Despite the heat and periods of light air, a fleet of 51 boats in six classes sailed the 117.8-mile course from Annapolis to Hampton, Va., late last week in the annual running of the Hampton Yacht Club's Virginia Cruising Cup race.
Alternately known as the Down The Bay Race or simply as the Hampton Race, the Virginia Cruising Cup dates back dozens of years, and its fleet includes sailors who have competed since their early teens.
Virginia-based boats dominated the fleet and took most of the trophies, but in the largest class, PHRF A-1 with 13 starters, Marylanders took three of the top four spots. Annapolis Yacht Club's Bill Chambers and his team on his J/35 Wild Thang were second and Easton's George Wilson and crew on his J/44 First Light third behind class and Hampton Yacht Club Trophy winner Bill Drinkwater and the crew aboard his Virginia Beach-based Prelude.
Line honors went to Butch Michel of Gibson Island Yacht Squadron aboard his 50-footer Airwaves, correcting to fourth in PHRF A-1 after crossing the finish line first in just less than 20 hours.
Winds were southerly and fairly consistent, despite going light at times and occasionally huffing up to 12 to 15 knots Thursday evening. Until Friday dawned, that is.
In the morning as the fleet neared its destination, boats that had positioned themselves farther to the west were able to take advantage of a significant wind shift and set spinnakers for the final portion of the race.
AYC J/22Summer Regatta
Last weekend's J/22 Summer Regatta out of Annapolis Yacht Club marked another win for partners Gary Jobson and Glenn Robbins.
But the final overall outcome remained undertermined until the final stages of the regatta, and none of the 22 competitors dominated.
"Nobody has won two races in a regatta yet, which really shows that the class is pretty well balanced," said Jobson, who raced with Robins and crew Mike Yost.
Jobson and company were not able to clinch the regatta until late in the final contest of the five-race series, when the wind went light and only four boats crossed the finish line before the time limit of 20 minutes after the first boat to finish ran out. Jobson was second in that race, beating earlier fleet leader Andy Hughes by two points for the series.
"We were winning the series going into the last race, but we didn't finish," said Hughes, who raced with Charlie Kunda and Mark Hempstead. "We had only another 50 yards to go, and had we finished, we would have been fifth and would have won the regatta . . . ."
A fleet of 14 Stars competed at Gibson Island last weekend in the 58th annual Miller Memorial Regatta, a three-race series on by Annapolitan Jonathan Bartlett.
Bartlett's finishes of 4-1-3 were otherwise identical except in chronological order to second-placer Ned Jones, the sailing coach from the U.S. Maritime Academy at Kings Point, Bartlett won the tiebreaker over Jones. The Novice trophy for the regatta went to Bernadette Klima of Chester, who finished fifth overall. The Masters trophy was awarded to John Braddon of Fairfax, Va.