Wednesday Night Race History
After seeing the Wednesday Night Races (WNR) at East Greenwich Yacht Club in Rhode Island in 1958, Past Commodore Gaither Scott inaugurated midweek racing at the Annapolis Yacht Club in 1959. There was no Race Committee for the initial events, nor were the races scored or prizes awarded. There was, however, a picnic supper after sailing.
Today, more than 125 yachts compete in the midweek festivities in a variety of handicap and one design classes. Eligibility for entry is based on the Notice of Race (NOR) and includes members of AYC and sister clubs in the greater Annapolis area as well as various CBYRA sanctioned classes. WNR, which runs from April through August, is made up of three series all scored separately with class trophies and overall performance awards presented in the fall. The first start is scheduled just after 1800 near the mouth of Spa Creek. A large number of spectator boats follow the racers around government and drop marks in the Bay then head back into Spa Creek to watch the finish in front of the Clubhouse. The finish draws a large spectator crowd both inside the Club and on the nearby Spa Creek drawbridge as well as various points of land within Annapolis Harbor.
Weekly, members of AYC are joined post-racing by Skippers and Crew for the WNR party where food and beverages are in abundance. Video coverage of that evening's race is shown on multiple decks of the Clubhouse. This has become the party to attend on Wednesday and for many, the official beginning of the weekend.