Cann catches right wind at Oxford

SAILING

August 19, 1993|By NANCY NOYES

It happens every August.

The tiny Eastern Shore town of Oxford experiences a temporary population explosion, as hundreds of sailors converge on the Tred Avon Yacht Club for the Oxford regatta -- a three-day affair for boats of virtually every size and description and for sailors of any age.

More than 115 handicap and cruising one-design boats took off from Annapolis Friday for the 29-mile sail down the Chesapeake and up the Choptank and Tred Avon rivers to finish at Oxford.

Seventy of them stayed on for round-the-buoys racing on Saturday, when they were joined by more than 110 one-design boats, in town for a two-day, three-race event of their own.

Turning in the best corrected time of any PHRF racer and winning Friday's largest class was Jerry Cann and his crew on his Melges 24 Crusader Rabbit.

Cann also had the day's largest margin of victory, winning the 26-boat PHRF A-2 class by about 16 minutes, on a day in which close racing was the rule, not the exception.

"We were the best guesstimators out there," Cann said. "It started out as a real skewed beat, but the wind backed to the northeast, and it turned into a spinnaker reach."

Saturday was a day with variable and shifty winds when local knowledge paid off, as most of the class winners were from the Eastern Shore.

Sunday's breezes also were variable, but a healthy blow helped to complete the weekend for the one-designs. Competition also was dominated in many classes by Tred Avon's own.

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