Last weekend was a busy one on the cold and gusty waters of the Chesapeake, with numerous regattas filling course areas from Gibson Island to Bloody Point.
One of the most important events Oct. 30-Nov. 1 was the seventh U.S. Sailing Association [US SAILING] Offshore Championship, known as the Lloyd Phoenix Regatta.
The Naval Academy was host. Teams represented most of the US SAILING regions around the nation and the academy, using a fleet of its Navy 44 sloops.
Winning the Lloyd Phoenix Trophy was skipper Roy Disney, nephew of Walt Disney, and his crew from the Los Angeles
Yacht Club, representing Area J. The Navy team skippered by Mid. 1/C Oliver Vietor of Southport, Conn., was second, only three-fourths of a point back.
In third was the Area C team, representing the region including the Chesapeake Bay area, headed by F. N. "Sag" Sagerholm of Ocean City, N.J. Sagerholm is well-known locally as the skipper of his J/35 Aunt Jean, which he races often in this area.
The event included four shorter closed-course races and a long-distance contest.
Also that weekend, Navy dominated the annual Mid-Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association Sloop Championship, with 1991-1992 Collegiate Sailor of the Year Brad Rodi leading his team, including midshipmen Dan Keck, Paul Kenney and Carl Smit, to victory.
Sailed out of the Naval Academy in J/24s, 10 teams competed in the eight-race series Saturday and Sunday.
Along with the Navy team, second-place Old Dominion also qualified for the Sloop Nationals next spring and, although with a third-place finish they did not qualify for the Nationals, St. Mary's College of Maryland sailors Bob Oberg, Steve Sparkman, Matt Reynolds and Scott Leppert posted the best finish for St. Mary's in the event.
Also last weekend, Navy windsurfers finished first in the MAISA Fall Eliminations and qualified for the Vanderstar National Challenge that crowns the National Intercollegiate Windsurfing Championship at the Naval Academy on Nov. 21-22.
Lloyd Phoenix Regatta results 1. Area J, Roy Disney, Los Angeles YC, 14.25 (1-5-1-1-7); 2. Mid. Oliver Vietor, USNA, 15 (3-3-5-2-2); 3. Area C, F.N. Sagerholm, Ocean City (NJ) YC, 17.75 (6-1-2-3-6).
Racing for the broom
One of the oldest -- and most fun -- rivalries in the region is the Race for the Broom, an annual team-racing contest between the Gibson Island Yacht Squadron and the Sailing Club of the Chesapeake.
Last Saturday, in blustery Halloween winds, the Gibson Island sailors successfully defended their trophy, a thoroughly disreputable broom of questionable origin, with a solid defeat of the SCC sailors.
John Sherwood of Annapolis, a member of the victorious GIYS team, said that although the event is old, this was the first year PHRF ratings were used rather than some form of level racing -- where all boats rate the same or nearly the same -- or actual one-design competition.
The challenging SCC sailors stipulated a ratings band ranging from 50 to 200 for the competing yachts, but in fact nearly all boats were more closely arranged in ratings than that, Sherwood said.
Five teams represented each club, with Bob Price and his crew on Sara B, John White and Will Passano with their team on Karina, Butch Michel and crew on Snallygaster, Sherwood and company on Nettle, and Rob Kyle helming the Dash crew for Gibson Island.
Sailing for SCC were skippers Rick Born on Grayling, Steve Hiltabidle on Crescendo, Sonny Smith on Uh-Oh, Pete Geis on Anthem and Tom Donlan on Tiger, with their respective crews.
Sherwood, Kyle's father, took special pride in the event since Kyle aced the first two races while he himself won the third.
In the first of the day's three matches, the SCC team won by a narrow 2.25-point margin, while GIYS took the next two, by 6.75 and 5.75 points, respectively.
Racing for the Great Pumpkin
The Severn River Yacht Club's 10th annual Great Pumpkin race went off successfully last Sunday with 13 boats taking part in the three-mile windward-leeward, reverse handicap event.
Start times were determined by applying entrants' handicap rating to the course length, effectively taking out the handicap time up front.
Although in theory all boats should be able to finish at the same time using a reverse handicap start, Steve Schaub and his team on his Farr 33 Contraire were able to sail through the fleet after one of the latest starts and handily finish first.
Finishing second were Bruce Bingman and Taran Teague and crew on their J/27 Mischief, with Bonnie Schloss and her team on her Omega 30 Bear Boat in third, and Jim Troutman and crew on his Beneteau 35s5 Anser in fourth.