Thanks to strong wind, Labor Day weekend regatta is no breeze

The West River Sailing Club of Galesville's traditional Labor Day weekend regatta featured lots of action.

Things started well Friday with a race from Annapolis to Galesville in breezes from the south-southeast at 20 knots or more -- tough conditions for the relatively tiny Chesapeake 20s, Stars and Flying Scots.


With survival conditions prevailing, both Stars and four of the six Chesapeake 20s dropped out.

Weather conditions looked threatening the next morning for the start of the officially sanctioned, two-day annual regatta. But a pleasant northeasterly breeze prevailed until the front came through in late morning, bringing a brief period of high winds and rain.


After the front passed, the day's conditions settled down and two races were completed, with the Chesapeake 20s, Snipes, Windmills, Jet 14s, Penguins and three Laser divisions using the inside course in the river, and the Stars, International 14s, Flying Scots and Albacores on the bay.

A single race completed the official series on Sunday, in conditions described as just right.

Then, after lunch at the clubhouse, it was back onto the water for the club's traditional free-for-all race, in which no limits are on sail area or light sails, and the only rule other than the standard racing rules (one-design restrictions are voided for the event) is that luffing of boats with square sails is not allowed.

Race to Galesville

Chesapeake 20 (6 starters): 1. Randy Watson (hometown unavailable); 2. Bill Crandall, Shady Side.

Flying Scot (5 starters): 1. David Neff, Edgewater; 2. Frank Gibson, Arlington, Va.

Star (2 starters/0 finishers).

WRSC annual regatta


Albacore (5 starters): 1. Daphne Byron, Silver Spring, 2. Bill Buck (hometown unavailable).

Chesapeake 20 (11 entries): 1. Peter Bell, West River; 2. Bunky Hines, Annapolis; 3. Alex Schlegel, West River.

Flying Scot (12 entries): 1. Dan Neff, Edgewater; 2. Frank Gibson, Arlington, Va.; 3. Peter Salmon-Cox, Millersville; 4. Gabor Karafiath, Silver Spring.

International 470 (6 entries): 1. Tim Drake, Dunkirk; 2. Gordon Cutler, Chevy Chase.

Jet 14 (8 entries): 1. Dean Irey, West River; 2. Caroline Simonds, Alexandria, Va.; 3. Bill Reed, Chevy Chase.

Laser (7 entries): 1. Bob Tan (hometown unavailable); 2. Chris Legg (hometown unavailable); 3. Heidi Cunningham, Annapolis.


Laser Junior (7 entries): 1. Jeremy Wilson, Severna Park; 2. Aaron Serinis, Severna Park; 3. Greg Miernicki, Severna Park.

Laser Radial (3 entries): 1. Jamie Smith (hometown unavailable).

Penguin (11 entries): 1. Bill Lane, Easton; 2. Charles Krafft, Snipe (1 entry): 1. Mike Schmidt (hometown unavailable).

Star (8 entries): 1. Andris Baltins, Gambrills; 2. Michael Lovellette, Seabrook; 3. Chris Bowman, Owings.

Windmill (10 entries): 1. John Danneberger, Severna Park; 2. Mark Swanson (hometown unavailable); 3. Mark Shaughnessy (hometown unavailable).

Free for All


16-23 Foot Category (6 entries): 1. Star, Gene Peters, Washington; 2. Chesapeake 20, Billy Crandall, Shady Side.

Under 16 Feet Category (5 entries): 1. Albacore, Cindy Burgo (hometown unavailable); 2. Laser, Greg Miernicki, Severna Park.

Governor's Cup Regatta

Last Saturday and Sunday also were busy at Severn Sailing Association, when the Lightning and Thistle classes conducted a joint Labor Day/Governor's Cup Regatta.

Winning the 10-boat Lightning class in a come-from-behind push on Sunday was Fred Mertes of Annapolis. Mertes had been in second, several points behind Simeon Coxe at the end of Saturday's two races, but surged ahead Sunday to take the series by six points.

"It was strange," Mertes said. "The first two races on Saturday, and the first race Sunday, were what I would term real good conditions, but the last race both days got real weird, with the wind jumping all over the place."


He said the ebb current was running strongly down the bay, causing strategic dilemmas. On Sunday, as the wind died and clocked to the right, he said, he nevertheless played the left side of the course to avoid the stronger adverse current.

"Good crew work bailed us out, especially in the last race on Sunday," Mertes said. "Simeon was ahead of us at the first mark, but we had a little better spinnaker set and sailed below him, which put us ahead."

SSA Labor Day/

Governor's Cup regattas

Lightning (10 starters): 1. Fred Mertes, Annapolis, 10.5 (1-2-5-1-2); 2. Simeon Coxe, Annapolis, 16.5 (2-1-1-6-7); 3. Eric Coffin (hometown unavailable), 17 (4-4-3-3-3).

Thistle (9 starters): 1. Brent Barbehenn, Moorestown, N.J., 3 (1-1-1-1); 2. Don Moore, Bowie, 9 (2-3-2-2); 3. Rosemary Foltis, Annapolis, 21 (3-5-6-4).