79th Fall Series Weekends – Two Down, One To Go
Linda Ambrose, Regatta Manager
In planning the 2019 Fall Series schedule, the Sailing Committee looked back at various iterations of the Club’s popular multi-weekend regatta and suggested a format tailored to participating classes. Weekend 1 had J/22s and J/80s sailing drop-marks courses on Saturday and Sunday. The J/30s sailed only on Sunday, having just had three days of competition the weekend prior when the Club hosted the J/30 North American Championship. Taking advantage of warm temps and fairly steady breeze, the PRO P/C Peter Gordon took full advantage of the Sailing Instruction schedule and knocked out three races on Saturday and two on Sunday. With three bullets and a pick-up crew, Jeff Todd on Hot Toddy took first in the J/22 class with a nine point lead over 2nd place finisher J.R. Maxwell on Scooby. In the J/22 class, this Fall Series weekend also included their Mid-Atlantic Championship and the Club Championship, a “friendly” but fierce competition between local Annapolis Clubs. The top performing AYC member at the Club Championship has their name engraved on the perpetual trophy hanging in the Sailing Center, a trophy adopted post-fire by John Sherwood.
In the J/80 class, the top five competitors all sport the AYC burgee: John White on USA 1162 in 1st with V/C Jonathan Bartlett, Kevin White, and Margaret Podlich on board. Derick Lynch/Outlaws, David Andril/Vayu, Bert Carp/Eleven, and Tom Walsh and John Potvin/Windrider were 2nd through 5th. Lynch won a tie-breaker over Andril who both posted 12 points on the board. Congratulations to Ron Anderson and his crew on the J/30 Insatiable, who took first in the class and was also the recipient of the Commodore William Sullivan Trophy awarded to the top place J/30 finisher at Fall Series.
Weekend 2 had larger one design classes and ORC competitors on the line and also saw the return of distance racing to Fall Series. For Saturday the SI called for up to three drop-marks races for the J/105s, J/35s, and ORC fleets, but Mother Nature had other plans. PRO Steve Kling and the RC volunteers set the course for R1 in a steady 7kts of breeze. By the 3rd leg of the 1NM LA2 course with the first group of competitors heading back up the course the wind began die out. Although the majority of the boats were able to complete the race, a handful of J/105s were TLE. After a “wait and see” of about an hour with constant updates on wind direction and strength from the windward mark boat, nothing steady came in that would offer fair and equitable racing, so at 1412 AP over A was hoisted and competitors were sent back to shore.
Sunday was a different story with white caps in abundance greeting the Signal boat as it turned out of the harbor and headed towards Hackett Point to rendezvous with competitors. With a handful of options to choose from, the PRO chose a course down the bay and back that was approximately 15.5NM with a finish near R2. The breeze was a sustained 15kts at the start but dropped to 9-12 for the majority of the race, so for ORC competitors the decision was to score them using their coastal offshore distance race, medium wind strength ToT ratings. The last leg was exciting to watch as some of the competitors kept kites up as long as possible on their downwind run and found themselves popping out behind the stern of a freighter off of the Eastern Shore and reaching up towards the finish. Others split the difference between two freighters after rounding their last turning mark Government Mark “X” and headed to the finish between a drop mark and the signal boat.
The J/35s finished in the same order on both days with close competition for 2nd and 3rd place – congratulations to Bruce Artman and his team on T-Bone for their 3rd place trophy. In the J/105s, no strangers to the top of the podium, Cedric Lewis and Fredrik Salvesen and Team Mirage placed first and were awarded the Charles S. Dell Trophy for the top place J/105 in Fall Series competition. One point behind in 2nd, Ben duPont’s Ctrl Alt Del followed behind by one point, Carl Gitchell on Tenacious.
In ORC 1, waitlisted member Laurent Givry sailing with a full crew on his Farr 400 Jeroboam in 1st with John White’s USA 1162 in 2nd and Jim Connelly’s Slush Fund in 3rd. Givry recently completed two double handed events at AYC, including first over the line on his Figaro 3 La Defonce in the 2019 Annapolis to Newport Race, and just a week ago on the same boat in the new AYC Double Handed Distance Race. Givry was awarded the Chesapeake Trophy for top performer in ORC 1 and also the honor of winning The Viking Trophy with one point over John White for best performance overall in the ORC Fleet.
In ORC 2 at the top of the podium, Craig and Dotty Saunders on Monkey Dust who also accepted the Commodore H.H.J. Benson Trophy for overall performance in ORC 2 at Fall Series. Ted Ruegg’s Grand Plan was just two points behind for 2nd place and with four Navy 44s competing in ORC 2, congratulations to Midshipman Jonathan Hitt and his crew on Tenacious for their 3rd place trophy.
Results for the first two Fall Series weekends are listed here. Up next on Saturday, October 12 – Alerion 28, Harbor 20, and J/70s compete for their Fall Series trophies.
See more photos from the awards presentation here.