The annual Annapolis Yacht Club Fall series got off to a rip-roaring start last weekend as huge fleets of sailboats faced big waves and heavy air for the first of three meets.
Saturday's fleet, including IMS II and III, PHRF A-1, A-2, and B and J/35s, has 101 entries so far, of which 89 boats started the 12.27-mile windward-leeward race.
The next day, 85 of the 103-boat fleet made up of PHRF C, MORC and the Alberg 30s, Cal 25s, J/30s, J/24s and Pearson 30s tested a similarly sized course.
Extremely close results were found in many classes on Saturday, with a number of in-the-money finishers separated by only a few seconds in a shifting southerly breeze that built through the morning to about 20 knots.
That day's largest class produced some of the closest finishes. The best corrected times for the overall PHRF A-B fleet came when Olson 30 sailor Al Holt cruised in with his crew on Think Fast for a three-second win over Mid. 1/C Mike Oldman's Naval Academy team on Flirt with an eight-second gap over third-placer Tom French and the crew on his Melges 24 Neato-Torpedo.
On Sunday, when the winds came in hard from the northwest, puffy and gusting into the 30s, the smaller boats had a tough race, which left crews exhausted and some equipment damaged, including a broken mast on a PHRF C competitor.
The J/24 class, with 27 starters and 24 finishers on Sunday out of 34 entries, was the largest class of the series.
Winner of the class was Tony Parker and his crew on Bangor Packet. In the J/30 class, the partnership of Charlie Scott and Charlie Smith and their crew were back on top again after a couple of tough regattas with their boat, Houdini, renamed No Magic.
AYC Fall Series 1
Saturday, Oct. 2
IMS II (14 starters): 1. Jake, Sandy Morse, Annapolis, 1:25:09 c.t.; 2. Dancer, Bill Steitz, Pittsburgh, Pa./Annapolis, 1:25:40 c.t.; 3. Quintessence, Benjamin Michaelson, Annapolis, 1:27:24 c.t.
IMS III (12 starters): 1. Fast Track, Yeigh/Jones, Annapolis, 1:26:38 c.t.; 2. Sugar Too, Brad Parker, Annapolis, 1:26:49 c.t.; 3. Hilite, Leonard Eastman, Annapolis, 1:26:50 c.t.
PHRF A-1 (17 starters, protests pending): 1. True North, Mark Fischer, Ruxton, 1:54:59 c.t.; 2. Merrythought, Jack King, Fairfax, Va./Annapolis, 1:55:02 c.t.; 3. Full Cry, Robert Crompton, Coatesville, Pa., 1:56:31 c.t.; 4. Ramrod, Bert Jabin, Annapolis, 1:57:13 c.t.
PHRF A-2 (29 starters): 1. Think Fast, Albert Holt, Annapolis, 1:54:15 c.t.; 2. Flirt, Mid. 1/C Mike Oldman, USNA, 1:54:18 c.t.; 3. Neato-Torpedo, Thomas French, Olney, 1:54:23 c.t.; 4. Swift, Mid. 1/C Jeff Wissel, USNA, 1:57:06 c.t.; 5. BAM, G.N. Smernoff, Annandale, Va., 1:57:13 c.t.
PHRF B (11 starters): 1. Rude Awakening, Chuck O'Malley, Annapolis, 1:54:49 c.t.; 2. Flying Circus, Jervis Dorton, Columbia, 1:55:18 c.t.; 3. Freedom, Pete Schellie, Annapolis, 1:58:41 c.t.
J/35 (6 starters): 1. Hot Toddy, Jeff Todd, Annapolis; 2. Aunt Jean, F.N. Sagerholm, Ocean City, N.J.; 3. Cheers, Tim Bowen, Bowie.
Sunday, Oct. 3
MORC (15 starters): 1. Mirage, Lewis/Salvesen, Annapolis/Edgewater, 1:50:28 c.t.; 2. Rude Awakening, O'Malley, 1:54:07 c.t.; 3. Tops Optional, Steve Olinger, Annapolis, 1:54:56 c.t.; 4. Stingray, Robert Muller, Annapolis, 1:57:17 c.t.
PHRF C (11 starters): 1. Sails Call, Richard Baucom, Davidsonville, 2:09:00 c.t.; 2. Finnegan's Wake, Jack O'Brien, Pasadena, 2:12:58 c.t.; 3. Triple Dee III, Peter Driscoll, Beallsville, 2:13:01 c.t.
Alberg 30 (5 starters): 1. Sundance, Nye/Evans Syndicate, Annapolis; 2. Limerick, Pat Gorman, Annapolis.
Cal 25 (6 starters): 1. Chicken Little, Charlie Husar, Annapolis; 2. White Cap, Tim Bloomfield, Chevy Chase; 3. Jumpin' Jack Flash, J & J Niemczuk, Glen Burnie.
J/30 (17 starters): 1. No Magic, Scott/Smith, Annapolis/Cambridge; 2. Jackrabbit, CEJ Syndicate, Annapolis; 3. Gunsmoke, Michael McGuirk, Bel Air; 4. Irish Wake, Jack & Foree Biddle, Annapolis.
J/24 (27 starters, protest pending): 1. Bangor Packet, Tony Parker, Washington; 2. AJ, David Scheidt, Edgewater; 3. Arnold nTC Goes to Hollywood, Jack Van Dalen, Haddonfield, N.J.; 4. Dream Girl, Russ Potee, Arnold; 5. Sail No. 4800, skipper/hometown unavailable.
Pearson 30 (4 starters): 1. Vahevala, David Sharp, Edgewater; 2. Severn Run, Norm Baldwin, Annapolis.