Max Skelley of Havre de Grace retained his lead in the Havre de Grace Laser Winter Series sailboat races last Sunday.

The seasonal regatta, sponsored by the Havre de Grace Yacht Club, runs every Sunday from January to March on the upper Chesapeake Bay. Races pit an average of 16 single-handed sailboats against each other over a 1-mile course.


In the Winter Series, the course varies from a triangular course some weeks to a windward-leeward course other weeks.

In last Sunday's race, Skelley beat out Randy Eckman of Kennet Square, Pa., to take first. Jeff Scherpf of Havre de Grace was second, followed by ScottKulp and Bob Torr, both of Philadelphia. Dave Steark of Delaware wassixth.


In the overall standings for the season, Skelley leads Eckman.

"We have a bunch of short races in a series, which is how frost-biting (winter racing) is done. We're emphasizing boat handing more than boat speed," said Skelley, who taught many of the other racershow to handle the one-man sailboats.

A graduate of Havre de GraceHigh and St. Mary's College, Skelley, 25, is a former East Coast champion and has finished in the top five in national regattas several times.

Skelley, who operates Skelley's Sails in Havre de Grace, also competes nationally in races for bigger boats. He and Eckman are part of the crew on a five-man sailboat that has finished in the top 10nationally during the last two years.