Here's how to cure weekend blahs Rhode River club's Spring Series shakes off rust

SAILING

April 04, 1993|By NANCY NOYES

Chances are most racing sailors have been using their winter weekends for other pursuits than keeping themselves, their crews and their boats in top competitive trim.

And even frostbiters have had to give up that pursuit with the end of those series well before the start of this area's High Point racing season with the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron Spring Race on May 1.

There's a cure out there for boring weekends without any racing, and a remedy for winter rust in the skills and speed department, and it starts in about a week.

It's Rhode River Boat Club's annual Spring Series, and it's just what the doctor ordered for sailors whose skills have gotten a little rusty. It's also a great opportunity for those who want to train new crew or try out racing as newcomers, without the pressure of knowing performance counts toward annual High Point scores.

In short, it's a chance to have some relaxed fun while racing, whether or not more serious racing is your interest or goal.

The series, which will consist of three to five races over Saturdays, April 10, 17 and 24, is open to all yachts over 19 feet LOA that meet PHRF Class 5P requirements and have bow and $$ stern pulpits and lifelines.

Racing newcomers as well as veterans specifically are invited and encouraged to take part in the series in the Green Book regatta notice, which also stipulates that boats without a PHRF rating will be assigned one by the race committee.

Organized as a preseason warm-up regatta, the RRBC Spring Series does not count toward High Point by the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association, although it is sanctioned on the official calendar and listed with a notice of regatta in the CBYRA Green Book for the first time this year.

Race organizers hope to be able to complete two races on each of the first two Saturdays, with the fifth and final race set for the last week of the series. Courses will be set using government marks in and near the Severn River, and each Saturday's rendezvous is 10 a.m. at Quickflash Bell '15' off the Naval Station near the mouth of Spa Creek.

Organizers promise to give starts for any class with three or more entries that requests one, and typically accommodate several one-design groups, even including a few, such as Tanzer 22s, which are not officially sanctioned one-design classes of CBYRA.

PHRF splits for the event, as well as assignment of any one-design start times, will be announced at the skippers' meeting on April 10, at 9 a.m. at the Severn River Yacht Club at Mears Marina at 519 Chester Ave. in Eastport.

That means that anyone competing in the series needs to attend the meeting to find out what's going on.

Trophies will be awarded on series scores at a post-race party after the final event on April 24 at SRYC.

Under the specific rules for this event, which are similar to many conventional frostbiting regulations, crews must be made up of a minimum of three people, and must wear float coats, USCG-approved life jackets, or exposure suits when out of the cockpit, or if the Race Committee displays a signal requiring all crew to do so.

Spinnakers, bloopers, mizzen staysails, balloon fisherman sails, and spinnaker and whisker poles will not be allowed, and no sail changes may be made after the start, except for lowering or reefing.

Sailors can register for the RRBC Spring Series by sending a completed standard CBYRA entry form, along with the $15 registration fee, to RRBC Race Committee, 630 Americana Drive, #111, Annapolis, Md. 21403. Entries are due by the pre-series skippers' meeting, so sailors can bring them along rather than mail them, if desired.

For more information, check your Green Book (which should be in the mail to you now), or call Norman Baldwin, (410) 269-6660.

There's a new boat in town

If you were among the thousands who went to Atlantic City in February for Sail Expo, you can't have missed the indoor sailing pool with its enthusiastic hordes of folks trying sailing, often for the first time.

The cute little number they were using in the tank was a new 14-foot daysailer with color-coded wind indicator/sail trim system, roller furling main and an inboard solar-powered electric motor, among other neat features, called an Expo Solar Sailer, designed by Gary Hoyt and built by Tillotson Pearson Inc. in Rhode Island.

The boat is designed to be fun and easy to sail as well as easy to learn to sail, addressing the desires of those who want to go out for a pleasure sail with a minimum of fuss with rigging, and without fear of getting becalmed and stranded away from the dock.

Now TPI has announced the appointment of Chesapeake Solar Sailer Corp. in Annapolis as one of its dealers.

The new company has been established by Annapolis sailor Bruce Krause and Dick Lean, president of Chesapeake Sailing School, and is located at Port Annapolis Marina off Edgewood Road at 7074 Bembe Beach Road in Annapolis.

Demonstration sails in the Expo Solar Sailer are now available at Chesapeake Solar Sailer Corp., along with rentals at $100 per day and instruction starting at $95 through the Chesapeake Sailing School.

For more information, or to schedule a test sail, call (410) 269-1594.

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