Dying light breeze for the first day of the Sailing Club of the Chesapeake's Spring Race last weekend forced course shortening for three of four classes.
Heavier conditions the next day, coupled with chilly drizzle, made mercifully quick work of that day's 7.7-mile contest for an additional three classes of starters.
In Saturday's competition, only the PHRF A-0 division sailed its full original course of 7.8 miles, while the course for the PHRF A-1, A-2 and B sailors was shortened to 6.1 miles in dying breeze, which dropped from five to 10 knots at the start.
"The race committee work was excellent," said John Yeigh of Annapolis, whose veteran team aboard his J/35 J-Bird won the PHRF A-1 class while also taking line honors.
"It was the first time we've seen a major club shorten a course for some classes in a dying breeze; we really appreciated it."
Added Yeigh: "Did you ever have one of those races where everything just went right? We got off cleanly, the crew work was excellent, and a couple of shifts went our way it all just worked out."
Sunday's fleet drew 30 starters; although the MORC class did not participate as scheduled, 13 J/30s were on the line, along with the Catalina 27s and Cal 25s.
On Sunday Naval Academy professor Bruce Johnson of Bowie sailed Pussycat to victory in the Catalina 27 class.
"The race committee ran a pretty fair race, considering how lousy the weather was," he said.
"The course was good, and we were all finished by about one o'clock. The breeze was up and down, and got up around 20 apparent at the end. I ended up reefing the main on the last leg."
Saturday, May 13
PHRF A-0 (7 starters/5 finishers): 1. Sundog, Paul and Kathy Parks, 1:49:55 c.t.; 2. Gaucho, Peter Gordon, 1:59:58 c.t.; 3. Ramrod, Bert Jabin, 2:14:44 c.t.
PHRF A-1 (10 starters/8 finishers, protest pending): 1. J-Bird, Yeigh/Henderson, 1:24:39 c.t.; 2. Grayling, Richard Born, 1:27:33 3. Sugar Magnolia, Larry Kumins, 1:27:59 c.t.
PHRF A-2 (16 starters/15 finishers): 1. BAM, G.N. Smernoff, 1:29:41 c.t.; 2. Accomplice, Chuck Coyer, 1:29:46 c.t.; 3. Uh-Oh, C.R. "Sonny" Smith Jr., 1:33:27 c.t.; 4. Contraire, Steve Schaub, 1:36:28 c.t.; 5. Stinger, Stinger Synd., 1:36:59 c.t.
PHRF B (5 starters/3 finishers): 1. Making Waves, Miller/Praley, 2:02:53 c.t.; 2. Poley, D. Lanseil, 2:52:34 c.t.; 3. Quicksilver, Guy Collins, 2:54:34 c.t.
Sunday, May 14
J/30 (13 starters): 1. BeBop, Rutsch/Aras; 2. Jaguar, Al Schreitmueller; 3. Better Mousetrap, Bob Putnam; 4. Cannonball, Bill Wallop.
PHRF C (2 starters): 1. Allegro, J. Thomas Sliter, 1:09:03 c.t.
Catalina 27 (8 starters): 1. Pussycat, Bruce Johnson; 2. Gusto, John Potvin; 3. Cheshire Cat, Francis Wright.
Cal 25 (7 starters): 1. Blades, Dave Wooldridge; 2. CL2, Gary Swanhart; 3. Chicken Little, Charlie Husar.
The local Melges 24 fleet fielded eight boats last weekend for the Eastport Yacht Club Invitational regatta, in a five-race, mixed bag of conditions ranging from light and shifty air with a strong opposing current for Saturday's two races, to moderate to heavy conditions for Sunday's three races.
"There were lots of terrible things that could happen to one who was in the wrong place at the wrong time in the light air on Saturday," said regatta winner Tom French of Olney, who climbed from second to first overall in Sunday's final race.
With a first and a second in Saturday's racing, fleet newcomer Fred Potts of Annapolis led going into Sunday's competition.
After two additional second-place finishes, Potts continued to lead the pack until he had a bad gybe the last leg of the last race and lost two boats, in the heaviest air of the day for a fifth-place finish.
French's team scored its second ace of the day to win by 1.25 points.
1. Tom French, 10.5 (2-4-1-3-1); 2. Fred Potts, 11.75 (1-2-2-2-5); 3. Griff Anderson, 20.75 (3-8-5-1-4); 4. Ron Steele, 22.75 (8-1-3-PMS-2).
SSA Spring I results
J/22 (21 starters): 1. James Hayes, 7 (2-5); 2. Andrew Scott, 7.75 (1-7); 3. Dave Alexander, 8 (4-4); 4. Evan McCordick, 8.75 (8-1); 5. Peter McChesney, 11 (5-6); 6. Kevin Elion, 12 (9-3); 7. Bill Dana, 17 (6-11); 8. Glenn Robbins, 17 (7-10); 9. Todd Hiller, 22 (10-12); 10. Tip Clifton, 23 (14-9).
J/24 (17 starters): 1. Benedict Capuco, 5.75 (5-1); 2. Steve and Margaret Podlich, 6 (4-2); 3. Dave Eggleton, 7.75 (1-7); 4. Mark Hillman, 8 (2-6); 5. Dan Hawthorne, 11 (6-5); 6. Anthony Flake, 13 (9-4); 7. Mike Colbert, 16 (13-3); 8. Holly Wolford, 16 (8-8).
Soling (5 starters): 1. Peter Gleitz; 2. Michael Butz; 3. Tom Davies.