Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association Region 2 sailors enjoyed a challenging weekend of varying conditions and solid competition in back-to-back events.
They had the Magothy River Sailing Association Race to Baltimore, sponsored by the Harbor Hospital Center last Saturday, and the Rock Creek Racing Association Baltimore Harbor Race on Sunday.
Winners in Saturday's MRSA race, on a course shortened to 18.8 miles from the PHRF A division's 24.8-mile route -- and of the Harbor Hospital Center's Gull Trophy for best overall in the event -- were Pasadena sailor Les Toeplitz and his crew aboard his Morgan 27 Wizard. Their PHRF C-2 win was by 18 seconds over second-place Dennis Rice and crew aboard his J/22 Accomplice in the day's tightest race.
"It was probably the best wind we've ever had for this race," said Toeplitz, MRSA's vice commodore. "It filled in to a fairly consistent northwesterly, about 8 knots at the start building to 12, 13, 14 by the time most of us got in, with 1 1/2 - to 2-foot seas."
Although Toeplitz found the choppy water difficult, he relished the battle as he jockeyed for position with Rice and Craig Decker and his Sure Cure crew.
"You couldn't let down your guard at all," Toeplitz said. "You were racing all-out all the time. The three of us vied for position back and forth, and we all finished very close together."
Toeplitz said a key to the race was knowing his competition and using aggressive covering techniques to stay within range until he could catch Rice on the long reach up to Nine-Foot Knoll.
"We rounded the mark almost together and put up our chutes," Toeplitz said. "Normally, he would be very hard to catch under spinnaker, because that boat surfs, but with the wind the way it was I was able to just fly."
After passing Accomplice, Toeplitz closed with Sure Cure on the next long beat and held on to take the gun.
Light air greeted the fleet on Sunday, but the RCRA race #F committee held firm with the planned 11.8-mile course.
After the racers bobbed in dead air and sweltering heat through most of the initial four-mile beat, the wind eventually filled in and the race was completed by late afternoon, although the fleet was widely strung out by the time the survivors reached the finish.
This time the C-2 victory went to Rice, with Toeplitz in second some seven minutes behind.
Note to competitors: Race results for both events were reported by boat name only, and although some skippers were easily identifiable in my data bases from that factor alone, others were more difficult and required some careful guesswork. Apologies to anyone who was misidentified despite my best efforts.
MRSA Race to Baltimore
PHRF A (20 starters): 1. Baffled, Vance Strausburg, St. Michaels, 4:14:21 c.t.; 2. Duckbill Charlie, Charles Ratcliff, Arnold, 4:17:45 c.t.; 3. Good Times, Bill Schwarz, Randallstown, 4:18:22 c.t.; 4. Wahoo, Henry Fretz, Rock Hall, 4:21:35 c.t.; 5. Albatrossi, David Rossi, Severna Park, 4:23:10 c.t.
PHRF B (13 starters): 1. Encounter, Drew Dowling, Arnold, 3:13:35 c.t.; 2. Another Fine Mess, Eugene Bremont, Baltimore, 3:14:58 c.t.; 3. Vitality, Richard Altman, Baltimore, 3:15:25 c.t.
PHRF C-1 (8 starters): 1. Bluesmobile, Alan Hardesty, Baltimore, 3:15:40 c.t.; 2. Rebecca, Bill Paul, Pasadena, 3:23:33 c.t.; 3. Esprit, Brad Geddes, Severna Park, 3:27:10 c.t.
PHRF C-2 (8 starters): 1. Wizard, Les Toeplitz, Pasadena, 3:26:19 c.t.; 2. Accomplice, Dennis Rice, Timonium, 3:26:37 c.t.; 3. Sure Cure, Craig Decker, Pasadena, 3:28:00 c.t.
Multihull (8 starters): 1. The Karis, Michael Ivy, Arlington, Va.; 2. Fast Break, Tom Linton, Riva; 3. Leading Lady, Michael Beaver, New Cumberland, Pa.
Alberg 30 (8 starters): 1. Mustang, Joseph Credit, Baltimore; 2. Sundance, Bert Nye, Annapolis; 3. Lingin, Bruce Rankin, Annapolis.
Triton (4 starters): 1. Winsome, John Hayes, Arnold; 2. Sea-Deuce, Eleanor Holmes, Falls Church, Va.
RCRA Baltimore Harbor Race Back
PHRF A (9 starters): 1. Frog Legs, Paul Awalt, Annapolis, 3:06:01 c.t.; 2. Zingarella, George Brown, Port Republic, 3:33:58 c.t.; 3. Snallygaster, Charles Stein, Baltimore, 3:42:11 c.t.
PHRF B (14 starters): 1. Vitality, Altman, 3:59:55 c.t.; 2. Desperado, Woody Snyder, Newark, De., 4:08:20 c.t.; 3. Stinger, Harwin Smith, Wilmington, Del., 4:13:29 c.t.
PHRF C-1 (9 starters): 1. Early Bird, Patrick/Robert Seidel, Bel Air, 3:54:30 c.t.; 2. Bluesmobile, Hardesty, 4:22:16 c.t.; 3. Esprit, Geddes, 4:34:22 c.t.
PHRF C-2 (7 starters, protest pending): 1. Accomplice, Rice, 4:03:43 c.t.; 2. Wizard, Toeplitz, 4:10:59 c.t.; 3. Finnegan's Wake, John O'Brien, Pasadena, 4:25:14 c.t.
Multihull (10 starters): 1. Leading Lady, Beaver; 2. Fast Break, Linton; 3. The Karis, Ivy.
Triton (6 starters): 1. Traveler, Jasper Welch, Arlington, Va.; 2. Sea-Deuce, Holmes; 3. Overdraft, David Hoyt, Glen Burnie.
The Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis played host last weekend to the 420 National Championships for 37 teams from across the nation.