Racers at the Sailing World National Offshore One-Design (NOOD) regatta, the region's first major sailing event of the season, weathered two extremes at this Chesapeake contest that concluded today: too much wind, or too little.
"In all my J/80 racing, these were probably the strongest winds we've seen," said competitor Michael Lague (Stewartsville, N.J.) after reaching the docks on opening day.
Friday's racing at this three-day event, which was hosted May 3-5 by Annapolis Yacht Club, gave the 233-boat fleet a wild ride: the breeze was stiff and shifty, at 25 knots from the northwest; sails were shredded; a J/80 crewmember was launched (and successfully recovered) into the Chesapeake; and bruised bodies and egos were rife amongst the fleet.
On Days 2 and 3, the wind ran out of gas. Not all of the 15 classes were able to complete races on both Saturday and Sunday in the light winds that blew for the balance of the regatta.
The lineup of winners who collected trophies tonight at the Annapolis Yacht Club had patience for light air and survival skill; Rhode Island sailors Kristan McClintock, Moose McClintock, and Corey Butlin were the crew who used that mix of talent to win the largest class in the regatta.
The McClintocks and Butlin won the 42-boat J/22 class after four races. They sailed a solid top-10 performance on Friday and entered the final race in 6th place; then they blew the fleet away with a win in Sunday's finale.
"We got a good start in the last race," said Butlin, who helmed the boat, "and we punched out into the lead." They kept their leading edge for a class win. In the last race, many J/22s struggled with too little wind and too much current--and many did not make the time limit in the final race.
Other crews did not get a chance to use the little air there was to horsepower a comeback. Four race courses were set to manage this large fleet, and each course area had slightly different conditions.
As the 13-boat Mumm 30 class entered its finale, crew Darren Jones--racing on Richard Perini's Sydney, Australia-based Foreign Affair--knew that everything would ride on the last race. "Tomorrow will be a big one for us," said Jones, on the eve of the final race. But with too little wind on the Mumm 30 circle, the Mumms never had their final battle.
Michigan sailor Dan Cheresh (Holland) won the class on a tie-breaker. The Mumms may have some unfinished business from this event, but they will have a chance to settle the score at the Mumm 30 Worlds, to be held this fall in Annapolis.
With the challenges the weather threw at NOOD racers, it was no surprise that crews with strong, longstanding relationships weathered the conditions well.
Richard Harrison of Chester (Md.)--who won the J/30 class on a boat called No Respect--relied on the brainpower of his son Brett Harrison, who called the shots as tactician. Father and son have raced together for 26 years. In Friday's strong and oscillating breeze, Harrison credited his son as the key to their win: "He put us in the right place in all those races," said Harrison.
What began as a high-school friendship for Annapolis sailors Cedric Lewis and Fredrick Salvesen developed into a successful boat partnership. Lewis and Salvesen topped the J/105 class--with 34 boats, the second-largest field in the regatta--on their boat called Mirage. The Mirage crew--which included another high school friend, Patrick Donnelly--won two races in Friday's rugged conditions. They topped their class by a 1-point margin.
Although many boats suffered battle scars in Friday's rugged conditions, J/24 racer Mark Hillman (Annapolis) made the strong breeze look easy. On Friday, Hillman and his crew on hillmancapital.com sailed a perfect string of 1-1-1 finishes to capture the Hall Spars & Rigging Boat of the Day Award. The only fleet trophy awarded at the NOOD, the Boat of the Day award is given by support sponsor Hall Spars & Rigging to the boat that logs the top performance on opening day.
The Annapolis NOOD drew a fleet of 233 boats from Australia, Canada, Germany, and throughout the United States. Host Annapolis Yacht Club was assisted by Eastport Yacht Club and the Storm Trysail Club of the Chesapeake.
