This year's Yachting magazine Governor's Cup Race from Annapolis to St. Mary's City has kept sailmakers and riggers working overtime since Saturday morning when a violent thunderstorm tore through the 230-boat fleet just before its scheduled start Friday evening.
For the first time in the 70-mile race's 19-year history, the start was postponed for an hour until the raging wind subsided.
The stormy weather reportedly broke five masts, plenty of gear and dozens of sails, forcing some competitors to withdraw before the rescheduled 7:15 start of the East Coast's largest overnight race. But more than 200 entrants finished the race between 4 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Joseph Waldschmitt Memorial Trophy for best in fleet, for the winner of the most competitive class, was awarded to Seward Lawlor, who won the 31-boat PHRF A-1 class with the crew aboard his Serendipity 43 Chesapeake.
The level of competitiveness is measured as the time difference between first- and fifth-place finishers, with the most competitive being considered that class with the smallest margin.
Lawlor said that in the light air that followed the storm, the first 10 miles of the race were very slow, but the breeze picked up through the night, building to 12 to 18 knots before hitting a high in the low 20s in the Potomac River.
"We stayed pretty close to the rhumb line," Lawlor said, explaining that his boat carries an instrument that measures distance sailed, and recorded 77 miles for the race.
"That was including the pre start and a couple of little tacks we had to take when the current was working against us for a while."
Lawlor said it was all-out crew work that made the difference.
"We did it as a sprint," he said. "The whole crew stayed up all night, and there wasn't a minute that went by when something wasn't being adjusted. We were shifting gears all the time."
It was a win that almost wasn't, especially because of a bit of knowledge the crew didn't have regarding a new rating for another competitor, who crossed the finish line only 27 seconds behind to take second in the class.
Although Don Zinn has had his original PHRF rating of 48 for his new Capri 37 Infringer under appeal for some time, it was not until just before the race that the new rating went through, bringing Infringer to 60, dead even with Chesapeake.
"They were a little ahead of us coming into the [St. Mary's] river," Lawlor said. "We didn't know about their new rating, so we thought they owed us time, and we weren't really concentrating on covering them."
As the two boats, virtually neck-and-neck, tacked through the shifting breeze in the narrow river, Chesapeake pulled ahead near the finish.
Yachting Governor's Cup
IMS I (5 starters/3 finishers): 1. First Light, George Wilson, Easton, 8:22:20 c.t.
IMS II (4 starters/finishers): 1. Three Cheers, Krolak/Siemers, Annapolis/Potomac, 7:53:07 c.t.
IMS III (13 starters/finishers): 1. Contraire, Steve Schaub, Eldersburg, 7:48:41 c.t.; 2. Battlewagon, John Hanna, Seaford, Va., 7:53:06 c.t.; 3. Fast Track, Yeigh/Baker, Annapolis, 7:53:55 c.t.; 4. Good Times, Bill Schwarz, Randallstown, 8:02:52 c.t.
PHRF A-1 (31 starters/27 finishers): 1. Chesapeake, Seward Lawlor, Norfolk, Va., 9:08:16 c.t.; 2. Infringer, Donald Zinn, Annapolis, 9:08:43 c.t.; 3. Quintessence, Ben Michaelson, Annapolis, 9:13:44 c.t.; 4. Tigress, Bob Waldschmitt, Solomons, 9:16:15 c.t.; 5. Albatrossi, David Rossi, Severna Park, 9:17:37 c.t.
PHRF A-2 (41 starters/35 finishers): 1. Terrific, Olaf Tom Felde, Annapolis, 8:52:26 c.t.; 2. Mountain Lion Eater, George Prout, Grasonville, 8:55:13 c.t.; 3. Moonlighting, Tom French, Annapolis, c.t.; 4. Seraph II, David Littlepage, Severna Park, 8:59:04 c.t.; 5. Zingarella, George Brown, Port Republic, 9:02:35 c.t.
PHRF B-1 (32 starters/29 finishers): 1. Flying Circus, Jervis Dorton, Columbia, 8:20:04 c.t.; 2. Teaser II, Steve Von Christierson, Arlington, Va., 8:32:12 c.t.; 3. Fierce Pride, Van Holston, Oxford, 8:32:28 c.t.; 4. Huckleberry, Peter Jones, Galesville, 8:38:10 c.t.; 5. Shutterspeed, Michael Smith, St. Mary's, 8:39:08 c.t.
PHRF B-2 (16 starters/13 finishers): 1. Dear Friend, Bill Kar--, Annapolis, 8:26:32 c.t.; 2. Midnight Express, Darryl Greb, Dameron, 8:34:48 c.t.; 3. Bittersweet II, Jeff Chewning, Falls Church, Va., 8:36:28 c.t.; 4. Joe Cool, Joe Phillips, Annapolis, 8:39:10 c.t.
PHRF C-1 (23 starters/21 finishers): 1. Knotbobs, Dan Miller, Baltimore, 8:04:52 c.t.; 2. Marmalade, Mark Hergan, St. Mary's, 8:07:34 c.t.; 3. Haiku, Willard and Paul Scott, Baltimore, 8:14:07 c.t.; 4. Triple Dee III, Peter Driscoll, Beallsville, 8:17:05 c.t.; 5. Early Bird, Robert Seidel, Bel Air, 8:21:22 c.t.
PHRF C-2 (17 starters/15 finishers): 1. Second Wind, T. White, Lexington Park, 8:11:58 c.t.; 2. Sure Cure, Craig Decker, Pasadena, 8:18:36 c.t.; 3. Chandelle, Barney Hathaway, Drum Point, 8:30:58 c.t.; 4. Gambier, Gerald Ragland, Alexandria, Va., 8:36:11 c.t.
MORC (8 starters/finishers): 1. Hyder-Ally, Thomas Price, Pasadena, 7:53:58 c.t.; 2. Mirage, Salvesen/Lewis, Edgewater/Annapolis, 7:55:19 c.t.; 3. Rude Awakening, Chuck O'Malley, 7:57:02 c.t.
Multihull (12 starters/finishers): 1. Leading Lady, Michael Beaver, New Cumberland, Pa., 9:08:59 c.t.; 2. The Karis, Michael Ivy, Arlington, Va., 9:09:46 c.t.; 3. Dare, John Martin, Annapolis, 9:10:19 c.t.
Alberg 30 (3 starters/finishers): 1. Lingin, Bruce Rankin, Annapolis, 13:04:26 e.t.
Catalina 27 (16 starters/15 finishers): 1. Cheshire Cat, Francis Wright, Annapolis, 12:05:27 e.t.; 2. Swell, Derick Lynch, Arnold, 12:23:56 e.t.; 3. Merlin, Mark Oursler, Severna Park, 12:24:40 e.t.; 4. Pussycat, Bruce Johnson, Bowie, 12:27:45 e.t.
J/30 (16 starters/finishers): 1. Cannonball, Bill Wallop, Annapolis, e.t.; 2. Jackrabbit, CE & J Syndicate, Annapolis, 10:55:13 e.t.; 3. Valkyrie, Ron Peterson, Annapolis, 11:01:53 e.t.; 4. Tiger, Tom Donlan, Falls Church, Va., 11:03:23 e.t.