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Despite short notice, Cate Muller-Terhune skippers Murder Hornet to J/70 victory at AYC Annual Regatta

M'am'selle, a J/122 skippered by Ed Hartman, crosses Monkey Dust (Tripp 33, Craig Saunders) as the ORC fleet competes in the AYC Annual Regatta on the Chesapeake Bay with an anchored freighter as a backdrop.
M'am'selle, a J/122 skippered by Ed Hartman, crosses Monkey Dust (Tripp 33, Craig Saunders) as the ORC fleet competes in the AYC Annual Regatta on the Chesapeake Bay with an anchored freighter as a backdrop. (Willy keyworth)

Cate Muller-Terhune had not planned on going sailboat racing on the Chesapeake Bay last weekend. Not after spending more than a week traversing the Great Lakes.

Muller-Terhune helped her parents (Jay and Cindy) race their Italia 998 named Das Boot 3.0 in the 112th Chicago-to-Mackinac Race. They finished fifth out of 16 boats in Section 8 with a corrected time of just over 62 hours.

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After spending some time on Mackinac Island, Cate helped deliver the boat back to her parents’ home in the port city of Ludington, Michigan. She returned to Annapolis last Saturday and was looking forward to a relaxing Sunday.

That was before husband Allan Terhune called during the middle of the week and announced he had signed up the couple to compete in the 85th Annapolis Yacht Club Annual Regatta. So, some more sailing it was.

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It proved a productive enterprise as Muller-Terhune steered Murder Hornet to victory in J/70 class at the AYC Annual Regatta. Allan Terhune trimmed the main and called tactics for his wife, who got the gun in all three windward-leeward buoy races held July 25.

“It was a super-challenging day for the race committee and they did a great job of giving us three good races,” Muller-Terhune said. “It was mostly a matter of choosing a side of the course then focusing on boat speed.”

Sunday’s racing was conducted in 12 to 14 knot southerly winds with choppy waves and lots of current. Muller-Terhune had not been aboard the J/70 since the class North American Championships were held off Annapolis in the spring, a regatta limited to just three races due to lack of wind.

“Early on, it was a bit of a challenge wrapping my brain around driving the boat,” she said.

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Max Vinocur trimmed the headsails and Lucy Kupersmith worked the bow aboard Murder Hornet, which had a tight battle with Tea Dance Snake in Race 1 and 2.

“We had to work hard for every win. Tea Dance Snake was really close throughout the first race and was only a boat length behind at the finish,” Muller-Terhune said.

Tea Dance Snake, which had owners Todd Jenner and Michael McNamara aboard for the AYC Annual Regatta, finished second in Race 1 and 2 before suffering a mechanical problem and having to withdraw from Race 3.

Roger Link skippered Osprey to second place in Race 3 and overtook Tea Dance Snake for the runner-up position in the overall standings.

“It was marginal planing conditions and we struggled going downwind. Upwind is where we made the majority of our gains,” Muller-Terhune said. “There was definitely an advantage to getting out of the adverse current and into positive current.”

The next event on the schedule for Murder Hornet is the J/70 East Coast Championships, being held Aug. 27-29 off Cape May, New Jersey. Muller-Terhune will not be able to have her North Sails professional husband aboard for the Corinthian National Championships, being held in September off Marblehead, Massachusetts.

Six boats in the J/105 one-design class race in close quarters on the Chesapeake Bay while approaching an anchored freighter on the Chesapeake Bay.
Six boats in the J/105 one-design class race in close quarters on the Chesapeake Bay while approaching an anchored freighter on the Chesapeake Bay. (Willy keyworth)

Per usual, the 85th AYC Annual Regatta was a two-day affair with the J/105 and ORC classes competing on Saturday. Principal race officer Peter Gordon postponed the fleet ashore for approximately 90 minutes and the southerly sea breeze filled in nicely at around 8 to 12 knots.

“It turned out to be a wonderful day of sailing,” said John White, who steered his newly acquired Abbott 33 to victory in ORC class.

Annapolis Yacht Club commodore and North Sails professional Jonathan Bartlett trimmed and called tactics for White, who corrected to first place in both races on Saturday. Barbara Vosbury (spinnaker trimmer), Christine Compton (mast), Rob Marino (pit) and Kevin White (foredeck) completed the crew.

Kevin White filled out the registration form for his father and decided to name the Abbott 33 Virtucon for this regatta. It was known as Country Squires when it captured class honors in the AYC Spring Race to Oxford. USA 38, a 35-year-old design whose original hull and rig have not been modified, also topped PHRF B at the Northern Bay Championships.

“It’s so different from all the boats we’ve been sailing of late,” John White said. “It’s kind of like rolling the clock back a bit. We’re learning a lot about the boat every time we go out on the water.”

The Abbott 33 was the slowest-rated boat in ORC class and crossed the finish line sixth and seventh out of 11 entries in the two races. White was as surprised as anyone when the Yacht scoring program showed Virtucon as the victor.

“We’re so far behind while we’re on the course that we don’t really know how we’re doing,” he admitted. “The top boats could not be more dissimilar; To see a corrected time band that tight tells us the ORC rule is working well.”

85th AYC Annual Regatta results

J/105 (13 boats)

1. Inigo, Jim Konigsberg, 1-2=3; 2. Good Trade, Peter Bowe, 2-5/scp=7; 3. Crescendo, Angelo Guarino, 4-3=7

ORC (11 boats)

1. Virtucon, Abbott 33, John & Kevin White, 1-1=2; 2. M’am’selle, J/122, Ed & Cindy Hartman, 2-2=4; 3. Monkey Dust, Tripp 33, Craig & Dotty Saunders, 3-3=6

J/22 (6 boats)

1. Hot Ticket, Sandy Adzick, 2-2-1=5; 2. Corner of Sanity and Madness, Chris Junge, 1-1-5=7; 3. Committed, Warren Richter & Tracey Golde, 3-3-2=8

J/30 (10 boats)

1. Insatiable, Ron Anderson, 2-2-3=7; 2. Infectious Smile, Sheila & Tristan Keen, 1-6-1=8; 3. Hello Mary Lou, Ryan Gens, 3-3-2=8

J/70 (10 boats)

1. Murder Hornet, Cate Muller-Terhune, 1-1-1=3; 2. Osprey, Roger Link, 4-3-2=9; 3. Tea Dance Snake, Bowe/Jenner/McNamara, 2-2-11/dnf=15

J/80 (8 boats)

1. Turbo Sloth, Daniel Wittig, 1-2-2=5; 2. Meltemi, Mike Hobson, 2-1-3=6; 3. Scamp, J.R. Maxwell, 3-3-1=7

Viper 640 (6 boats)

1. Gnixe, Bill Vickers, 1-5-1=7; 2. Cicada, Ron & Scott Steele, 4-1-2=7; 3. Evil Hiss, Mary Ewenson, 2-2-3=7

Cal 25 (5 boats)

1. One Eyed Jack, Kyle & Lee Bollhorst, 1-1-2=4, 2. Zephyr, David Hoyt, 4-2-1=7; 3. Love Shack, Barton Goldenberg, 2-3-3=8

Harbor 20 (18 boats)

1. Puffin, Bell Carty & George Hughes, 3-2-7=12; 2. Bullfrog, Tim Adelman, 6-1-8=15; 3. Skimmer, Peter Trogdon & Margaret Podlich, 2-11-4=17

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