor of the winner of the last race if they can't be broken first by comparing numbers of firsts, seconds and thirds, or next by who beat whom most often.
"Saturday was kind of a strange day," Heintz said. "We had a good strong breeze from the northwest at the beginning, but when we all got to Bloody Point, all the Class A boats were half-becalmed. Some of the leaders slid over to the Eastern Shore, and we were able to round the mark in the middle, or actually with some of the leaders, of the A class."
Although the breeze had filled in again over in the Eastern Bay, Heintz said, the fleet's light-air woes were far from over.
"The course carried us back across to the Western Shore," he said.
"Everything was going fine until halfway across the bay when the wind died again. But some of us were able to catch the new breeze out of the west pretty quickly, and we were able to get in to the finish pretty well.
"On Sunday, they sent us up to Thomas Point and back again," Heintz said. "The wind held pretty good, and it was a very close race. The first five of us or so were around the weather mark all within about 100 yards, and at the leeward mark we were still all within 100 yards."
Heintz said he was fourth at that mark, yellow nun '10B' southeast of Franklin Point, but pulled ahead to take the lead and the race on the final leg to the finish at the mouth of the West River.
"We were fortunate to go a little faster," he said. "It was a reach that turned into a spinnaker run."
WRSC Race to Galesville
Saturday, June 27
PHRF A-1 (11 starters): 1. Hot Spit, Jim Capron, Bethesda, 2:55:26 c.t.; 2. Sundog, Paul & Kathy Parks, Shady Side, 2:55:55 c.t.; 3. Repeat Offender, Vandergrift/Long, Severna Park, 2:56:54 PHRF A-2 (12 starters): 1. Moonlighting, Thomas French, Annapolis, 2:41:34 c.t.; 2. Think Fast, Albert Holt, Annapolis, 2:47:08 c.t.; 3. Cat's Paw, Butch Minson, Annapolis, 2:49:43 c.t.
PHRF B (10 starters): 1. Flying Circus, Jervis Dorton, Columbia, 2:38:25 c.t.; 2. Yellow Bird, Richard Heintz, Harwood, 2:40:41 c.t.; 3. Huckleberry, Peter Jones, Galesville, 2:47:06 c.t.
PHRF C (11 starters): 1. Gambier, Gerald Ragland, Alexandria, Va., 2:46:33 c.t.; 2. Early Bird, P.F. Seidel, Bel Air, 2:48:24 c.t.; 3. Triple Dee III, Peter Driscoll, Beallsville, 2:49:19 c.t.
PHRF Nonspinnaker (3 starters): 1. Bluejay, John Coyle, Alexandria, Va., 2:52:47 c.t.; 2. Second Start, Sidney Gottlieb, Rockville, 3:09:53 c.t.; 3. Class, Robert Polk, Annapolis, 3:12:49 c.t.
Triton (6 starters): 1. Luff Affair, Michael Hayes, College Park; 2. Sea Deuce, Eleanor Holmes, Great Falls, Va.; 3. Overdraft, David Hoyt, Glen Burnie.
Catalina 27 (11 starters): 1. Swell, Derick Lynch, Arnold; 2. Gusto, John Potvin, Annapolis; 3. Finnegan's Wake, John O'Brien, Pasadena.
WRSC Summer Regatta
Sunday, June 28
PHRF A-1 (6 starters): 1. Medicine Man, C.F. Kohlerman, Brookhaven, 2:29:20 c.t.; 2. Cheers, Tim Bowen, Bowie, 2:29:31 c.t.; 3. Repeat Offender, Vandergrift/Long, 2:30:16 c.t.
PHRF A-2 (9 starters): 1. Cat's Paw, Minson, 2:41:56 c.t.; 2. Moonlighting, French, 2:42:50 c.t.; 3. Buster, Michael DeRoche, Bowie, 2:49:12 c.t.
PHRF B (7 starters): 1. Yellow Bird, Heintz, 2:51:41 c.t.; 2. Flying Circus, Dorton, 2:53:44 c.t.; 3. Vitality, Richard Altman, Baltimore, 2:44:29 c.t.