Annapolis skipper Bill Sweetser fell one race short of posting a perfect score at a major regatta, and he was actually happy about it.
Sweetser steered Rush to victory in seven straight races in J/109 class at the Annapolis stop of the Sperry Top-Sider National Offshore One-Design series.
However, Sweeter and the Rush team could not quite pull off the remarkable feat of posting all bullets, placing second in the eighth and final race. Rush still won the seven-boat class by a commanding margin with a low score of nine points - 17 better than runner-up Troublemaker (Eric Gordon, Rumson, NJ).
Sweetser, a class veteran who epitomizes sportsmanship and the Corinthian spirit, was actually thrilled about how things turned out. As much as he would have liked an umblemished string of firsts, Sweetser said the race in which Rush finished second was most enjoyable.
"The whole crew agreed that last race was the most fun of the entire regatta because it was extremely challenging and we really had to work for that result," Sweetser said."We managed to grab big leads in the other seven races and were out front by ourselves. It was more of a test of our crew's ability to have to play catch up."
Rush got a bad start, found itself on the wrong side of the course and rounded the first windward mark in second-to-last place. Sweester and crew managed to pass four boats on the subsequent three legs and caught up to the leader.
In a valiant effort to pull out the victory, Rush engaged Nordlys in a tacking duel, but Long Island skipper Bob Schwartz and his team responded well to hold on to first place.
"Bob is the class president and a real class act. He wasn't going to do this regatta, but traveled her to show support for the class so it was nice to see him finish with a win," Sweetser said.
Sweester said veteran tactician Tom Babel did a great job calling the shifts during the three-day regatta that featured numerous changes in wind direction and velocity. Bobby Brooks (spinnaker), Kelly Cagle (pit), Ken McLean (main), Greg Oczkowski (bow) and Brian Tyrell (jib) completed the crew on Rush, which has won the Annapolis NOOD all five years the J/109 class has participated.
"We're ecstatic. The team sailed very well throughout the regatta. We executed our sail changes and mark roundings and didn't make any major mistakes," Sweetser said.
Annapolis-area boats captured nine of 14 class at the Annapolis NOOD, which was organized by Sailing World Magazine and hosted by Annapolis Yacht Club.
Arnold resident and North Sails professional Allan Terhune took first in the 28-boat J/22 class, winning the opening race then placing fifth or better in the next five en route to 35 points. Terhune and his team on Dazzler held off a late charge from Brad Julian, who won the last two races to pull within three points.
Annapolis Yacht Club member Tony Parker and the Bangor Packet crew captured the 14-boat J/24 class in impressive fashion, winning six of eight races and also counting a second and third. Parker finished with a mere 11 points, 22 better than the runner-up entry skippered by Annapolis resident Peter Rich.
Mirage, an Annapolis entry skippered by Frederick Salvesen, won a wild battle in the 18-boat J/105 class on the strength of finishing ninth or better in all eight races. John Meiser called tactics for Salvesen, who steered Mirage to line honors in two races and second place in two others.
"It was a tough regatta and we really worked hard. We had really tricky conditions all three days and I think that's reflected by the scores," Salvesen said. "Just about every boat in our class had a deep finish or two. We were fortunate to put up all top 10 results and that consistency was the difference."
Missy Salvesen trimmed the main for her husband while Molly Hughes handled the jib. Vernon Sheen (pit) and Danielle Vileno (bow) completed the crew.
Arnold resident Tim Williams skippered LinGin to victory in Alberg 30 class by winning four races and placing second in two others. Sherwood Forest resident Timothy Bloomfield had three bullets and four runner-up results in winning Cal 25 class by four points over Krigare (Erik & Marty Lostrom, Stevensville).
Bob Rutsch and brother-in-law Mike Costello finished first in three races and second in three others on the way to winning J/30 class. Aunt Jean, co-owned by Jim Sagerholm and Jerry Christofel, got the gun in three races to come out on top in J/35.
Annapolis resident Jeff Borland captured the Etchells class in convincing fashion, winning four races and finishing no worse than fourth in totaling 17 points - nine better than runner-up Lakota (Peter Sulick, Naples, Fla). It was the first Annapolis NOOD victory in five attempts in Etchells class for Borland, who had Reid McLaughlin (middle) and Sailing World writer Stuart Streuli (bow) as crew aboard Make Mine A Double.
"It was a very challenging regatta. The wind was very puffy and fluky - up and down, left and right. There was also a lot of current," Borland said. "We felt really good about winning this class because the competition was very strong, very tight."