ALBERG 30 (10 boats/5 races) Maple Leaf Trophy
1) Andy Rankin, Falls Church, VA, LIN-GIN, 9 points
2) T.C. Williams, Annapolis, MD, ARGO, 15
3) Harry Gamber, Alexandria, VA, Second-2-Nun, 16
CAL25 (9 boats/5 races)
1) Arthur Libby, Severna Park, MD, Love Shack, 6 points
2) Timothy J. Bloomfield, Chevy Chase, MD, WHITE CAP, 15
3) Hank Krafft, Frederick, MD, Harlequin, 18
CATALINA 27 (6 boats/4 races)
1) Tom Walsh, Pasadena, MD, FOUR LITTLE DUCKS, 6 points
2) John Ebell, Annapolis, MD, HI TIDE, 9
3) E. Becker/C. Baxter, Stevensville, MD, FINESSE, 14
ETCHELLS (27 boats/4 races)
1) Jud Smith, Marblehead, MA, Twelve Twenty-one, 14 points
2) Ched Proctor, Southport, CT, White Boat, 20
3) Greg Kameika/Justin Palm, Holland, MI, Quik Cat, 21
HENDERSON 30 (6 boats/4 races)
1) Michael Carroll, Tampa, FL, New Wave, 6 points
2) Kevin Young, Solon, OH, Dark & Stormy, 11
3) Neil Rattan, West Point, CT, Love Letter, 14
J 105 (34 boats/4 races)
1) Cedric Lewis/Fredrick Salvesen, Annapolis, MD, Mirage, 19 points
2) Alec Cutler, Annapolis, MD, Hooked on Tonics, 20
3) Stephen Brice Phillips, Arnold, MD, LeRenard, 26
J 22 (42 boats/4 races)
1) Kristan McClintock, Bristol, RI, none given, 18 points
2) Greg Fisher, Columbus, OH, none given, 22
3) Ray Wulff, Riva, MD, Team EyeSplice, 23
J 24 (16 boats/4 races)
1) Mark Hillman, Annapolis, MD, hillmancapital.com, 6 points
2) Peter Rich, Annapolis, MD, Show Dog, 14 points
3) Russ Potee, Glen Burnie, MD, Dream Girl, 19 points
J 30 (18 boats/4 races)
1) Rich Harrison/Harrison Syndicate, Chester, MD, No Respect, 10 points
2) R. Dorsey Owings, Millington, MD, SEA BISCUIT, 12
3) Robert Nilsen, West River, MD, SAGE, 23
J 35 (9 boats/4 races)
1) Jim Sampson, Naples, FL, Bullet, 8 points
2) Rick Born/Michael Johns, Baltimore, MD, GRAYLING, 11
3) Kevin McNeil, Annapolis, MD, (none given), 11
J 80 (14 boats/4 races)
1) Kerry Klingler, Larchmont, NY, USA 352, 9 points
2) Martin Kald, E. Elmhurst, NY, Monster Lady, 21
3) Geoffrey Pierini, Metuchen, NJ, Bada Bing, 23
MELGES 24 (15 boats/5 races)
1) Henry Filter, Stevensville, MD, L5-S1, 8 points
2) Jeff Jones, Shelby Township, MI, Kilroy, 8
3) Jeffrey Todd, Annapolis, MD, HOT TODDY, 18
MUMM 30 (13 boats/4 races)
1) Dan Cheresh, Holland, MI, USA 320, 16 points
2) Bent Dietrich, Hamburg, Germany, Rainbow, 16
3) Timothy W. McCarron, Winnetka, IL, Mirage, 17
PEARSON 30 (6 boats/5 races)
1) Roy Lappalainen, Baltimore, MD, SERVERN RUN, 9 points
2) Henry Starr, Silver Spring, MD, CONSTELLATION, 10
3) John A. Blais III, Hampton, VA, Stardancer, 15
S2 7.9 (8 boats/5 races)
1) Gary Shoemaker/Bill Jenkins, Grosse Pointe Park, MI, Crime Scene, 11
2) Mo Regnier, Tecumseh, Ontario, CANADA, Half Baked, 11
3) Thomas G. Line III, Flint, MI, GRRR..., 19