'Continuing to race today in these conditions would really have not been suitable for the purpose of our event,' said event chairman John PICA yesterday. 'Our objective is to raise awareness for our charities, support our sponsors, and have fun. While we had a great time over the first two days, our skippers and boat owners felt it would have been difficult to achieve that today.'
Racing in the event started on Thursday, with a practice round held in light air to warm up the crews followed by a fun promotional race, with Andrzej and Gosia ROJEK's (USA) Swan 45 Better Than finishing barely a boatlength ahead of Steve DEVOE's (USA) bDevocean. Both boats under spinnaker, gybe-dueling through the crowded mooring field in Spa Creek and just yards from the world's largest in-water sailboat show, was a spectacular prelude to the following day's match race action.
Friday's race action started with LAW winning the first match after holding off an attack from BRADY on the first spinnaker run. But building breeze and waves in the Severn River prompted organizers to call off use of spinnakers for matches two and three. This did not diminish, however, the closeness of the action, as these two America's Cup veteran helmsmen using mostly local crew talent traded results in the remaining matches, with BRADY winning and successfully defending the favoured right side of the course to win match two, and LAW capitalizing on a navigational error made by BRADY to overcome a penalty and go on to win match three.
With monsoon-like conditions persisting throughout the day, Principal Race Officer Dick NEVILLE of the Storm Trysail Club and Chief Umpire Jim CAPRON decided to terminate racing rather than risk damage to boats or crews. 'We looked over several options, but the weather is just not cooperating,' said NEVILLE.
'Regardless of what happens on the water, the real winners are the charities,' said PICA. 'Even this bad weather has not dampened the enthusiasm everyone has for providing them support.'
All proceeds from Senator's Cup are used to support local charities, including Box of Rain, a year round programme designed to inspire and encourage Annapolis area youth, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to gain self esteem and to develop life skills that lead to positive contributions to the community, and the Annapolis Community Foundation, a leader and resource for philanthropy in Annapolis by anticipating and responding to community needs, supporting a broad range of programmes and projects, building and managing permanent endowments, and granting funds. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Special Olympics of Maryland also receive support from the event.
Returning as Title Sponsor for the Senator's Cup is Annapolis Volvo, with Nautica and Corum providing support as Presenting Sponsors. Banner Sponsors include: Anne Arundel County, Bitter End Yacht Club, Boatyard Bar and Grill, City of Annapolis, Nautor¹s Swan, Sailing World Magazine, United States Sailboat Show, and the State of Maryland. Supporting Sponsors include: Aigle Boots, Annapolis Radio WRNR, Appleton Rum, Finlandia Vodka, Kathryn Leonard, Artist, Maria's Sicilian Ristorante, Marriott Waterfront Hotel, Tuaca, Under Armour, and Vansant Creations, and Virgin Vines Wine.