Teams buck the tide in Lighthouse race


June 03, 1993|By NANCY NOYES

Last weekend 22 teams of sailors spent 2 1/2 days on the bay's longest race to nowhere -- the Cape St. Claire Yacht Club's Chesapeake Lighthouse Challenge race.

Unlike long-distance races from Point A to Point B -- Annapolis to St. Mary's, for example -- the Lighthouse Challenge's down-bay-and-back courses ranging from 142 to 282 miles end up just over two miles from their starting point.

After a Friday evening start at Sandy Point Light, the fleet's biggest boats, in PHRF A-1 and A-2, raced to Chesapeake Light in the Atlantic off the mouth of the bay before heading back to finish at Baltimore Light, while their mid-sized confederates in PHRF B -- and the multihulls -- used Wolf Trap Light south of Fishing Bay as their turning mark, and the smallest contenders in PHRF C rounded Smith Point Light off the southern shore of the Potomac.

West River sailors Alex and Donna Schlegel and the crew on Rubadubdub found concentrating on their own sailing was the key to success in PHRF B, and allowed them to finish their 200-mile round trip before the raging ebb current that marked the weekend's conditions switched on full again.

"It seemed like the tide never stopped going out," Alex Schlegel said. "Sometimes it was almost like it was neutral, but the rest of the time it was really going hard."

For the first half of the race, Schlegel said his strategy simply was getting to the mark as quickly as possible without worrying about covering the competition through the first night.

The sun rose Saturday morning as Rubadubdub neared Wolf Trap, revealing other competitors ahead and rounding the mark.

"We watched other boats from our class go around the mark and put up chutes," Schlegel said, "and we saw them going backward down the bay in the tide, which was really strong. We were all within a few boat lengths when we got around the mark.

"Then, about five miles up from the mark there's a bar that sticks out. We snuck through a hole in the bar, and they went out into the bay and we never saw them again."

What was left of the southerly breeze faded and was replaced with a brisk northeaster, forcing the sailors to beat once again on the return trip up the bay, this time bucking the tide as well.

Chesapeake Lighthouse Challenge

PHRF A-1 (282 miles, 4 starters/3 finishers): 1. Moco Jumbie, Larry Puckett, Churchville, 1:18:27:37 c.t.; 2. Bandana, Charles Benson, Easton, 1:18:57:10 c.t.; 3. Now, Allen Davies, Wilmington, Del., 1:21:26:12 c.t.

PHRF A-2 (282 miles, 6 starters/4 finishers): 1. Bam, G.N. Smernoff, Annandale, Va., 1:17:26:43 c.t.; 2. Coyote, Gene Barnhart, Annapolis, 1:18:57:57 c.t.; 3. Think Fast, Albert Holt, Annapolis, 1:19:17:15 c.t.

PHRF B (200 miles, 4 starters/finishers): 1. Rubadubdub, Alex & Donna Schlegel, West River, 1:09:01:03 c.t.; 2. Wisp, Art Turowski, Arnold, 1:13:52:02 c.t.; 3. Asbury McLain, J.L. Glenn, Baltimore, 1:14:30:12 c.t.

PHRF C (142 miles, 5 starters/finishers): 1. Triple Dee III, Peter Driscoll, Beallsville, 0:23:19:36 c.t.; 2. Scrimshaw, Charles Deakyne, Severna Park, 1:00:26:45 c.t.; 3. Esprit, Brad Geddes, Severna Park, 1:01:52:27 c.t.

Multihull (200 miles, 3 starters/finishers): 1. Poltergeist, John Carr, (address unavailable), 1:11:42:21 c.t.; 2. Klingon Warrior, Walter Hatch, St. Mary's City, 1:17:30:34 c.t.; 3. Double Eagle, Rupert MacLean, Bowie, 1:17:48:51 c.t.

Action for small boats

Small-boat sailors had their fill of action over the weekend at Severn Sailing Association when the club conducted a five-race series for Thistles, International 14s, 5-0-5s and Lightnings.

"It was one of those crazy, shifty 25-knot days," Simeon Coxe, who sailed his new Lightning to victory in the regatta, said of Saturday's racing.

Sailing with his wife Kathy and middleman Jeff Riedle, Coxe was one of the few in his class who didn't see a wild first-race melee at the gybe mark when the skipper and a crew member fell off of one boat and two other boats came to the rescue.

Those affected by the near-disaster, Mike Denning and Phil Grotheer, were awarded YMP (Yacht Materially Prejudiced) av erages, leaving Grotheer with a slight edge over Coxe going i nto the last race on Sunday.

SSA Spring II

Thistle (8 starters): 1. John Quay, College Park, 14.75 (3-1-2-5-4); 2. Rosemary Martins, (address unavailable), 21.75 (7-2-1- 7-5); 3. Don Moore, Bowie, 22.5 (1-DNF-DNC-1-3).

International 14 (6 starters): 1. Roger Ewart-Smith, (address unavailable), 5 (1-1-1-2-1); 2. Lou Phillips, Columbia, 13.75 (DNC-2-2-1-2); 3. Sean Smith, Arnold, 16 (3-3-3-4-3).

International 5-0-5 (11 starters): 1. Mike Breault, (address unavailable), 11.75 (4-3-2-1-2); 2. Macy Nelson, Baltimore, 16.25 (1-1-1-10-4); 3. Henry Amthor, Hampton, Va., 22 (2-8-3-6-3).

Lightning (10 starters, provisional results): 1. Simeon Coxe, Annapolis, 8.5 (1-2-2-3-1); 2. Phil Grotheer, Annapolis, 9.375 (YMP-3-1-1-4); 3. Michael Beaver, New Cumberland, Pa., 14 (2-4-3- 2-3); 4. Mike Denning, Parkton, 21.5 (YMP-5-4-4-5).

Regatta at Solomons Island

Solomons Island was the site of last weekend's J/24 District Championship regatta, when 12 teams of sailors, including seven boats from the Annapolis fleet and one from Hampton, met for a five-race series Friday through Sunday.

Clarke McKinney and his crew quickly gained domination of the fleet. They had an eight-point lead by the end of Saturday's competition.

Top Annapolis finisher was the team of Ben and Carrie Capuco, and Peter Rich on Show Dog was second.

J/24 District 6 Championships

1. Project X, Clarke McKinney, Leonardtown, 8 (2-1-1-1-3); 2. Show Dog, Ben Capuco/Peter Rich, Annapolis, 16 (1-2-3-8-2); 3. Speed Limit, Rob Overton, Virginia Beach, Va., 17 (5-4-2-2-4); 4. Bangor Packet, Tony Parker, Washington, 24 (3-3-6-3-9); 5. Smooth Operator, David Raley, Mechanicsville, 27 (4-5-7-6-5).

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