For Chessie Racing, dream of a sail

On The Outdoors

June 17, 1999|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,SUN STAFF

Clarification

The $2 rockfish permit was abolished June 1, rather than July 1, as reported last week. However, the cost of a bay fishing license for tidal waters will rise from $7 to $9.

Speed records under sail require a special blend of wind, sea, equipment and crew performance, and from shortly after noon Saturday until early Monday afternoon, the right combination was in place for Chessie Racing in the Annapolis to Newport sailing race.

"Everything was perfect," said Gary Jobson, ESPN sailing editor and watch captain aboard George Collins' Santa Cruz 70. "I think George's buying this boat is perfect, too, and I hope he campaigns it, because he can set some more records around the world."

Chessie Racing completed the 473-mile race to Newport, R.I., in 47 hours, 45 minutes, breaking the record of 53 hours, 31 minutes set by Starlight Express in 1987.

The start, at 12: 40 p.m. last Saturday, set the tone, with Chessie Racing flying down the Chesapeake Bay, reaching the bridge-tunnel by 10: 30 p.m.

"That's about as quick as you can get out the bay, and I'm not certain anyone has done it any faster," said Jobson.

Collins and his all-star crew found a good southeasterly wind about 9 a.m. Sunday and rode it all the way to Newport.

Chessie topped 19 knots at one point and averaged more than 11 knots over the course of the race.

Class winners (boat name, design, owner/skipper, yacht club, corrected time):

IMS I -- Veritas, Frers 46, Philip A. Hutchinson, Annapolis Yacht Club, 46 hours, 57 minutes, 57 seconds.

PHRF I -- American Promise, Hood 60, Ens. Daniel Tarman, Naval Academy Sailing Squadron, 44: 24: 54. 4. Donnybrook, Custom 73, Jim Muldoon, AYC, 46: 46: 35. 5. Chessie Racing, Santa Cruz 70, George J. Collins, AYC, 47: 44: 57.)

PHRF II -- Panther, Swan 47, Jim Rogers, AYC, 41: 33: 2.

PHRF III -- IO, J/42, David Mooberry, CSA, 39: 16: 59.

PHRF IV -- Dear Friend, CSY 50, Bill Kardash, AYC, 33: 16: 59.

Rockfish changes

The size and creel limits for rockfish in Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries changed this week to two fish per day at 18 inches or longer.

Those limits will be in effect until the close of the rockfish season at the end of November.

Also, effective July 1, anglers will no longer be required to buy a $2 rockfish permit. However, the cost of a bay fishing license for tidal waters will rise from $7 to $9.

White perch record

Mary Godfrey of Owings Mills, caught a 12-inch, 1-pound white perch May 1 at Liberty Reservoir to set the initial state record for fresh water. The catch was checked at Clyde's Sports Shop and verified by fisheries biologist Ed Enamait.

The fishing report

Salt water

Upper Chesapeake: The eastern edge of the shipping channel from Belvedere Shoal to Sandy Point continues to be among the best choices for trollers fishing for rockfish. Depths of 35 to 50 feet have been turning up rock from 21 to 26 inches. Chumming is picking up at the mouth of the Chester River.

Middle Chesapeake: Chumming has yet to kick in, but trollers working the 35- to 45-foot contours from Chesapeake Beach to the Gas Docks have been doing well on rockfish. Scattered catches of bluefish also have been reported. Croaker are very active around dusk at James Island, Breezy Point and Poplar Island.

Lower Chesapeake: Chumming for rockfish has taken hold in this area, especially from the HS Buoy to the Shell Leads. The evening bite for croaker has been strong from Hog Point to Cedar Point in the Patuxent River, in 25- to 45-foot depths from Hooper Island Straits to the Target Ship, at Kedges Straits and Great Rock and Island Rock in Tangier Sound. Sea trout are mixed with the croaker.

Ocean City: At the inlet, piers and the Route 50 bridge, sea trout from 16 inches to 9 pounds have been hitting twisters and crab baits. Flounder catches have been spotty in the back bays, but large fish have been among those boated.

Tidal Potomac: Largemouth bass and some rockfish in the shallows along marshbanks or grass beds early and late in the day, with bass moving to wood cover during bright hours.

Fresh water

Upper Potomac: Water levels remain very low, but good action on smallmouth bass and sunfish, along with improving catfish catches.

Deep Creek Lake: Piers and wood structure in 8 to 12 feet of water are good bets for bass, along with big bluegills, which are in shallow water before temperatures rise. Yellow perch and pickerel in the northern reaches of the reservoir.

Liberty Reservoir: White perch are suspended in deeper waters, and crappie are close to beaver huts. Bass moving into waters 10 to 29 feet deep. Rockfish off rocky points in low-light hours.

Loch Raven: White perch suspended along edges off the main channel, pickerel in and around grass beds. Bass on the grassy flats early and moving into adjacent deeper water as the days brighten.

Pub Date: 6/17/99

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