Although the 2011-2012 Frostbite Series begins in a week, “frostbite” was the last thing sailors were thinking about when they entered the 2011 J/105 Chesapeake Bay Championship which took place over the weekend of October 29/30. 18 boats were entered including a team from San Francisco who chartered a local boat to compete in the event that was combined with class’ 2011 East Coast Championship.
By Friday morning, all weather models were predicting that a Nor’easter heading up the East Coast would bring gale force winds and severe weather conditions to the Bay by late Friday in to Saturday with conditions worsening Saturday evening including sleet and snow advisories. Fleets who were racing in class championships including those at our fellow Annapolis clubs discussed this amongst the sailors as well as opened dialogues with their respective Race Committees and by Friday evening made the decision that keeping everyone ashore made sense. The J/105 Fleet Captain poled the fleet and the decision was made to cancel Saturday’s racing and leave the dock early on Sunday which looked to be a chilly but sunny day with a prediction of 10-15kt and comfortable sea conditions. The decision to move up the rendezvous and 1st warning helped the Race Committee to get off the maximum number of races outlined in the Sailing Instructions and in the end, three great races including #3 with 5 legs. The J/105s who are known for amazing camaraderie off the course made sure to continue the tradition of the Saturday night social with most of the boats attending a Mexican Fiesta night in the Skipjack.
AYC member Pete McChesney and his crew on Mystery Machine took overall honors with three great races that looked more like the countdown to the start – a third, second, then a bullet for a total of 6 pts. Returning to the Chesapeake yet again, the Toronto based team on Hey Jude with owner Jim Rathbun at the helm was 2 pts behind for a 2nd and although pleased with the three races fitting in within the time limit, had to miss the awards ceremony to fly back to Canada! In 3rd, member Jim Konigsberg on Inigo who took 1st in the class for the recent AYC Fall Series. For more information on the event please visit the AYC Racing page www.race.annapolisyc.org.