Whitbread is now more than knots and sails

September 28, 1997|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,SUN STAFF

At midday Friday, Chessie Racing, the Baltimore-Annapolis entry in the Whitbread Round the World Race, was comfortably in fifth place, trailing the leaders in the fleet by about 50 nautical miles.

And while Innovation Kvaerner (Norway) and EF Education (Sweden) changed the lead seemingly every six-hour check-in, Chessie skipper Mark Fischer of Baltimore reported by e-mail that the Chesapeake boat is sailing well, and life aboard is never dull.

"In the old days of wooden ships and iron men, the crew just needed to be able to hoist sails and tie good knots," Fischer said last week. "The sails still need to go up and down, and there are still knots to tie. But instead of spending idle time whittling scrimshaw, today's crews need to be electricians, plumbers, riggers, diesel mechanics and computer scientists just to keep the boat running."

Although the first leg of the 31,600-nautical-mile race has been easy so far, Fischer said on board Chessie the crew has managed to break a halyard, a stanchion and a shackle for the running backstay.

Also, the boat's 12-volt electrical system has been rewired, the transferable ballast system rebuilt, and work continues on the generator motor, which Fischer reports is barely running.

"To boot, we can't get the video editing system to work," said Fisher, "and I don't think the digital still camera output is working very well, either."

The camera systems are aboard to relay footage of the race to Whitbread headquarters in England.

"It is no big deal to have two full repair jobs laid out above and below decks simultaneously," said Fischer. "At the same time, the kettle is whistling, one bowman is going up the mast for a spinnaker peel, the other bowman has the video camera rolling, and it is time for me to go help gather in the old kite as it comes in under the boom."

Smithsonian hunt

A managed deer hunt again will be held at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Anne Arundel County. The dates during firearms season (shotgun, rifled slugs only) are Nov. 29 and Dec. 1, 5, 6, 8, 12 and 13.

Hunting will be allowed from 30 minutes before sunrise to 2 p.m., and hunters who acquire permits must have a portable tree stand that rises at least 10 feet. Hunters who qualify will be allowed two deer, the first of which must be antlerless. The second may be of either sex, and only antlered deer will count toward the statewide bag for deer season.

Permits will be selected by lottery and applications must be submitted to DNR's Wildlife Division office in LaPlata (5625 Myrtle Grove Road, 20646) by noon Friday. The drawing will be held Oct. 7 at the Myrtle Grove office.

Call 301-743-5161.

MSSA fall tournament

Winners in the recent Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association fall tournament were:

Rockfish: 1. Richard Oden, Waldorf, 17.3 pounds; 2 and 3. Timothy Mills, Federalsburg, 16.75 and 14.50.

Bluefish: 1. Anthony Jaskulski, Dundalk, 2.86; 2 and 3. Brad Emerson, Westminster, 2.75 and 2.68.

Pub Date: 9/28/97

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.