It's that time of year again, when those who can get away from the winter workday world up here head south for racing events like one-design class midwinter championships, the Miami CanAm Olympic Classes Regatta, Yachting Race Week at Key West, Fla., and even the legendary Southern Offshore Racing Conference series.
All of these events traditionally attract significant contingents of sailors from this area,and this year is no exception.
Some of the biggest events coming up in Florida next month include the J/24 Midwinters at Coral Reef Yacht Club, Jan. 5-11; the Laser Gulf Coast Championships at St. Petersburg, Jan. 18-19; the Fort Lauderdale-to-Key West Race starting on the 16th and Yachting Key West Race Week set for Jan. 20-24, overlapping with the 50-Foot World Cup Regatta, also at Key West, Jan. 18-22.
Among the skippers and boats with strong local ties already signed up for Key West are Jack King of Annapolis and Chantilly, Va., and his Frers 62 Merrythought; SewardLawlor of Hampton, Va., and his Serendipity 43 Chesapeake; Mack Latzof Atlantic City, N.J., and his Express 34 The Knife; Jervis Dorton of Columbia and his Pearson Flyer Flying Circus; Darryl Greb of Dameron and his Express 32 Midnight Express; Bill Steitz of Annapolis and Pittsburgh, Pa., and his Concordia 46 Dancer; and Bob Crompton of Coatesville, Pa., and his 50-footer Full Cry.
In addition, a brand-new Farr-designed IMS 44-footer -- named Gaucho for her birthplace through a builder in Buenos Aires, Argentina -- will be campaigned by Annapolitans Geoff Stagg of the Farr office and Jim Brady of North Sails.
Yachting Key West Race Week press officer Roger Kennedy said thelist of the 75 skippers whose entry fees already had been received aweek ago is only a partial reflection of those who will be participating in the event. Many more from this area as well as other parts ofthe country can be expected.
"One good indication is that all thedock space in Key West is gone for the week of the regatta," Kennedysaid. "There isn't a slip left anywhere at all. There's no way to tell exactly how many boats will be there for sure, since registration will be open until about the 9th of January; and they can't give out the names or numbers of anyone who hasn't actually signed up and paidhis entry fee, so we can't get the firm figures right now. But we'reexpecting a really big turnout, probably 125 to 150 boats."
Then there's the Miami CanAm Olympic Classes Regatta, set for Jan. 29-Feb.2.
Registration on this regatta is open through the month, but early entrants who register before Jan. 15 can save as much as 50 percent over those who wait until the last minute to sign up.
Although each Olympic class distributed notices of the regatta to its members some months ago, for those who have let it slip and still want to find out the details on how to get in on the big discounts for early registration, the fastest, easiest way is to call U.S. Sailing (formerlyUSYRU) in Newport, R.I., at (401) 849-5200 and ask for the Olympic office.
In a roundup of 1991 one-design results, many local sailors achieved top-level standings in national championships.
Theyinclude Dave and Nancy Irey of West River, Randy Bruns and Jim Heidelbach of Arnold, and Gary Mentesano and Chris Compagne of Severna Park, in second, third and fifth, respectively, in this year's 21-boat Jet 14 Nationals at West River Sailing Club in Galesville in August.
Annapolitan Will James was first in the 18-boat Laser II Nationals at Tred Avon Yacht Club in Oxford in July as well as third in the RedFleet for ages 13-15 in the Optimist Nationals at Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami in August.
Mark and Emmie Swanson of Deale Beach werefirst in the 35-boat Windmill Nationals at St. Mary's College of Maryland in July.
Congratulations to these accomplished sailors, and apologies for overlooking their achievements at the time of these regattas.
Sometimes at the height of sailing-season madness, it's easy to lose track of some events that should be reported, particularly when local sailors make an important mark.
For this reason, I am always glad to be reminded of an important event, and welcome news from local sailors who compete and do well in regattas outside the immediate geographic area.
Crews, fleet captains, families and friends of sailors too modest to report their achievements themselves can help, too, by making a phone call to 761-1732 to forward a message.
1991 One-design Roundup results
Jet 14 Nationals, West River Sailing Club, Galesville, 8/16-18 (21 boats): 1) Rhett Simonds/Celeste Simonds, Alexandria, Va., 5 pts.; 2) Dave Irey/Nancy Irey, West River, 11.75 pts.; 3) Randy Bruns/Jim Heidelbach, Arnold, 22 pts.; 4) Charles Engler/Jane Hansen, Murray Hill, N.J., 26 pts.; 5) Gary Mentesano/Chris Compagne, Severna Park, 27 pts.
Laser II Nationals, Tred Avon YC, Oxford, 7/20-21 (18 boats): 1) Will James, Annapolis, 9.25 pts.; 2) Tim Devine, Easton, 12.75 pts.; 3) Jeremy Crowder, (address unavailable), 28 pts.
Optimist Nationals, Coral Reef YC, Miami, Fla., 8/5-8 -- Red Fleet, ages 13-15: 1) Rodrigo Amado, Brazil, 6 pts.; 2) David Ames, Miami, 34 pts.; 3) Will James, Annapolis, 74 pts.
Windmill Nationals, St. Mary's College, St. Mary's City, 7/22-25 (35 boats):1) Mark Swanson/Emmie Swanson, Deale Beach, 11.5 pts.; 2) Terry Wood/Betty Wood, Kingstown, Tenn., 14 pts.; 3) Alex Krumdieck/Jenny Dory,Birmingham, Ala., 23 pts.