Shearwater Sailing Club's annual Twilight Race went off Saturday under clear skies, sending a fleet of 70 handicap and 47 cruising one-design racing boats off on government-mark courses from shore to shore of the bay.
A 19.5-mile course was set for IMS, PHRF A, PHRF B and the J/30, and a corresponding 12.7-miler was used for PHRF C and Nonspinnaker, Alberg 30, Cal 25, Catalina 27, Pearson 30 and Triton sailors.
Once the finishers began crossing the line just after 9 p.m. they came in fast and furious under spinnaker, and virtually everyone had finished by 10.
Because of a scheduling conflict with the MORC East Coast Championship, running Friday through Sunday in Oxford, there was no MORC start this year, and IMS I and II sailors seemed more involved in the Annapolis-to-Newport Race, which began Saturday morning.
Both factors reduced the fleet and its regular classes somewhat from last year's 139 starters, and the lack of big-boat IMS participation saw some regular IMS contenders switch to PHRF A-1.
Among the class-switchers was Tom Closs and the crew on his Oyster 43 Fun, who won the 14-boat PHRF A-1 class as a result.
Closs said the first leg, ostensibly a beat, turned crazy in the fluky early-evening air, while Fun and Ben Michaelson's J/44 Quintessence, another refugee from IMS, switched positions boat for boat in the shifting air.
"The way the wind was coming from four or five different directions at once on the first leg was really bizarre," he said. "Most people went left, looking for more wind, but we just headed [directly] for the mark, and peeled away from everybody."
Quintessence eventually passed Fun again, and was first of the long-course boats to finish, followed six minutes later by Tim Bowen and the team on his J/35 Cheers, with Closs and company coming in a minute later. After handicap corrections, however, Michaelson was eighth and Bowen was second, with the lead firmly secured by Fun.
First over the finish line in the shorter-course fleet was Art Libby and his crew on Results, to win the eight-boat Pearson 30 class by a comfortable minute and a half.
"This was one race where keeping your head out of the boat really paid off," Libby said.
Twilight Race Provisional results IMS III (8 starters): 1. Scrimshaw, C.W. Deakyne, Severna Park, c.t.; 2. Hilite, Len Eastman, Annapolis, 2:16:38 c.t.; 3. Where Egos Dare, WED Syndicate, Annapolis, 2:24:22 c.t.
PHRF A-1 (14 starters): 1. Fun, Closs/Closs, Annapolis, 3:02:10 c.t.; 2. Cheers, Tim Bowen, Bowie, 3:03:09 c.t.; 3. Moving Violation, Samuel Owings, Annapolis, 3:03:20 c.t.; 4. Endorphin, N.H. Malakis, Bethesda, 3:06:51 c.t.
PHRF A-2 (23 starters, protests pending): 1. Bam, G.N. Smernoff, Annandale, Va., 2:57:30 c.t.; 2. Scamp, Fritz Corey, Edgewater, 2:59:29 c.t.; 3. Terrific, Olaf tom Felde, Annapolis, 2:59:30 c.t.; 4. Accomplice, Charles Coyer, Annapolis, 3:00:34 c.t.; 5. PollyWannaCracka?, Lawrence Kumins, Annapolis, 3:00:42 c.t.
PHRF B (13 starters): 1. Aspire, Jack Yaissle, Allentown, Pa., 2:49:32 c.t.; 2. Irresponsible, Joseph Matera, Kensington, 3:02:52 3. Leeway, David Lee, Montgomery, Ala., 3:04:17 c.t.; 4. Teaser II, Steven von Christierson, Arlington, Va., 3:04:48 c.t.
PHRF C (8 starters): 1. Pendragon, John Hadley, Arlington, Va., 2:06:56 c.t.; 2. Khamsin, Curtis Sarratt, Annapolis, 2:12:30 c.t.; 3. Allegro, Tom Sliter, Washington, 2:13:30 c.t.
PHRF Nonspinnaker (4 starters): 1. Spice, Ray Taylor, Annapolis, 1:52:56 c.t.; 2. My Bohemia, George Benisek, Annapolis, 2:05:19 c.t.
Alberg 30 (7 starters): 1. Argo, Peter Scheidt, Highland, 2:41:00 e.t.; 2. Sundance, Nye/Evans, Annapolis/Trappe, 2:45:36 e.t.; 3. Quest, Jim Mennucci, Annapolis, 2:49:29 e.t.
Cal 25 (6 starters): 1. Riders Up, Dave Wooldridge, Annapolis, 2:33:26 e.t.; 2. Chicken Little, Charlie Husar, Annapolis, 2:34:27 e.t.; 3. Jumpin' Jack Flash, J & J Niemczuk, Glen Burnie, 2:37:15 e.t.
Catalina 27 (10 starters): 1. Pussycat, Bruce Johnson, Bowie, 2:35:46 e.t.; 2. Cheshire Cat, Francis Wright, Annapolis, 2:36:17 e.t.; 3. Merlin, Mark Oursler, Severna Park, 2:37:30 e.t.
J/30 (13 starters): 1. Turbo Duck, Bodo von der Wense, Gulph Mills, Pa., 3:31:20 e.t.; 2. no respect, Harrison Syndicate, Chester, 3:33:28 e.t.; 3. Big Kahuna, Larry Christy, Crofton, 3:35:59 e.t.; 4. Twilight Zone, Gary Swangler, Yardley, Pa., 3:37:32 e.t.
Pearson 30 (8 starters): 1. Results, Art Libby, Annapolis, 2:37:01 e.t.; 2. Solstice, Bruce Drury, Bethesda, 2:38:36 e.t.; 3. Conatus, Rick Warren, Annapolis, 2:39:35 e.t.
Triton (3 starters): 1. Overdraft, David Hoyt, Glen Burnie, 2:49:35 e.t.
Annapolis Level Regatta
This weekend Eastport Yacht Club and the Severn River Yacht Club will co-produce the Annapolis Level Regatta that combines EYC's old J/Jamboree and its year-old PHRF Level Regatta into a single weekend.
Entries and dinner reservations should be delivered to Eastport Yacht Club, 317 First St., as soon as possible, or they may be turned in at the skippers' meeting, set for 8 p.m. Friday at the Scott Sails loft at 7416 Edgewood Road in Annapolis.
Information: Bruce Bingman (SRYC) at (703) 979-3935, or Larry Kumins (EYC) at (410) 266-9157.