Last weekend was a big one for CBYRA's Region II, between Sandy Point and the Patapsco, when the Magothy River Sailing Association's 19th Annual Race to Baltimore took a fleet of 55 starters on a 12.3-mile race from the Magothy up to Sparrows Point on Saturday. That was followed on Sunday by the Rock Creek Yachting Association's 6.74-mile reciprocal Baltimore Harbor Lighthouse Classic, although the sticky weather contributed to a much smaller fleet of 11 starters.
"It was very hot," said Don Rossi, son of Saturday's PHRF A winner, David Rossi of Severna Park. "It took good crew work, because everybody had to keep their wits together, which is hard when it's that hot." Rossi's Albatrossi team also placed second in Sunday's RCYA event.
Rossi pointed especially to good work by Albatrossi's navigator, Chuck Herala, on keeping the team on course, while mainsheet trimmer Joe Wasky helped with the winning tactics. "We played the shifts and kept track of the current," Rossi said. "The main thing was to keep the boat moving at all times, and avoid the light spots."
One of the year's most popular just-for-fun events went off last Saturday out of the Severn River Yacht Club. This year's Bacardi Cup race drew 81 starters, ranging from hot racing machines to family cruisers, in a unique reverse-handicap pursuit-start format. That means that one's PHRF-based handicap is taken out at the start, with the slowest boats starting first, so that the first over the line wins. To be successful in a race like that, early starters smaller, slower boats need to stay in front, preventing others from passing them, while the later starters on the bigger, faster racehorses must sail through the fleet and pass everyone in front of them.
For Steve Schaub and the crew on his Farr 33 Contraire, sailing through the fleet was what it took to win. As one of the latest starters in the huge fleet, the Contraire team had to pass more than 75 other boats to take the overall win.
High heat and humidity didn't seem to dampen the racers' spirits, and the event once again was profitable for the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, the traditional beneficiary of the entry fees, which this year will receive more than $2,750 from the event.