The Sailing Club of the Chesapeake's 44th annual Spring Race last weekend was blessed with good wind and close competition, making it a memorable and important early-season event.
Race Committee Chairman Wayne Bretsch said Saturday's IMS and PHRF A-1, A-2 and B contest drew 53 contenders for a relatively rapid 15-mile windward-leeward, five-legged course in an average of 12 knots of steady southerly breeze, which produced repeated lead changes and some final finishes that were virtually neck-and-neck.
Perhaps the most remarkably close competition, he said, was in the PHRF B division, where two identically rated J/27s, Richard Altman's Vitality and John Fenton's Brown Sugar, crossed the finish line separated by three seconds.
In the IMS classes, scoring handicaps are based on wind conditions and course configurations as well as course length. This produces a number that reflects a given boat's potential performance if a theoretically perfect race were sailed, which then is subtracted from actual elapsed time for a final corrected time. There was a lot of near perfection.
Using this formula, Bob Crompton's team on Full Cry was just 18 seconds off the boat's projected perfect time for the race after repeated boat-for-boat lead changes through the contest with Jack King's Merrythought. Merrythought finished third after corrections, however, 17 seconds behind second-placer Peter Gordon and his crew on his Gaucho.
In the day's largest class, the 18-boat PHRF A-1 division, the Zinn family's Infringer eked out a four-second victory over Butch Michel's Airwaves, and in the second-largest class Larry Kumins and Anne Holt with their crew on PollyWannaCracka?, in their first race of the season, topped the 16-boat PHRF A-2 group by a more comfortable margin of just under two minutes.
"Our experience was a little different than some of the others out there," Kumins said. "Before the start, the right side of the course appeared to be favored, so we started heading left, planning to tack over to the right pretty soon, but our compass was reading 160 and the course was 180, so we stayed over to the left and waited for a header."
Kumins said that Gerry Smernoff and his crew on Bam went farthest left on that leg, and reached the first mark about three minutes ahead, but after the Bam team overstood both leeward marks he and his Polly crew were able to close on them and save their time on correction.
Sunday's wind was a little less cooperative, forcing an hour's postponement before it settled. But when it filled in, it stayed steady through the afternoon, sending the 51 PHRF C, MORC and cruising one-design contenders around another five-legged windward-leeward course, this time of 7.5 miles, in good order.
Here close racing also was the rule, particularly in the cruising one-design classes.
Not surprisingly, the most hotly contended class was the day's largest, the 23-boat J/30 division, where a substantial portion of the class finished within five minutes and a mere 42 seconds separated the second-place finisher from the fifth.
This class was won by Bill Wallop and his crew on Cannonball, who finished 61 seconds in front of second-placer Steve Bardelman and his Valhalla crew.
/ SCC 44th annual Spring Race Saturday, May 15 IMS I (4 starters): 1. Full Cry, Robert Crompton, Coatesville, Pa., c.t.; 2. Gaucho, Peter Gordon, Annapolis, 0:01:10 c.t.; 3. Merrythought, Jack King, Annapolis, 0:01:27 c.t.
IMS II (4 starters): 1. Hot Toddy, Jeff Todd, Annapolis, 0:07:42 c.t.; 2. Crescendo, Steve Hiltabidle, Annapolis, 0:14:18 c.t.; 3. Yellow Jacket, BS&W; Syndicate, Annapolis, 0:14:47 c.t.
IMS III (7 starters): 1. The Knife, Mack Latz, Atlantic City, N.J., 0:14:46 c.t.; 2. Fast Track, Yeigh/Evaul, 0:18:44 c.t.; 3. Contraire, Steve Schaub, 0:19:43 c.t.
PHRF A-1 (16 starters): 1. Infringer, Donald Zinn, Annapolis, 2:44:04 c.t.; 2. Airwaves, Robert Michel Jr., Baltimore, 2:44:24 c.t.; 3. Jezebel, Heinz Scheidemandel, Falls Church, Va., 2:45:30 c.t.
PHRF A-2 (14 starters): 1. PollyWannaCracka?, Kumins/Holt, Annapolis, 2:47:26 c.t.; 2. Bam, Gerry Smernoff, Annandale, Va., 2:49:24 c.t.; 3. Dilemma, Jack Keniley, Annapolis, 2:52:58 c.t.
PHRF B (8 starters): 1. Vitality, Richard Altman, Baltimore, 2:55:04 c.t.; 2. Brown Sugar, John Fenton, Williamstown, N.J., 2:55:07 c.t.; 3. Flying Circus, Jervis Dorton, Columbia, 2:56:14 c.t.
' Sunday, May 16 PHRF C (4 starters): 1. Courstormer, William McKelway, Bethesda, 1:50:00 c.t.; 2. Allegro, J. Thomas Sliter, Washington, 1:54:31 c.t.
MORC (12 starters): 1. Witch's Flower, John Sherwood, Annapolis, 1:44:17 c.t.; 2. Mirage, Lewis/Salvesen, Annapolis/Edgewater, 1:45:07 c.t.; 3. Stingray, Robert Muller, Annapolis, 1:46:28 c.t.
J/30 (23 starters): 1. Cannonball, Bill Wallop, Annapolis, 2:19:16 e.t.; 2. Valhalla, Steve Bardelman, Sherwood Forest, 2:20:17 e.t.; 3. EZ, Hughes/Rodriguez, Annapolis, 2:20:39 e.t.; 4. Jaguar, Al Schreitmueller, Annapolis, 2:20:42 e.t.; 5. BeBop, Rutsch/Aras, Chevy Chase/Annapolis, 2:20:59 e.t.
Catalina 27 (10 starters): 1. Pussycat, Bruce Johnson, Bowie, 2:13:25 e.t.; 2. Swell, Derick Lynch, Arnold, 2:15:14 e.t.; 3. Merlin, Mark Oursler, Severna Park, 2:15:31 e.t.
Cal 25 (8 starters): 1. Riders Up, Dave Wooldridge, Annapolis, 2:12:40 e.t.; 2. Chicken Little, Charlie Husar, Annapolis, 2:16:06 e.t.; 3. Jumpin' Jack Flash, John Niemczuk, Glen Burnie, 2:16:30 e.t.
. Severn Sailing Association Spring I Regatta May 15-16 J/24 (15 starters): 1. Benedict Capuco, Annapolis, 8.5 (2-2- 1-3-1); Tony Parker, Washington, 15.75 (1-3-2-5-5); 3. Rob Kyle, Annapolis, 22.75 (4-1-3-7-8); 4. David Scheidt, Edgewater, 25 (3-5-4-10-3).
Tempest (5 starters): 1. Dave Lavis, Arnold, 3.5 (1-1-2); 2. Malcolm Lawson, Boylston, Mass., 6.75 (4-2-1); 3. Ed White, Clinton, 9 (3-3-3).
Star (12 starters): 1. John MacCausland, Cooper River, N.J., 3.75 2. Jonathan Bartlett, Annapolis, 14 (2-3-2-3- 4); 3. Kevin McNeil, Annapolis, 20 (3-2-4-8-3).
Soling (8 starters): 1. Michael Butz, Forest Hill, 11.5 (1- 1-3-5-2); 2. John Harper, Great Falls, Va., 11.5 (3-2-1-1-5); 3. Peter Gleitz, Annapolis, 16 (2-3-2-3-6).