Another Frostbite is in the books For some, cold was no deterrent

SAILING

March 07, 1993|By NANCY NOYES

Well, boys and girls, it's that time again. Annapolis Yacht Club's popular Frostbite Series has come to an end for another year, so it's time to find something else to do with Sunday afternoons until the "official" racing season starts at the end of April.

Some people regard frostbiters in the same light as the proverbial guy who kept hitting himself in the head with a hammer because it felt so good when he stopped. And from the tone of the cheering in response to the announcement that there would be no second race on Feb. 21 in a heavy snowstorm and limited visibility, there is probably at least some of that element to it, even for those who haven't missed a week since the series started the first weekend of November.

For most of the regulars in the fleet, however, even the worst weather conditions that keep lesser mortals home in front of their fireplaces are no deterrent to enjoying sailing competition on the water, and the end of another season of good racing is always something of a disappointment.

The second half of the series, scored separately from the November-December first half, was scheduled to begin Jan. 10, but was postponed a week by icy conditions. By the last Sunday in February, when the end of the series arrived, 11 races had been completed by the 60-plus starters in the six-class fleet. There had been a couple of weeks when only a single contest of the two scheduled could be run.

Under the rules, this truncation of the series meant that only one worst-race throw-out came into play in this half of the series, rather thanthe two that figured into the 14-race first half.

Blue Moon sailors Jim Ellis and crew in PHRF 2 and Karl Von Schwarz and his team on Huron in PHRF 3 were the only sailors to duplicate their class series firsts in the first half with overall wins in the second, but other examples of relatively spectacular sailing also were found in the second half.

For one team, led by Annapolitans Jim Hayes and Bob McKay on Hayes' J/22 Lounge Act, even staying home from the single race on the 21st after returning from the J/22 Midwinters in Florida resulting in an 18-point DNC (Did Not Compete) couldn't have hurt, however, since the team racked up an impressive string of nine bullets in their 17-boat one-design class during the series. Their winning streak ended when they finished second to Art Libby's No Problem in last Sunday's final race of the season.

Despite the Lounge Act crew's domination of the second half J/22 competition, Libby's team will move into second overall behind Lounge Act from an unadjusted position of third after throwing out an eighth-race DNC.

The J/22s were the only class in which the throw-out made a difference in the relative standings of the top contenders, with the exception of the large and highly competitive PHRF 1 class.

Although victory overall in this half is assured for Heinz Scheidemandel and his crew on Jezebel, with at least seven aces in their hand for the half, final results for this class were still somewhat unsettled in the face of possible protests to be heard this afternoon.

It's now almost time to start on spring maintenance, setups and repairs in anticipation of warm, sunny days to come. But for the hardy souls who stuck it out through the second half's fickle weather conditions, Sunday afternoons are going to be a little slow for a while.

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