Trotman aces six of seven races, clinching East Coast Championship

Europe Dinghy bronze medalist Julia Trotman of Syosset, N.Y., added several more pieces to her collection of shiny things with a convincing win in this year's J/22 East Coast Championship, held by Annapolis Yacht Club last weekend.

Sailing with 1992 Soling silver medalist Jim Brady of Annapolis, a past J/22 and J/24 World Champion, and local sailors Tim Mowry and Susan Meredith as her crew, Trotman aced six of the seven races in the regatta. This was despite going back to restart one of them when she mistakenly thought she might have been over the starting line early.


Her throw-out was the seventh and final race in which she placed fourth in the 32-boat fleet.

Trotman, who has been concentrating primarily on single-handed sailing through her successful Olympic campaign in the one-woman Europe, is a newcomer to the J/22 class, and said she especially enjoyed the chance to sail with a team rather than soloing.


"I attribute it all to my crew," she said of her victory. "It was my maiden voyage in the J/22 class, and we had a very good time. All I really did was start the boat -- Jim was the real knowledgeable source, and our two local sailors also were a really big help."

Despite her team's solid aces in the six races Friday and Saturday, with two races still on the schedule for Sunday and a single throw-out in the scoring possibilities, Trotman said that Sunday's race was the most difficult. She knew she would have to finish 10th or better to hold on to the lead and still allow for a throw-out.

As it turned out, however, Sunday's unfavorable wind conditions meant only a single race could be completed, so her team's hard-fought fourth in that contest became the throw-out, leaving the quartet with nothing but aces as keepers.

"I'd have to compare it to when I raced in college in intensity," said Meredith, explaining that although her teammates obviously have extensive experience racing in one-designs, she has been primarily involved in big-boat handicap competition since that time. "The concentration levels were 110 percent. They do not miss a beat. They played the basics, but they played them perfectly."

Meredith described the conditions as "typical shifty weather," adding that conditions ranged from heavy air for Friday's three races to medium conditions in Saturday's three contests, and very light air for Sunday's single drifter.

MA Sunday's race was so slow, in fact, that only nine more boats

completed the race within the time limit of 30 minutes after the winner's finish -- in this case 1992 J/22 International Champion Chris Larson of Annapolis and his Tight Squeeze crew, second-placers overall in the regatta.

Under the regatta rules, all those unable to make the time limit were given points equivalent to the average of the boats not finishing -- or 21 points for that race.


Last to squeeze in under that time limit was the Naval Academy's Brad Rodi, the 1991-1992 College Sailor of the Year, who finished the regatta in sixth overall.

J/22 East Coast Championship

1. Bio Hazard, Julia Trotman, Syosset, N.Y., 4.5 (1-1-1-1-1-1-[4]); 2. Tight Squeeze, Chris Larson, Annapolis, 11.75 (2-2-[4]-3-2-1); 3. Silent Harp, Max Skelley, Havre de Grace, 23 (4-3-2-2-5-[7]-7); Single Slice, M. Dow, [address unavailable], 33 (5-4-10- [14]-4-5-5); 5. That's Nice, Pete McChesney, Annapolis, 40 (6-9-3-11-[21] -9-2); 6. Sail No. 660, Mid. 1/C Brad Rodi, USNA, 58 (10-6-[RET]-23-9-6-10-3-6-10).


Annapolis sailor Charlie Scott and his boat partner Charlie Smith indulged a last-minute idea and trailered their J/30 Houdini to Westport, Conn., for the J/30 North American Championships last weekend.

They came away winners, slaughtering the competition, including fellow Annapolitan Ron Peterson and his Valkyrie crew in second overall, and defending champion Ron Carr of Newport, R.I., by 19 and 22 points, respectively.


Sponsored by the Cedar Point Yacht Club, the North Americans drew 21 crews from many parts of the country.

"The wind was mostly all out of the north," Scott said, likening the Long Island Sound conditions he encountered through the weekend to those often found on the bay.

"For the Friday morning race it was blowing 10 to 12 and very shifty, but it picked up for the afternoon race to 12 to 16 when the front started trying to come through. Then on Saturday it was pretty windy -- 18 or so -- but it was puffy and shifty, probably a little worse than it gets here. By the afternoon race it had started to die, but it got back up to 8 to 10."

After two good wind days and four races, Scott said, "Sunday was horrible -- we had a dying northerly with a sea breeze trying to come in. It was down to 2 to 6."

Scott said that in the light air without a course shortening, only three more boats could finish within the one hour allowed after winner Houdini crossed the line. So under the regatta rules the non-finishers were scored three points more than the last boat to finish in time, for seven points.

In addition to a good crew, Scott said both Houdini and Valkyrie had good speed over the windward-leeward courses.


"But," he added, "it was very shifty. One minute you'd be way behind, one minute you'd be way ahead. You had to have some patience, and it was hard to be real consistent."

Scott and Smith will defend their 1992 title here on the Chesapeake, when the 1993 J/30 North Americans return to Annapolis.

J/30 North American Championship

1. Scott/Smith, Annapolis/Cambridge, 5 (2-1-1-1); 2. Ron Peterson, Annapolis, 24 (3-4-8-2-7); 3. Ron Carr, Newport, R.I., 27 (4-7-4-5-7).

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.