Sperry Top-Sider Annapolis NOOD Regatta
Division 1 Course
J/22 (28 Boats)
1. Dazzler, Allan Terhune, Jr, Arnold, 1-2-4-2-5-5-9-7=35
2. Julian Associates, Brad Julian, Annapolis, 3-1-16-3-6-7-1-1=38
3, Team Show, Alon Finkelstein, 16-7-3-15-1-2-2-2=48
J/24 (14 Boats)
1. Bangor Packet, Anthony Parker, Washington, DC, 1-2-1-1-1-3-1-1=11
2. USA 4006, Peter Rich, Annapolis, 4-3-8-2-2-4-6-4=33
2. 5362, Mike Marshall, Jamestown, RI, 2-5-2-3-4-1-10-7=34
Solings (NOOD - 16 Boats)
1. Obelix, Peter Hall, Westmount, Que, CAN, 2-2-1-2-3-1-2-1=14
2. Hanse, Hans Fogh, Toronto, Ont, CAN, 1-1-7-3-2-2-9-2=27
3. Timaru II, Ross Richards, Wilmette, IL, 7-3-4-8-1-8-1-4=36
Soling (U.S. Championship - 15 Boats)
1. Obelix, Peter Hall, Westmount, Que, CAN, 2-2-1-2-3-1-2-1-(3)=11
2. Hanse, Hans Fogh, Toronto, Ont, CAN, 1-1-6-3-2-2-8-2-=17
3. Timaru II, Ross Richards, Wilmette, IL, 6-3-3-7-1-7-1-4-=25
Division 2 Course
Alberg 30 (7 Boats)
1. LinGin, Tim Williams, Annapolis, 4-1-2-1-1-1-2-3=15
2. Argo, T.C. Williams, Arnold, 1-2-1-2-3-4-4-1=18
3. Windswept, Lanny Helms, Columbia, 2-4-3-3-2-2-1-2=19
Cal 25 (7 Boats)
1. White Cap, Timothy Bloomfield, Sherwood Forest, 1-2-4-1-1-2-2-2=15
2. Krigare, Erik & Marty Lostrom, Stevensville, 2-1-5-2-2-1-5-1=19
3. Indefatigable, Scott Sauvageot, Laurel, 3-3-1-4-5-5-7-3=31
Etchells (9 Boats)
1. Make Mine A Double, Jeff Borland, Annapolis, 1-4-2-4-1-1-3-1=17
2. Lakota, Etchells, Peter Sulick, Naples, FL, 4-3-4-2-3-2-2-6=26
3. Caramba, Jose Fuentes, Annapolis, 3-1-1-6-6-4-1-5=27
S2 7.9 (5 Boats)
1. 496, John Spierling, Shelby Twp, MI, 1-1-1-1-1-1-2-6/dns=14
2. Peregrine, Bart Welden, Beverly, MA, 2-3-2-3-2-2-3-1=18
3. Defiant, Fred Caison, Annapolis, 3-4-3-2-3-3-1-2=21
Division 3 Course
J/30 (10 Boats)
1. Bebop, Bob Rutsch & Mike Costello, Chevy Chase, 2-1-2-3-1-2-1=15
2. The White Boat, David Moss, Stevensville, 3-2-1-1-2-4-2=15
3. Insatiable, Ron Anderson, Annapolis, 1-5-3-2-3-7-5=26
J/80 (23 Boats)
1. Savasana, Brian Keane, Weston, MA, 1-6-6-2-2-2-9-1=29
2. R80, Will & Marie Crump, Annapolis, 2-1-6/SCP-1-1-6-14-3=34
3. ---, John White, Annapolis, 6-2-3-5-3-1-17-12=49
Division 4 Course
Farr 30 (11 Boats)
1. Barking Mad, James Richardson, Boston, MA, 1-1-4-1-3-4-1-1=16
2. Ramrod, Rod Jabin, Annapolis, 4-4-2-3-5-10-2-2=32
3. Press Gang, Roland van Hazel, Toronto, CAN, 8-9-3-5-1-2-4-4=36
J/35 (7 Boats)
1. Aunt Jean, James Sagerholm/Jerry Christofel, Annapolis, 3-1-1-4-4-2-4-1=20
2. Medicine Man, J 35, Chuck Kohlerman, Aston, PA, 1-3-2-5-3-5-6-2=27
3. Maggie, J 35, Peter Scheidt, Highland, 2-2-5-3-7-3-1-5=28
J/105 (18 Boats)
1. Mirage, Lewis/ Salvesen, Annapolis, 5-2-9-2-1-8-5-1=33
2. Veloce, MBE Syndicate, Roanoke, VA, 1-1-3-4-12-11-3-10=45
3. Inigo, Jim Konigsberg, Fairfax, Va., 19/dsq-5-2-1-14-1-4-6=52
J/109 (7 Boats)
1. Rush, Bill Sweetser, Annapolis, 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2=9
2. Troublemaker, Eric Gordon, Rumson, NJ, 2-3-2-7-2-2-5-3=26
3. Reliant, Matthew Baker, Skillman, NJ, 4-7-6-2-5-3-2-5=34
Division 5 Course
J/70 (49 Boats)
1. Perseverance, Bennet Greenwald, San Diego, CA, 16-12-4-2-6.1/rdg-2-1-6=49.1
2. Catapult, Joel Ronning, Minneapolis, MN, 3-2-10-11-5-11-7.1/rdg-8=57.1
3. Helly Hansen, Tim Healy, Jamestown, R.I., 4-10-2-24-8-6-3-1=58