A challenging five-race series for Optimist pram sailors, two separate divisions of 420 teams, and Lasers kept nearly 90 area young people busy for the better part of two days in the CBYRA Junior Open Championship Regatta, which was co-sponsored by Annapolis Yacht Club and Severn Sailing Association on Wednesday and Thursday.
The biggest division was Optimists, which were sub-divided into Red, Blue and White fleets based on age for scoring purposes, although a single starting line was used for the 38-boat overall fleet.
Winning the Red Fleet, the overall class, and the official Chesapeake Bay Optimist championship title and trophy after an intense series was Joseph Fava, 13, of Pasadena.
Fava said the key to his success was "keeping clear air and getting a good start" in the large fleet, describing relatively windy competition in Wednesday's one Olympic triangle and two windward-leeward races on courses set off of Chesapeake Harbour, and lighter air work in Thursday's two windward-leeward races in the same area.
"It picked up in the middle of the second race, though," Fava said.
Fava, who has been sailing with his family since infancy, is in his third year of sail training and competition at Severn Sailing Association's Junior Program.
He said his performance was given an extra boost to the top when three sailors who had led the fleet earlier in the series were
disqualified after protest hearings.
Sailing clean is an important part of sailing well, however, so his win was well-earned.
The regatta, which is showing steady growth from its roots as a pair of individual regattas sponsored by each of the co-sponsoring clubs which were merged last year, was better attended in every class and division, with sailors from both ends and both shores of the bay, as well as the immediate area, taking part.
It was a second 420 win, this time in the International division, for AYC's Karen Coe and crew Carolyn Manion, who won the Club 420 class and overall 420 fleet last year.
This strong duo, who are key members of the St. Mary's High School sailing team and have sailed together as a team for about three years, posted the best score in the regatta, bringing in finishes including three aces and a pair of seconds against locally well-known and notoriously tough competition.
In the slightly larger Club 420 class this year, Tim Libby and his crew Brian Stodd distinguished themselves with a strong showing.
Libby, 15, another member of an active sailing family who started young, is in his fourth year racing 420s at SSA. He said that the competition in the Club division was typically tough.
"In a lot of the races I came from behind," he said. "We used tactics so that when the wind would change, we'd tack to get the better wind."
St. Mary's sailing team member Myles Conway did a good job dominating the 18-boat Laser fleet, acing three of the five races.
CHESAPEAKE BAY JUNIOR OPEN REGATTA
Optimist Overall (38 starters): 1. Joseph Fava, Pasadena, 26 (3-6-5-4-8); 2. Brian Conway, Annapolis, 29 (6-2-9-8-4); 3. Matt Lane, [address unavailable], 33.75 (13-1-7-6-7); 4. Steve Miernicki, Severna Park, 42 (10-12-3-11-6); 5. Scott MacMullan, Arnold, 48 (8-11-8-16-5); 6. Jeffrey Cox, Easton, 48 (9-3-12-9- 15); 7. Karl Schneider, Annapolis, 50 (2-DSQ-2-2-2); 8. Alistair James, Easton, 52.5 (5-DSQ-4-1-1); 9. Jane Delashmutt, Oxford, 57.75 (7-DSQ-1-5-3); 10. Parker Garrett, Richmond, Va., 62 (17-5- 16-12-12).
Optimist Red Fleet (Ages 13-15, 12 starters): 1. Fava, 26; 2. Miernicki, 42; 3. Schneider, 50.
Optimist Blue Fleet (Ages 11-12, 17 starters): 1. Conway, 29; 2. Lane, 33.75; 3. MacMullan, 48; 4. Cox, 48.
Optimist White Fleet (Age 10 and under, 9 starters): 1. Rusty Potee, Arnold, 80 (18-8-15-17-22); 2. Edward Scott, Annapolis, 138 (30-22-29-30-27); 3. Vincent Bousquet, [address unavailable], 143 (24-DSQ-27-21-29).
International 420 (6 starters): 1. Karen Coe, Annapolis, 6.25 (1-1-2-1-2); 2. Brad Julian, Annapolis, 7.5 (2-2-1-2-1); 3. Liza Hughes, Annapolis, 17 (3-3-5-3-3).
Club 420 (10 starters): 1. Tim Libby, Annapolis, 12.5 (5-2- 1-4-1); 2. Noah Donaldson, Annapolis, 13.75 (3-1-4-2-4); 3. Sean Wooldridge, Annapolis, 16 (2-4-2-6-2).
Laser (18 starters): 1. Myles Conway, Annapolis, 11.25 (1-6- 1-3-1); 2. Jeremy Wilson, Severna Park, 15.75 (3-1-2-7-3); 3. Neil Smith, Edgewater, 19 (2-4-3-2-8); 4. Jeffrey Roberts, Annapolis, 19.75 (4-2-8-1-5).
With the Yachting magazine Governor's Cup overnight race from Annapolis to St. Mary's City just ahead for so many local sailors, I'd like to share some observations made from the Solomons Island Race finish-line committee boat last weekend.
* Red sail numbers are extremely difficult for the race committee to read with a spotlight in the dark, particularly on a mylar or mylar/kevlar sail.
If your numbers are red (or you are using a dark-colored spinnaker), especially if you finish at the pin end of the line, it may be necessary to check in with the committee boat to make sure they have been able to record your finish.