Locals make marks at Key West races


January 30, 1994|By NANCY NOYES

Plenty of local sailors headed south for warm air and hot racing at Yachting Race Week at Key West, Fla., Jan. 17-21, and many of them did well in moderate-heavy to heavy breezes and stiff competition.

Chief among the locals who shone was Jim Michie of Arnold, sailing his SR 33 Woftam to victory in PHRF 2, holding a quarter-point lead when the seven-race series closed.

"It was a lot of fun, and a lot of good racing," Michie said. "It was a nice big fleet and a lot of breeze. We only had one day when it was light, lightish, really, 10 to 15 knots and the rest of the time it blew 20-plus."

Sailing with Michie were plenty of locals, including helmsman John Clarke, Wendy Clarke, Tom Hiltabidle, Dave Zinn, Mick Price, tactician Jonathan Bartlett, Paul Ricketts and Walt Pletcher, as well as the boat's designer/builder Glen Henderson.

"We had good equipment, excellent sails, an excellent design, and killer people," Michie said. "There were no rock stars, and no strap hangers, just good solid boat people."

The core group of Michie's team has sailed together for about 10 years, he said.

In other action, Jervis Dorton and his crew on his Annapolis-based Pearson Flyer Flying Circus were running strong through the week in PHRF 6, holding the lead until the last day when a sixth-race disqualification toppled the crew to third.

Gay will be missed

On a sadder note, the local, national and international sailing community lost a treasure with the death of Annapolis yachtsman Arnold Channing Gay on Wednesday.

Gay, 74, was widely known and respected for his accomplishments on the water and off, as a businessman, tireless contributor to many aspects of Annapolis life and a friend.

A native of Massachusetts, Gay arrived in Annapolis in the '40s. He was instrumental in helping build Annapolis' maritime business community and took an active part in many civic activities.

In addition to many Chesapeake Bay high point awards for competition here, Gay also competed offshore regularly, and in 1978 won the St. David's Lighthouse Trophy for best overall in the Newport-to-Bermuda Race.

He was a longtime supporter of the Naval Academy's sailing programs and served as president of CBYRA, commodore of the Annapolis Yacht Club, president of the Annapolis Chamber of Commerce, among his many credits.

A man of integrity and vision, Gay was open-handed in sharing his ideas and counsel, as well as his time and energy. His contributions to Annapolis and the sailing community are too numerous to list.

Even during his last difficult years as he battled the degenerative tissue disease scleroderma, Gay continued to do what he could to help and encourage others. He will be missed.

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