Attention sailors who enjoy the challenges of sailing short-handed in bigger boats: The Shearwater Sailing Club will repeat its successful Chesapeake Tour Double-Handed Race for two-person teams on boats 29feet and longer on Saturday, April 20.
Event chairman Kevin McLaughlin, the Chesapeake Tour's creator and organizer, "The race is designed to provide individuals who frequently sail their boats short-handed an opportunity to compete in a long-distance, big-boat event. Theevent's objectives are to provide a full day of good sailing over a course that will challenge each boat's ability to sail and navigate efficiently."
Shearwater plans to use PHRF ratings to divide and score the fleet, but also will provide one-design and IMS starts for classes with five or more entries by Saturday, March 9. The lead time is necessary for ordering trophies and preparing appropriate sailing instructions.
The race is a relatively informal preseason event, not part of the schedule sanctioned for annual High Point tabulation by the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association.
Last year's fleet of 18 boats --ranging in size from 30 to 44 feet -- was divided into two PHRF classes. Division I teams sailed a 35.2-mile course, starting and finishing in Annapolis Harbor, zig-zagging across the bay several times, with legs up into Eastern Bay and down to the mouth of West River. The Division II teams' course was shortened in light air to 27.8 miles andfinished near Thomas Point.
Repeating last year's basic format, spinnakers will be permitted, but autopilots will not. Sailors will berequested to wear life jackets and to monitor their VHF radios throughout the race. This year the largest boats can expect a course of about 30 miles, while smaller entries will sail a 15- to 20-mile course.
Also in a repeat of the popular social features of last year's event, there will be a skippers' meeting at the clubhouse in Eastport the evening before the race, and the event will conclude with a post-race raft-up and prize-giving near the finish line in Annapolis Harbor.
"Last year's raft-up provided a wonderful opportunity for the competitors to meet, talk, show off their boats, and receive their awards," McLaughlin said. "Since everyone had met at the skippers' meeting the night before, everyone was a real friend by the end of the day's racing. The crews' excitement at race's end was amazing. Sharing the joys of a successful short-handed race proved to be a source of summer-long friendships for several of the racers."
McLaughlin has sent race invitations to several local clubs and class associations. In addition to the appeal for PHRF and possible IMS competitors, Cruising One-Design Division classes, which may be interested in having a one-design start in the event, include Alberg 30, Pearson 30, J/30 and J/35.
Because the Chesapeake Tour Double-Handed Race is designedas a challenging test of two people's sailing, tactical and navigational skills over a relatively long course, extensive closed-course racing experience is not necessarily a prerequisite for doing well.
Keys to success also will highlight a team's ability to handle the boat efficiently with only two crew members, a skill often found in cruising families with little or no CBYRA-type race experience.
For further information on the event, or to confirm interest in participating, contact McLaughlin, 757-5917, 1154 Willow Lane, Annapolis, Md. 21401, or submit a standard CBYRA entry form, along with the $20 entry fee, to
Shearwater Sailing Club, P.O. Box 3312, Annapolis, Md. 21403.
On Saturday, March 9, and Sunday, March 10, Crusader Yacht Sales of Annapolis will repeat its highly successful open house, a kind of free mini-boat show with lots of extras.
"Last year's open house was so successful that we decided to make this year's event even bigger and better," said Crusader president Nancy Cann.
On the agenda for the two-day affair at Crusader's Port Annapolis Marina headquarters, 7078 Bembe Beach Road, will be speakers, including designers W. I. B. Crealock and Gary Mull, and solo circumnavigator Francis Stokes. An information tent is planned where representatives from across-section of the marine industry will be available to answer questions on topics such as financing, insurance, rigging, sails, canvas, engines and electronics.
In addition, a large selection of new and used sailboats, including the latest models from J/Boats, Freedom Yachts and Pacific Seacraft, will be on display at the yard, with factory representatives and owners on hand to field questions.
"Even though there were about 500 people here last year, everyone enjoyed the intimacy of the day," Cann said. "Having a chance to talk to our speakers, and representatives from our manufacturers as well as present owners in a relaxed format, was very appealing."
Crealock is a well-known author, lecturer and designer of cruising yachts, includingthe Crealock series built by Pacific Seacraft. He will talk about his design philosophy. His latest design, the Crealock 44, will be on display at the open house.
Stokes will discuss his experiences sailing his J/35, including two of his four single-handed trans-Atlantic OSTAR races. Highly regarded in the sailing community, Stokes completed a solo circumnavigation in the 1982-1983 BOC Challenge, and is well-known for his daring rescue of fellow competitor Tony Lush in the Southern Ocean, between Australia and Antarctica.
Mull, designer ofthe radical 1987 12-Meter USA with her "geek keel" and canard rudder, as well as a series of exciting and successful 6-Meters, and major developments in the new line from Freedom, will address the unique design features of new third-generation Freedom Yachts.
Open house hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free. For further information, call Crusader Yacht Sales at 269-0939.
Nancy Noyes is a member of the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association and has been racing on the bay for about five years. Her Sailing column appears every Wednesday and Sunday in The Anne Arundel County Sun.