After three days of competition on the Chesapeake Bay, during which much of the attention was on a seeming duel between Canada's Cup rivals in the high-tech, big-ticket Level 30 Class, the winner of this year's MORC International Championship was John White of Severna Park and his team, which came up from MORC B to take top honors in the 41-boat fleet.
The regatta, which ran from Sunday through Tuesday, was sailed out of Annapolis Yacht Club. It was co-sponsored by Annapolis MORC Station 15, and featured two relatively short windward-leeward races in light and shifty breeze on Sunday; three increasingly longer windward-leewards in Monday's building breezes, which increased from light and fluky in the morning to a solid 15 knots by the third race, and a single race of almost 12 miles on Tuesday, the event's longest, sailed in the strongest breeze.
Competitors were relatively evenly split between Chesapeake Bay boats from both ends of the bay and out-of-town sailors, including top competitors and past international champions from California, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Florida, New York and Canada.
White and his team of Jonathan Bartlett, David Zinn, Barbara Vosbury, Andy Davis and Bob Holden, used smart sailing and practiced teamwork to get the better of two cutting-edge MORC rockets, Brian Rikley's Dobroth 30 Absolute, out of Quebec, and Steve Sisson's Nelson/Marek 30 Zoo 3, from Grandville, Mich., with a third-generation refit of an old boat.
White initially modified his family's old Chance Offshore One-Design with a new keel and rudder a few years back, and successfully campaigned it on the Chesapeake under the moniker Second Chance, racking up plenty of honors before the family sold the boat. White undertook a new campaign with a B-25, with which he and his team won their class Key West Race Week in January, before he repurchased the Second Chance.
With MORC racing specifically in mind, White lopped off three feet from the boat's stern and rehung the rudder, and made some other, less dramatic changes along the way. The boat, officially unnamed for this regatta, has been very strong in local MORC competition this year and now has proved White's experiment a success with its performance against some of North America's top MORC contenders.
Other locals who did especially well in the Internationals included regatta chairman Chuck O'Malley of Annapolis, whose team sailed Rude Awakening, his modified Kirby 30 (a new keel went BTC on this year, on top of other, past changes), to fourth overall and victory in MORC A, despite a strong showing by Dave Gendell of Arnold and the team aboard his Lindenberg 28 Bang.
Tom Price of Pasadena and the crew on his Laser 28 Hyder-Ally were the only MORC B competitors to beat White in class, and took second there, translating to 13th overall, while the J/29 division competition came down to a tie on points for first, which went to Jay McArdle's Fast Lane team from Illinois over the local Annapolis Salvesen/Lewis team on Mirage.
Overall Fleet (41 starters): 1. (no name) (Chance/Mod), John White, Severna Park, 21.25 (1-10-1-5-4-1); 2. Absolute (Dobroth 30), Brian Rikley, Hudson, Que., 22.75 (5-1-3-3-6-5); 3. Zoo 3 (N/M 30), Steve Sisson, Grandville, Mich., 25.5 (2-4-10-1-1-8); 4. Rude Awakening (Kirby 30 Mod), Chuck O'Malley, Annapolis, 40 (9-7-5-2-5-12); 5. Easy Go (N/M 25), Blatt/Pattison, Laguna, Calif., 57 (14-5-2-12-8-16); 6. Zoo 2 (G&S; 30), Dick Steffen, Dorval, Que., 64 (10-2-12-10-7-23); 7. Na-Na-Li (Abbott 27), Jim Norris, Kingsville, Ont., 64 (3-30-9-16-3-3); 8. My Girl Too (G&S; 27), Robert Hobbs, Tampa, Fla., 66 (22-8-14-8-10-4); 9. Bang (Lindenberg 28), Dave Gendell, Arnold, 72 (7-12-6-21-24-2); 10. Insatiable (Mariah 27), Mike Karn, Richmond, Va., 76 (27-14-5-14- 2-15).
Level 30 (5 starters): 1. Absolute, Rikley, 8.25 (2-1-1-2-2-1); 2. Zoo 3, Sisson, 10.25 (1-4-2-1-1-2); 3. Zoo 2, Steffen, 20 (3-2-4-4-3-4).
Level 27 (7 starters): 1. Easy Go, Blatt/Pattison, 10.25 (1-1-1-2-2-4); 2. My Girl Too, Hobbs, 13.5 (3-2-4-1-3-1); 3. Insatiable, Karn, 17.75 (4-5-2-3-1-3).
MORC A (8 starters): 1. Rude Awakening, O'Malley, 7 (2-1-1-1-1-2); 2. Bang, Gendell, 12.5 (1-2-2-3-4-1); 3. Resurrection (J/29 Mod), Bill Spencer, Richmond, Va., 20 (3-3-3-2-5-4).
J/29 (5 starters): 1. Fast Lane, Jay McArdle, Gary, Il., 13.75 (1-4-2-2-2-3); 2. Mirage, Salvesen/Lewis, Annapolis, 13.75 (2-2-3-1-2-4); 3. Tops Optional, Steve Olinger, Wayne, N.J., 16.75 (4-3-1-3-3-3).
MORC B (9 starters): 1. (no name), White, 5.75 (1-1-1-2-1-1); 2. Hyder-Ally (Laser 28), Thomas Price, Pasadena, 20.75 (3-2-6-1- 5-4); 3. Still A Gorilla (S2 9.1), Barney Hathaway, Lusby, 22 (4- 7-3-4-2-2).
MORC C (7 starters): 1) Na-Na-Li, Norris, 8 (1-3-1-2-1-1); 2. Slapshot (S2 7.9), Matt DuBois, Grosse Isl., Mich., 14.75 (2-5-2-1-3-2); 3. Brat (Andrews 26), David Bauermeister, Northville, Mich., 20 (5-4-3-3-2-3).
SSA Ed Hoyt Regatta
Severn Sailing Association's traditional keelboat regatta named for one of its longest-standing competitors, Annapolitan Ed Hoyt, turned out to be a victory for its octogenarian namesake, when he tied for first place in the Tempest class last Sunday.
The regatta was to have been a two-day affair, but the threat of Hurricane Felix meant that Saturday's racing was called off as the club's committee boats had been secured against the possible storm. Nonetheless, a fleet of Tempests, J/22s and J/24s sailed a two-race series on Sunday.
Tempest (4 starters): 1. (tie) Edgar Hoyt, 3.75 (1-3); 2. Ray O'Hara, 3.75 (3-1); 3. Brigid O'Hara, 4 (2-2).
J/24 (12 starters): 1. Dave Eggleton, 4 (2-2); 2. Dan Hawthorne, 4.75 (4-1); 3. S&M; Podlich, 6 (3-3); 4. Russell Potee, 6.75 (1-6); 5. Mike Castleberry, 10 (5-5).
J/22 (18 starters): 1. Peter McChesney, 3.75 (1-3); 2. Tucker Thompson, 5 (3-2); 3. William Chambers, 6.75 (6-1); 4. Scott Batchelor, 12 (8-4); 5. John O'Brien, 15 (9-6).