Saturday, September 14, 2013

J/Teams Relish Gorgeous Annapolis Race Week

J/105 teams enjoying Annapolis Race weekend(Annapolis, MD)- The 2013 edition of CBYRA’s Annapolis Race Week opened Saturday to Chamber of Commerce conditions.  Clear blue skies and a steadily increasing breeze made for great racing action across the three courses off Annapolis harbor where 79 J-boats were doing battle in six separate classes.  The annual three-day event, saw smaller turnouts in some of the classes, but by far the largest one design on the water were the J/70s.  The class posted twenty-eight boats for the weekend, most of whom were tuning up for the North American Championship to be held here later this month.

J/70 Catapult sailing off AnnapolisOn Sunday, conditions deteriorated somewhat as an approaching frontal system imposed steadily decreasing wind speeds that saw the final races of that day staged in less than 10 knots.  While this was bad enough, the fleets were also plagued by a roaring 2 knot current that the skippers had to manage through for all three days.  Thankfully, the weather turned again on Labor Day, again freshening to 10-15 for the final day of racing.

J/30 cruiser racer sailing AnnapolisStarting from the southern course, Hugh Bethell on JESTER lead the fifteen boat J/105 fleet for all three days and finished 3 points over Cedric Lewis’ MIRAGE. Taking third for the class was Carl & Scott Gitchell's TENACIOUS.  Using the same strategy, Peter Scheidt’s J/35 MAGGIE took 1st place honors in the six boat fleet, staying 9 points ahead of both Charles Kohlerman’s MEDICINE MAN in second and Bruce Artman’s T-BONE in third.

J/70 one-design speedster- sailing off Annapolis, MDOn the J/70 & J/80 course, it was Peter McChesney who edged out Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT team to win the twenty-eight boat J/70 fleet by just 3-points in the closely fought battle for the top three spots on the podium.  Sailing well was young James Allsopp's MOXIE, grabbing third overall ahed of Marty Kullman's TOUCH 2 PLAY in fourth and Brian Keane's SAVASANA in fifth.  Extremely close competition produced seven winners in eight races, no one had all top five finishes and, in fact, nine of the top ten boats all posted at least one or more double-digits counters in their scoreline!  Amazingly, a better than 5th average won the regatta in the J/70s!

J/80 R80 sailed by Will & Marie Crump off Annapolis, MDShowing lots of consistency, Will Crump’s R80 team kept the J/80 fleet on their toes with a string of bullets marred only by one 2nd in race six, winning by the comfortable margin of ten points.  John White's team put up a valiant effort to match the Crump's performance, but had to settle for a strong second place.  Third was David Andril's VAYU.  Behind them was a gritty battle for the balance of the top five with four boats dueling hard for the three days-- namely, Andrew Beeler from NAVY SAILING, Derick Lynch on OUTLAWS, Gary Panariello on COURAGEOUS and  Bill Blank on BLIND SQUIRREL.  Ultimately, the last race determined their finish positions since just four points separated them in the final scoring.  Beeler snatched the fourth position while Lynch took fifth.

J/24 one-design sailboat- team sailing off Annapolis, MDThe Northern-most course saw Peter Rich in USA 4006 hold on to the lead on in the J/24s, beating Paul van Ravenswaay and Pete Kassal who finished the regatta with 25 points apiece, with Ravenswaay getting the second on count-back tie-breaker.

J/30 cruiser one-design sailboat- rounding mark at Annapolis Race weekFinally, Bob Rutsch and Mike Costello drove the J/30 BEPOP to a 7-point victory in their seven boat fleet as they traded bullets much of the weekend with David Moss who finished in second on THE WHITE BOAT.  Close aboard in the bleacher seats was Ron Anderson's INSATIABLE, thirsting for a win or two but not quite cutting ahead of the two leaders, counting a string of 2nds and 3rds to take the bronze for the regatta.

More than 200 photos of all the boats on the water are up in the photo gallery at (  Thanks for this contribution from Dan Phelps at  For more CBYRA Race Week sailing information