It was a smaller turnout than expected, but the Severn Sailing Association's annual Colonial Cup Regatta for Snipes was filled with rock-'em, sock-'em racing.
Thirty-five entries, including top-level competition from New England and the best from this region, was about half what organizers had hoped for.
But it was a textbook example of quality over quantity.
Winners in the four-race series were defending Colonial Cup champion Ed Adams of Newport, R.I., and crew Carol Neuman, landing a solid one-two punch (2-1, 2-1, actually) on the rest of the fleet. Annapolis Fleet member Hal Gilreath of Arlington, Va., andcrew Mike Hartman were second, acing the challenging first race.
Killer small-boat conditions last Saturday put a big premium on boat handling and meant many capsizes in the stiff breeze and big waves; the score sheet was peppered with a number of DNFs for "Did Not Finish," that involved some of the top sailors in the fleet.
Champion local Snipe sailors Doug Clark and Scott Taylor were among those who went for a swim at a first-racemark rounding, although they recovered from the capsize and went on to finish the race in a respectable 16th out of 32 starters and 27 finishers.
"It was a brand-new boat that had never been in the waterbefore, so I guess they had to christen it," said Taylor's wife, Susan.
The Race Committee mercifully postponed further competition and sent the fleet back to SSA for a dry lunch and a chance to warm up and rest. Then it was back out onto the water later in the afternoon to resume racing in slightly milder conditions. Only 23 starting and 18 finishing teams braved the windy waves again that day for the second race.
The first race was the only flaw in Clark's and Taylor's otherwise all-top-three record, including a bullet in Sunday's first of two races.
Sunday's two races were somewhat less precarious in terms of wind and waves, but also put heavy demands on brain power and intuition, as strong currents and frequent and often substantial wind shifts made strategy and tactics an important factor.
"I know they were real happy to do well in the rest of the regatta, because those are the kind of conditions they expect at the Worlds," Susan Taylor said.
Clark and Taylor will be going to the Snipe Class World Championships in Norway in August, having earned the slot by finishingthird in last summer's Snipe Nationals at SSA.
SSA SNIPE COLONIALCUP REGATTA
May 18-19; 32 starters
1) Ed Adams/Carol Neuman, Newport, R.I., 5.5 pts. (2-1-2-1); 2) Hal Gilreath/Mike Hartman, Arlington, Va., 12.75 pts. (1-3-4-5); 3) Doug Clark/Scott Taylor, Annapolis, 21.75 pts. (16-2-1-3); 4) Bryan Fishback/Lorie Stout, Deale/Annapolis, 22 pts. (4-4-3-11); 5) John Keane/John Tagliamente, Marblehead, Mass., 30 pts. (6-5-10- 9); 6) Andrew Pimental/Anne Weldon, Newport, R.I., 35 pts. (3-DNF-7-2); 7) P. J. Schaffer/Brian Taboada, Winchester, Mass., 35 pts. (7-12-8-8); 8) Henry Filter/Nancy Green, Quincy, Mass., 37 pts. (13-6-5- 13); 9) Roger Link/Sue Kaufman, Harwood/Annapolis, 38 pts. (5-9- 18-6); 10) Doug Hart/Steve Swenson, Annapolis, 42 pts. (11-14-13-4).
SRSA COD REGATTA
The South River SailingAssociation played host last weekend to a three-class regatta that included the Laser 28 East Coast Championships in its annual Cruising One-Design Regatta.
Although they were missing last year's contingent of Laser 28 sailors from Havre de Grace, eight local boats battled each other as well as strong winds, big waves and heavy current forthe East Coast title.
Before the last race ended on Sunday, Tom Price and his intrepid team on Hyder-Ally had ridden an unbeatable winning to topple defending three-time East Coast champ Bob Reeves and his A Train crew.
After placing second in the first of Saturday's four races, the Hyder-Ally team went on to collect a pearly string of aces the rest of the day and in Sunday's first of two races.
"We had some real close racing," Price said. "The boats all seemed to be reasonably close. It was good competition, and it's a great boat to race in one-design."
Although they had to drop out of the sixth and final race to return to the dock a crew member on a tight schedule, their grip on the top of the heap was still unshakable.
"We were going 11 1/2 knots on the way to the start with the chute up," Price said. "It was blowing pretty well, I guess between 18 and 22 with some higher gusts, and there were some pretty big seas down there where they set the courses off the West River.
"We were a little bit off the mark in the first race until we figured out what to do in those conditions. It's amazing how aggressively you have to helm the boat in winds like that, and in the big waves."
The courses were windward-leeward, with legs of about a 1 3/4 miles, Price explained, adding that Saturday's first two races were two-legged only, so that they ended after the first run.
"The courses were a little odd, but they wanted to get in a lot of races that day," he said. "The Race Committeedid a really good job. All of the lines were square, and the length of the legs was just right."
Later in the day, he explained, the courses for the last two races were three-legged with a more conventional finish at the end of a second windward leg.
"The boats did real well on the runs on Saturday," Price said. "They were surprisingly stable. But I wouldn't have wanted to try close reaching that boat ina lot of wind."
Joining the Laser 28s both days was a J/29 class of six boats. A third start was added for a 12-boat, J/35 class on Sunday (with a one-design start on Saturday in the Annapolis Yacht ClubSpring Race, the '35s could only take part on Sunday).
Sunday's two races, in milder conditions, were Olympic, or Gold Cup, style triangle-windward-leeward-windward.
"On Sunday, it got real shifty," Price explained. "There was less wind, so you had to watch the shifts.It was a very New England-type of weekend for sailing."
SRSA CRUISING ONE-DESIGN REGATTA RESULTS
LASER 28 EAST COAST CHAMPIONSHIP (8 boats, 6 races): 1) Hyder-Ally, Tom Price, Pasadena; 2) Joe Cool, Joe Phillips, Annapolis; 3) Second Repeat, Lewis Kushner/Brian Lees, Annapolis.
J/29 (6 boats, 6 races): 1) Mirage, David Lewis/Fred Salvesen, Annapolis/Edgewater; 2) Posse, Paul Andersen/Mickey Campagna, Annapolis; 3) Baby Moon, Mike Krissoff, Annapolis.
J/35 (12 boats,2 races): 1) Moonbeam, Will Keyworth/John Danziesen, Annapolis; 2) Sundog, Paul Parks, Baltimore; 3) Banzai, Kevin McNeil, Annapolis.
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.