The 27th annual Annapolis Race Week will fill the waters off Annapolis with about 200 racing sailboats this weekend, as three separate fleets compete on courses spread from just north of the Bay Bridge to the West River.
Racing begins this morning, and runs through Monday, with up to two races daily for each fleet -- depending, of course, on cooperative wind conditions.
Fleet 1 includes IMS I and II, and PHRF A-1 and A-2, while Fleet 2's racers include IMS III, PHRF B, MORC, and the J/30s.
Fleet 3 racers include PHRF C and Nonspinnaker, along with J/24s, Catalina 27s, and Cal 25s.
The 200 entrants make it the largest big-boat multi-race regatta on the Northern Bay.
The event is run by the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association, with race management by Annapolis Yacht Club, the Baltimore City Yacht Association, Eastport Yacht Club, the Gibson Island Yacht Squadron, the Magothy River Sailing Association, the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron, the Sailing Club of the Chesapeake, Shearwater Sailing Club and West River Sailing Club.
Regatta headquarters for racing-related functions will remain at Annapolis Yacht Club, but social activities have a new venue this year, with nightly awards parties to be held at the Annapolis Marriott Waterfront Hotel on City Dock.
The mezzanine level deck and ballroom will be open for competitors from 4:30 to 10 p.m. each evening with live music from Fat Ammon's Band today and Mama Jama tomorrow. Davis Deejays will provide the music on Monday.
In addition, special Race Week exhibits and sponsor booths have been set up on City Dock during the regatta.