The 70-year-old Annapolis-to-Newport Race has opened its earliest entry ever, and one of the teams taking advantage is J/World Annapolis, which will race the J/120 Euro Trash Girl next summer.
Kristen Berry, co-director of J/World Annapolis, said the crew will include six students who compete in the company's offshore racing program. Those students will face off in a couple of preparatory distance races, such as Fort Lauderdale-to-Key West.
Berry and fellow director Jeff Jordan, who helped Fireball win PHRF 1 and capture the C. Gaither Scott Trophy in the 2013 Annapolis-to-Newport Race, will be among three coaches onboard.
"We are going to do an extensive amount [of] on-water training to make sure the students are adequately prepared for a challenging offshore passage such as Annapolis-Newport," Berry told race organizers. "During the race, everyone will do everything. The students will rotate through all positions on the boat so they get the full experience."
Nicole Weaver, who donated the boat to J/World, skippered Euro Trash Girl to victory in PHRF 1 class in the 2005 Annapolis-to-Newport.
In past years, Annapolis-to-Newport Race entries were accepted around January of the calendar year in which Annapolis-Newport was being held.
That process has been sped up by almost six months, with the race notice posted to the official event website in early July.
The first 2015 entry came from Joseph Hanna of Charleston, S.C., owner of a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2. He entered Alexandria the morning after registration officially opened, making him the earliest entrant in race history.
"That's quite an honor. I laughed out loud when I was told that," Hanna said. "That's almost as good as winning the race."
The 35th biennial Annapolis-to-Newport Race will start June 5 and 6 off Annapolis. An early discount remains in place until Dec. 1.
For more information, go to annapolisnewportrace.com.