Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Big J Fleet @ Annapolis Fall Series

J/122 Orion sailing Fall Series AnnapolisJ/122 Wins Storm Trysail Fall Regatta
(Annapolis, Maryland)- The Storm Trysail Club's Annapolis Fall Regatta provided a preview of close inshore racing expected at Quantum Key West Race Week in the IRC, ORC and One-Design Divisions.  Participating in this year’s event were J/80s, J/30s, J/35s, J/105s and J/122s, J/111s sailing in the handicap classes.

The road to Quantum Key West Race Week started with last weekend's 3-day Annapolis Fall Regatta, organized by the Chesapeake Station of the Storm Trysail Club and co-hosted by Eastport YC and SpinSheet Magazine. After three days of conditions ranging from light to moderate breeze and on courses varying from windward-leewards to a short offshore tour of the Chesapeake Bay, the fleet enjoyed over a half-dozen races for most classes.

Part of the gear-shifting was due not only to the conditions which ranged from a bright and sunny 10-16 knots on Friday to a cool and rainy 7-10 knots this morning, but also to the event's unique racing formats. Friday's 23-mile offshore race took the fleet from Annapolis across to the Eastern Shore, north upwind under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge halfway to the approaches to Baltimore Harbor, then back south to the Eastern Shore again before reaching back up the Severn River to a finish near the harbor in Annapolis. This race was scored as two races: times were taken at the northern-most mark for a 1.0 point-weighted race, while the elapsed times for the entire course were used to score a 1.5 point-weighted race.

Using ORC scoring within the same class, Paul Milo's J/122 ORION from Annapolis took victory by a 5.5-point margin, with all bullets and two seconds in the no-discard series. Milo also plans to head south for Key West, but via some distance races as well, including the Ft Lauderdale-Key West Race, the Miami-Havana Race, as well as Quantum Key West Race Week.

J/111 sailing Annapolis Fall SeriesAsked about his feelings on use of ORC for the first time, Milo commented "I think the system is great, it's based on measurements, its transparent, and it seems fair across the boat types. If we offered it more here in the Chesapeake I would definitely consider doing more racing here, particularly the distance races that we enjoy."

Taking second in ORR Class was Marty Roesch’s J/111 VELOCITY, posting all top three finishes to finish 5 pts back from Milo’s ORION.

On the IRC Class side of things, Milo’s ORION took 3rd in class behind two custom IRC boats followed by Bill Sweetser’s J/109 RUSH in 4th in class.

"We're really pleased to offer this regatta again this year to bring competitive big-boat racing to the Chesapeake," said PRO Dick Neville. "This year we had had a good turnout. We're always trying to innovate and make this event interesting, and I think we succeeded with that this year with our long course and the introduction of ORC scoring. Everyone had fun, and I thank our competitors for coming out to race, our Committee for all their efforts, and our sponsors at SpinSheet for all their support."

J/105s sailing Annapolis Fall SeriesAnnapolis YC Fall Series
In the J/105 class, sixteen boats enjoyed the weekend of sailing with Cedric Lewis on MIRAGE posting three bullets on their way to winning the class with just 14.5 pts.  Sailing nearly as consistently was Scott Gitchell’s crew on MIRAGE that completed the series with 18 pts.  By winning the first race long distance race for double-points, Jim Konigsberg’s INIGO was well-placed to win the regatta, but faded into the last two races with a 4-9 to drop into third overall.  The balance of the top five included Matt Robbins’ ALLEGIANCE in fourth with 34 pts, closely followed by Andrew Cherner’s CRASH just 1.5 pts back.

J/35 sailing Annapolis Fall seriesThe seven-boat J/35 class enjoyed good racing overall.  Nevertheless, it was James Sagerholm’s AUNT JEAN that again showed her transom to the fleet for most of the races, compiling five bullets of six possible races to win with just 7.5 pts.  However, just behind them it was a fight for who would end up on the podium.  Winning the battles and the war was Peter Scheidt’s MAGGIE, finishing with 17 pts to take the silver.  Just out of the money was Benjamin Travis’ BZING, taking third with just 18.5 pts.

The J/30s had a three-way battle over the weekend.  In the end, it was Rob Lundahl’s RAG DOLL that took class honors over Tristan & Sheila Keen’s INFECTIOUS SMILE in 2nd and Ron Anderson’s INSATIABLE in 3rd place.

With seven boats, the J/80s enjoyed good sailing with John White’s NOAA’s ARK winning class, followed by Dave Andril’s VAYU in 2nd position and Tom Walsh’s WINDRIDER in the 3rd spot.   Sailing Photo credits- Dan Phelps/SpinSheet   For more Storm Trysail Club's Annapolis Fall Regatta sailing information   For more Annapolis YC Fall Series sailing information