Chessie and Toshiba sail on to England


Chessie, the Baltimore-Annapolis entry in the Whitbread Round the World Race, is en route to England, where the nine-leg sailing competition will begin next month.

With skipper George Collins and team president Mark K. Fischer aboard along with its 12-man crew, Chessie is sailing in company with Toshiba, the Dennis Conner entry in the race.

Whitbread entries are required to log 3,000 miles offshore before the start on Sept. 21, and the two Whitbread 60s will train against each other on the Atlantic crossing.

According to spokesmen for Chessie Racing, during the day the two boats will sail closely together, testing sails and sail combinations. At night, however, the boats will separate and speed test under the cover of darkness.

The Whitbread 60s, both designed by Bruce Farr and Associates of Annapolis, already have had winds over 30 knots and reached speeds of 24 knots, according to Chessie Racing officials. Gale force winds were expected Tuesday night and yesterday.

The boats are expected to arrive in England between Tuesdayand Aug. 8.

Hydroplane races

Thunder on the Narrows, an intense program of American Power Boat Association hydroplane races, will be held Saturday and Sunday at Kent Narrows, with races beginning at noon each day.

Some 70 boats in six classes are expected to compete in the competition sponsored by the Kent Narrows Racing Association. Race headquarters will be at the Kent Island Yacht Club.

Speeds over the 5-mile course will approach 100 miles per hour, and course legs are easily seen from the spectator areas. Admission is $5. Follow the signs from the Kent Narrows Bridge to the parking area, where a free shuttle will be available.

Grounds open at 8: 30 a.m. and food and entertainment are included in the admission price.

Fishing update

With the White Marlin Open coming up in Ocean City next week, through last weekend the billfish angling offshore has been disappointing -- with only two white marlin caught and released during the O.C. Marlin Club's Marina Shootout -- but the tuna fishing has been excellent.

Limits of bluefin tuna are being taken regularly from the Parking Lot, Hambone and Hot Dog, and yellowfin have been hot for trollers at Poor Man's Canyon and the 35- to 50-fathom bottom contours.

The boat limit for bluefin through Aug. 7 is four per boat per day between 27 and 47 inches.

Farther inshore, large bluefish, king mackerel and dolphin head the action, with head boats doing well on sea bass to three pounds over the wrecks.

In the back bays, the inlet and the surf, fishing has picked up as well. Kingfish, spot, croaker, sea trout and rockfish all have been good bets in the surf.

In the upper bay, white perch have returned to more normal behavior, with good catches at Snake Reef, Baltimore Light and Belvedere Shoals and in the Chester River from Eastern Neck Island to Grays Inn Creek. Bluefish have been scattered and breaking as far north as Tolchester. Best catfish angling was reported in tributaries.

In the middle bay, croaker fishing remains very good at James Island, Punch Island and the Summer Gooses, with the channel edges in Eastern Bay improving. Spot have been caught in large numbers at the Diamonds near the mouth of the Choptank River, and white perch, spot, croaker and smaller numbers of sea tout and bluefish have been hitting along the western shore from Thomas Point to Hacketts. Bluefish, including some to four pounds, have been breaking along main channel edges from Punch Island to Brickhouse Bar.

In the lower bay, channel edges from the Middle Grounds to Hooper Island Light have been turning up croaker to 18 inches, bluefish, spot, sea trout and flounder for bottom fishermen. Tangier Sound continues to be great for croaker, along with smaller catches of sea trout, flounder and spot, at the Puppy Hole, Terrapin Sands, MR Buoy and South Marsh Island.

At Loch Raven, the best bass fishing has been deep, in the 20- to 30-foot range, and pickerel are active in the grass beds.

Trollers also are doing well on white perch at Prettyboy, and at Liberty rocky points hold bass. At Deep Creek Lake, smallmouth bass and walleye have been consistent, along with pickerel in the grass beds. Sporadic trout fishing near the dam.

On the upper Potomac River, the evening white miller catch continues and anglers are taking fair numbers of smallmouths in the 10- to 12-inch range.

Pub Date: 7/31/97

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