Wind dearth stymies Annapolis racers

SAILING

August 26, 1992|By NANCY NOYES

It was a frustrating weekend for at least half of the fleet that signed up for the Annapolis Yacht Club's Annual Regatta when a nearly complete lack of wind forced abandonment of racing plans Saturday.

Oh well, that's August on the Chesapeake.

The MORC, PHRF C and cruising one-design sailors scheduled to race that day instead spent a couple of hours bobbing around waiting for wind that never arrived, and trying to stay clear of a J/30 class water fight.

But Sunday was a little better and most of the 64 starters in the three IMS divisions, PHRF A-1, A-2 and B, and the J/35 class were able to complete a three-legged, six-mile, windward-leeward contest before the wind died again.

In fact, inconsistent air and radical wind shifts meant that for many competitors one short race turned into a combination of several individual events as big leads evaporated in windless holes and competition virtually began again at midpoints in the course.

"The wind was patchy and sporadic," said Len Eastman, winner of the 12-boat IMS III class with his Canadian Sailcraft 36 Hilite in what eventually became a fairly close race, with five finishers, including Eastman, crossing the line within the space of about a minute and a half.

In wind shifts he described as swinging from northeast at the start to southwest in the middle of the first leg, "What it boiled down to was those who stayed out of the lulls best did the best," Eastman said.

pTC "It turned out to be quite competitive, really," he said. "There were some in the lead who went over to the Eastern Shore side of the course. We saw them going into light winds, so we went to the Annapolis side and we got a big lead, but at the southern mark they caught up to us and it was a new race from there back up to the bridge."

Eastman said he chose to stay on the same basic track as fellow IMS III competitor Sonny Smith and his Farr 33 Uh-Oh, particularly as Uh-Oh has a much smaller handicap than Hilite in light air.

Eastman effectively could cover from behind and correct ahead of first-to-finish Smith, who finished fourth after corrections.

"We stayed right behind Uh-Oh so we got the same winds he did," Eastman explained. "His boat does pretty well in light air, and mine is kind of a tub in the same conditions, so he owes me a lot of time at a six-knots rating."

The IMS rule, based on a thorough measurement of a boat and its equipment to try to predict its performance potential under a variety of conditions, provides a series of different ratings for each boat in varying wind strengths and course configurations.

Richard Altman on his J/27 Vitality walked away with an impressive corrected-time finish more than eight minutes faster than his closest competition with a very early gun more than 10 minutes ahead of the PHRF B pack.

But sadly for Altman and the other PHRF B sailors, his finish was too late to save the race for High Point scoring.

His elapsed time was one minute, 41 seconds past the three hours that would have meant an average speed of two knots over the course for the first to finish -- a scoring requirement.

Smith's gun in IMS III also came too late to score his class for High Point, by 23 minutes, but the leaders of the other classes competing finished within the three-hour High Point deadline for the race with relative ease.

AYC Annual Regatta

IMS I (2 starters): 1. Immigrant, Marc McAteer, Annapolis, 1:38:26 c.t.

IMS II (7 starters): 1. Yellow Jacket, BS&W Syndicate, Annapolis, 1:34:06 c.t.; 2. Privateer, David Dodge, Annapolis, 1:39:45 c.t.; 3. Cody, Sandy Morse, Washington, 1:44:02 c.t.

IMS III (12 starters): 1. Hilite, Leonard Eastman, Annapolis, 2:02:50 c.t.; 2. Fast Track, Yeigh/Balaam, Annapolis, 2:03:53 c.t.; 3. Where Egos Dare, WED Syndicate, Annapolis, 2:06:52 c.t.

PHRF A-1 (10 starters/protests pending): 1. Airwaves, Butch Michel, Baltimore, 2:44:58 c.t.; 2. Infringer, Donald Zinn, Annapolis, 2:52:06 c.t.; 3. Moving Violation, Samuel Owings, Annapolis, 2:52:23 c.t.

l PHRF A-2 (15 starters): 1. Frog Legs, Paul Awalt, Ellicott City, 2:40:47 c.t.; 2. Moonlighting, Thomas French, Annapolis, 2:44:49 c.t.; 3. Think Fast, Albert Holt, Annapolis, 2:48:59 c.t.; 4. Dilemma, Jack Keniley, Annapolis, 3:06:53 c.t.

PHRF B (13 starters): 1. Vitality, Richard Altman, Baltimore, 2:49:23 c.t.; 2. Encounter, Drew Dowling, Arnold, 2:57:41 c.t.; 3. Witch's Flower, John Sherwood, Annapolis, 2:58:33 c.t.

J/35 (4 starters): 1. Moonbeam, KOD Syndicate, Annapolis; 2. Cheers, Timothy Bowen, Bowie.

*

Crusader Yacht Sales and the Chesapeake Bay Tartan Sailing Club will sponsor the annual All Tartan Regatta on Saturday, Sept. 19, at Port Annapolis Marina.

All area Tartan owners and crew are invited to the event.

A morning skippers' meeting for the race will be held under a tent at the marina at 10 a.m., and the non-spinnaker handicap race will begin at the mouth of the Severn River at 11:30 a.m.

After the race, an awards party and bring-your-own picnic are planned.

Beer, wine and set-ups will be provided, and slips are available at Port Annapolis for those who choose not to anchor in Back Creek.

All of the latest '93 Tartan models will be open for inspection at Crusader during the event.

For details, call Kelly Bickford at Crusader, 269-0939, or David Bourdon at 647-5023.

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