It was a high time for festivities at the Eastport Yacht Club's newly completed Sycamore Point clubhouse overlooking the Severn River at 317 First St. in Eastport during the weekend.
Starting with a unique scavenger race for power and sailboats Saturday afternoon, followed by the Commodore's reception for club members, the weekend's celebrations of the club's new home concluded with an open house Sunday afternoon.
On hand was the club's designer, Annapolis architect Jeff Halpern of Halpern Architects, receiving congratulations on the building's design.
Halpern explained that in the design of the building, he and his staff had done extensive research into traditional Chesapeake Bay buildings, studying old photographs, and that he also had drawn on his own experience sailing the bay.
"It's an old, rich context," he said, explaining, for example, that he had found the inspiration for the red and green pattern of the roof in numerous old waterfront buildings.
"There were a lot of old steamer docks in Eastport once. We looked at those old steamer dock buildings in terms of massing and proportion."
The clubhouse with its large waterside deck includes airy second-floor public spaces, including bar and club room, as well as office, kitchen and storage facilities on the ground floor.
Construction of the building was by Norwood Industrial Construction.
Eastport Yacht Club was founded about a dozen years ago by friends who decided to formalize its Friday evening get-togethers, once held in the offices of naval architect Mike Kaufman.
Today the club is known for events such as its annual Christmas Lights Parade of Yachts, a high point of the yuletide season in Annapolis, as well as good regatta management and excellent hospitality at events such as Spring Cotillion and the Solomons Island Race. EYC also is a co-sponsor of the biennial Bermuda Ocean Race from Annapolis to St. George's, Bermuda.
A membership drive is currently under way. For more information, call 267-8986.
One of the region's most popular regattas for the Star class, the Oxford Fall Windup at Tred Avon Yacht Club, was a special pleasure for Annapolitan Elliott Oldak this year when he and crew Matt Boudreau claimed the victor's laurels after two days of competition last weekend.
"We've been flirting with success all season, so finally winning one this year was especially nice, very gratifying," Oldak said. "It was a very satisfying win, coming late in the season against some very good competition."
Two dozen two-person crews converged on Oxford from as far away as New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, southern Virginia and Ohio, to face off against many of the usual suspects from the Chesapeake Bay area in this traditional season-ending regatta.
Oldak said Saturday's light-air racing, with two 10-mile Olympic contests, was challenging in breezes only winding up to 6 to 8 knots, but Sunday's slightly higher breeze made that day's single contest somewhat easier.
"I'd have to say I had a very good crew," Oldak said. "It was important to get good starts, because there were no conditions on the race course all weekend that could help make up for a bad start -- no big shifts, nothing like that. And of course, [Matt's] crew work was excellent."
Oxford Fall Windup results 1. Elliott Oldak/Matt Boudreau, Annapolis/Baltimore, 6.75 (1-4-2); Dick & Debbie Parker, Lorraine, Ohio, 9.75 (4-5-1); 3. Jonathan Bartlett/Dave Lincoln, Sherwood Forest, 11.75 (8-1-3); 4. Joe Bainton/Chris Korley, Westport, Conn., 16 (3-7-6); 5. Kevin McNeil/Shane Zwingleberg, Annapolis/Catonsville, 22 (2-8-12).
By now, everyone in the area should be aware that the annual U.S. Sailboat Show starts tomorrow and runs through Monday.
The show routinely brings thousands of visitors from across the nation and around the world to show their wares and shop for boats and equipment.
For many area sailors it's more of a social event to see what's new, think about sailing in general and enjoy the passing scene.
This year, there's a new dimension to the show, offered by Sailing World and Cruising World magazines. Of special interest to local sailors, this is a series of demonstrations and lectures, set in tent 53 at the Sailing World/Cruising World booth, covering a wide range of topics from electronics, keel fairing, emergency rigging repairs and other technical subjects, to chartering, cruising, provisioning and other pleasure-sailing information.
There will be a daily demonstration/discussion of the increasingly popular and highly effective quick-stop man-overboard recovery technique Friday through Monday, by Naval Academy sailing coach Tom Closs of Electronic Marine Inc. in Eastport, at 3 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday and noon Monday.
Among other schedule highlights, Dr. Stuart Walker, noted racing sailor, author and columnist, will discuss "The Winds of Annapolis" at 1 p.m. Friday, and cover racing tactics at 2 p.m. Sunday and Monday.
Meade Gougeon will demonstrate techniques for fairing keels and rudders and offer a question-and-answer session on the latest in epoxies at 2 p.m. Friday, and Bruce Nairn of North Sails Chesapeake will discuss heavy-weather sailing upwind that day at 4 p.m.
On Saturday, Tom Wohlgemuth of Chesapeake Rigging will share his knowledge on emergency rigging repairs at noon, and Ben Hall and Jeff Kent will discuss carbon fiber mast technology at 2 p.m. Marine surveyor John Griffiths will talk about what's involved in a survey and how to inspect a new boat yourself at 3 p.m.
Cruising sailors will enjoy John and Leslie Kettlewell's discussion of the Intra-Coastal Waterway, at 4 p.m. Saturday; Wayne and Christina Carpenter's talks on provisioning for the tropics, at 1 p.m. Sunday, and cruising with kids, Sunday at 3 p.m., as well as Steve Black's "Preparing for Passage," covering preparation for a passage to Bermuda or the Caribbean, at 5 p.m. Sunday, and Sheila McCurdy's talk on crew selection for passage making, at 3 p.m. Monday.