Competition gets started on the water


The Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association's big-boat High Point calendar begins next weekend with the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron's Spring Race, although J/24 sailors already are at it this weekend at Severn Sailing Association's Spring Bowl, sharing the course with non-CBYRA Solings.

SSA will conduct a major Laser regatta, the Sunshine Open, next weekend, while down off Galesville the Stars, 5.0.5.s and 470s will face off on the water for the West River Sailing Club's Spring I regatta.

The NASS Spring Race is a traditional way to open the big-boat season, with starts offered on Saturday for PHRF A-0, A-1, A-2, B, C, D and Nonspinnaker, along with MORC and J/24s. On Sunday, weather permitting, two or more races may be sailed with a fleet made up of IMS I and II and J/30 sailors.

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Naval Academy, each participating boat in the Spring Race will receive a plaque. Entry deadline is 7 p.m. Thursday.

Locals near the Rhode and West rivers, Severn River, Spa Creek and the Magothy will be noticing a lot of midweek activity from now on, as the Annapolis Yacht Club's Wednesday Night series starts this week, joining series already in progress on Wednesdays out of Pirate's Cove and the joint Magothy efforts of the Magothy River Sailing Club, the Potapskut Sailing Association, Gibson Island Yacht Squadron, and the Cape St. Claire Yacht Club.

In Annapolis, the Chesapeake Sailing School offers Monday and Tuesday night series for business competition on the water. Monday nights' Bar Wars series, which begins with a practice race May 1 and runs for the next 11 weeks, is for hospitality industry types, while Tuesdays starting with a practice event on May 2 the Businesses for Sail series, for nonhospitality businesses, takes off. Both series use the school's fleet of Tanzer 22s. Current title holder for Bar Wars is the Chart House, while Fawcett Boat Supplies holds the Businesses for Sail title from last year.

On Thursdays J/World Annapolis and J/Boats Chesapeake offer series for J/22, J/24 and J/80 sailors. The season will be divided into two series, May 4 through June 22, and July 6 through Aug. 24, with eight nights of racing per series.

Warning signals for the first race each week are no earlier than 6:30 p.m. near the entrance of Back Creek in the Severn River. Entry fee is $30 per series, and entry is open to any member of the J/22, J/24 or J/80 U.S. Class Associations who also is a member of a local fleet. Because there is no local fleet for J/80s, that class is exempt from that part of the rule.

Post-race refreshments, results and social will be conducted weekly after racing for all competitors at J/Port, 213 Eastern Ave. Information: (401) 280-2040.

SSA open house

Severn Sailing Association will conduct its annual club open house next Sunday, April 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the clubhouse, 311 First St. in Eastport.

For information, visit the SSA booth at the Annapolis Spring Boat Show next weekend or call (410) 269-6744.

Calling classic boat owners

Organizers of the Annapolis Waterfront Arts Festival, at City Dock over the weekend of May 5-7, are in search of wooden and classic boat owners to participate in a rendezvous and racing during the festival.

The wooden boat rendezvous will be made up of privately owned vessels on display along a grid of floating docks anchored to the Annapolis Yacht Basin. Participating owners will receive free docking, electricity and water, plus free admission to the festival for their crew, and free entry into the classic sailboat races.

The races, beginning at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, will start off the corner of the Naval Academy seawall, go out to the C'3' mark in the mouth of the Severn, and finish in Annapolis Harbor off the Chart House dock. Entries will be divided into divisions by the race committee, and winners will receive customized commemorative plaques bearing a color portrait of the boat.

In years past, participating groups have included the Antique & Classic Boat Society of Maryland, the Chesapeake Traditional Sailboat Association, the Electric Boat Association of America and others. Information: Jeff Holland, (410) 268-8828.

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