Friday, October 27, 2017

Riveting Annapolis YC Fall Series

J/70s sailing off Annapolis (Annapolis, MD)- For the 2017 edition of the annual fall tradition on the Chesapeake Bay, a large turn-out of J/crews participated in the Annapolis YC’s Fall Series.  A wind variety of weather conditions greeted the eager crews that were sailing in J/22s, J/70s, J/80s, J/30s, J/35s, J/105s and a smattering of J’s in ORC handicap division.

In six windward/leeward races and one long distance coastal race, the Annapolis YC Fall Series “Big Boat” division in ORC 1 Class was won by Jim Connelly’s J/111 SLUSH FUND; they were well-tuned and trained after going up against the world’s best at the J/111 World Championship held earlier in the summer on San Francisco Bay.  Conditions were varied enough to use all three levels of ORC Triple Number Scoring – Low, Medium and High – and both the Windward/Leeward and Long Distance scoring models. In the end, Connelly’s SLUSH FUND posted five 1sts and 4-2 to win with just 11 pts, well clear of the next boat. Fourth in class, after having to count a DNC/9 in the first race, was Marty Roesch’s J/111 VELOCITY; posting the second best scores in class other than the 9th they had to count!

In the PHRF ToT Division, the same boats above were scored using PHRF handicap ratings.  Connelly’s crew on SLUSH FUND still won, but Roesch’s VELOCITY crew jumped into 3rd place.

The eighteen J/105s had their usual tight racing throughout the fleet.  Depending on how well “crewed-up” each team is for the series will have a dramatic effect on how each boat gets around the track- an easy way to tell is whether (a) they can start and (b) they can get around the corners without making bad mistakes!  Leading the pack after seven races was the duo of Cedric Lewis & Fredrik Salvesen on MIRAGE, posting all top four finishes to win with 20 pts.  Not far off their pace was Ben duPont’s CTRL ALT DEL, never winning a race and had all top five finishes to close with 24 pts!  Taking third on the podium was John White’s USA 113 with 35 pts. Rounding out the top five were Jim Koningsberg’s INIGO with 39 pts and Carl & Scott Gitchell’s TENACIOUS with 42 pts.

The familiar couple team of Jenn & Ray Wulff, posting a 3-2-1-1-3 for 10 pts, won the eight-boat J/70 class.  Two points back was the Chip/ Steiner/ Vickers team on GNIXE with a 1-4-4-2-1 tally for 12 pts.  Only one point back in third place was Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE with a 4-1-3-3-2 for 13 pts. Just off the pace in fourth was Mark Hillman’s SIX with a 2-3-2-4-4 scoreline for 15 pts.  Yes, it was very close racing for the top four teams in this event!

The J/80 class had good participation with ten boats on the line.  Winning was John White’s ANOTHER ON THE TAB with a 3-5-3-1-1 record for 13 pts.  Alex Kraus’ COOL J had to win a tiebreaker on 16 pts each to take second over David Andril’s VAYU.  Taking 4th was Derrick Lynch’s OUTLAWS and 5th was Will Crump’s R80.

Also showing up with ten boats on the line were the J/30 class, experiencing a “classic renaissance” on the Chesapeake Bay.  It’s a tough class and all the top boats are completely re-conditioned and look nearly “as-new”!  Still setting the standard for the fleet is Bob Rutsch’s BEPOP, winning four of six races to easily win with 10 pts.  However, behind him it was “gloves-off” all series long for the next four places behind them.  Despite trying hard to throw away their advantage with a 6th place in their last race, Ron Anderson’s crew on INSATIABLE survived to tell the tale of the tape, taking second with 21 pts.  Starting off very slowly with a 6-8, Rob & Beth Lundahl’s crew on RAG DOLL got it all together and blitzed the fleet in the last three races with a 1-1-2 to take 3rd on a tie-breaker, much to the surprise of everyone!  Losing the tiebreaker and taking fourth place was Tristan & Sheila Keen’s INFECTIOUS SMILE.  Then, fifth was taken by David Johnson’s AVENGER with 27 pts.

The J/35 class continues to have fun on the Chesapeake.  However, like their J/30 colleagues, the J/35s also experienced a bit of a “schooling” on how to sail J/35s fast and furious and have a lot of fun doing it!  With straight bullets, the duo on AUNT JEAN, Jim Sagerholm & Jerry Christofel, carried home yet more silverware and pickle dishes for their “man cave” trophy room at home.  The balance of the podium was another story altogether.  Battling it out all series were Bruce Artman’s T-BONE and Roger Lant’s ABIENTOT, with Artman getting the upper hand in the end to take the silver.

Finally, the J/22s had a somewhat abbreviated series.  Nevertheless, winning was Cassie Todd on HOT TODDY.  She was followed by Chris Wilson’s LIL’PUFFY in second and Jason Goscha’s DOUBLE J in third.
For more Annapolis YC Fall Series sailing information and results. Add to Flipboard Magazine.