An early start to the Chesapeake Bay sailing season will feature America's Cup-style racing on the Chesapeake Bay near the historic city of Annapolis, Maryland USA which is hosting the inaugural Annapolis Cup Match Race.
Using this event as a tune-up for April's ISAF Grade 1, Congressional Cup, one of the oldest and most prestigious match racing events in the world, winners and veterans of the America's Cup, ISAF World Match Racing Championship, Cowes Week, Sydney-Hobart and the Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Races will compete against each other while enjoying the warm hospitality of Annapolis, America's Sailing Capital.
Sailing as Team Annapolis Volvo, 2003 Congressional Cup winner and Annapolis resident Terry HUTCHINSON will lead an all-Annapolis crew consisting of Greg GENDELL, Chris LARSON, and Andrew SCOTT, all of whom are highly-pedigreed professional sailing rock stars and have significant experience in the world's most revered Grand Prix racing competitions. Hutchinson will go head to head against former US Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, Ed BAIRD, winner of the 2003 ISAF World Match Racing Championship. He will race in Annapolis with members of his 2003 Championship crew as Team MUSTO - Andy HORTON of Vermont, and John ZISKIND from Newport, Rhode Island. Baird, of St. Petersburg, Florida adds Californian Bill HARDESTY, Grand Prix sailor and 1999 U.S. College Sailor of the Year to Team MUSTO for the Annapolis Cup Match Race.
Annapolis Mayor Ellen O. Moyer was excited to announce the city's support of the Annapolis Cup, "Having these high-calibre sailors come to Annapolis to practice for one of the world's most esteemed match racing events further serves to reinforce Annapolis as the Sailing Capital of America,"
she said. "We are happy to welcome them to our lovely city."
Racing in identical J105s, Team Annapolis Volvo will sail LeRenard owned by Steve PHILLIPS and Team MUSTO will compete in Alec CUTLER'S Hooked on Tonics. The boats will be based out of the Annapolis Yacht Club's One Design Sailing Center. Wednesday 24 March will be a practice day with races scheduled 1100 - 1600. The Annapolis Cup starts Thursday 25 March 1100 - 1600 and continues Friday 26 March 1100 - 1500 with five races per day on the schedule. Dobbs DAVIS and Mike JONES will serve as umpires. Alec CUTLER will have the opportunity to helm his own boat against Team Annapolis Volvo on Saturday 27 March after Baird departs Annapolis Friday evening.
Daily results and photographs of the racing will be posted on the Volvo Ocean Race Team Kan-Do web site at the address below, and Mayor Moyer will present the Annapolis Cup Match Race trophies on Friday, 26 March, 2004 at a 1700 hours Awards Ceremony to be held at the Boatyard Bar & Grill in Eastport, Annapolis. The public is invited to attend.