Where There's Wind, There's A Way
When the sea breeze battles the gradient wind, someone is bound to get stuck in the middle. Just ask the boats of the Annapolis NOOD Regatta's Division 4.
After another long wait for suitable wind conditions, racing at the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta in Annapolis, Md., finally got underway this afternoon. The 270-boat fleet floated helplessly on the Chesapeake as the wind began to fill in and build. By early afternoon conditions had changed somewhat so the Annapolis YC's race committee started racing on two of the four race courses, while on the other two, it was a long afternoon of waiting through wind direction changes, overcast skies and light drizzle. The Etchells class, on Division 1 race course, completed four races although farther down the Bay, three of the classes on Division 4 race course did not finish within the time limit. After four races in the 17-boat class, Rob Hitchcock (Dorchester, Mass.) tied on 12 points with Raymond Harrington (Bomoseen, Vt.) for first place, but using the 'who-beat-who' formula, the top slot goes to Hitchock as he won the day's last race. Along with the Etchells on Division 1, the J/22 and J/24 classes completed three races. Devils Play, owned by Bill Abbott (Lakewood, Ohio) leads the J/22s with 21 points while Paul van Ravensway (Annapolis, Md.) and his Millennium Falcon lead the J/24s with 6 points. In Division 2, three of the one-designs - Catalina 27, Cal 25, Alberg 30 - completed two races and the S2 7.9 and 9.1 classes had three. John Stefancik (Severna Park, Md.) is the only skipper to have won two races in this division, sailing his S2 9.1 Hurricane Kelley. The five one-design classes on Division 3 race course had a slightly different experience as they were farther down the Bay where the southerly wind was trying to make its way up the Bay. Unfortunately, there were pockets of wind, but the direction kept changing making it almost impossible for the competitors. Two races were held for each class, but by looking at the scores the spread is vast enough among each that if there is racing tomorrow - and the forecast is for more of the same - then it could become anyone's regatta. The top two positions in the C&C 99, J/29 and Melges 24 classes are tied on points, while the J/30 leader, Larry Christy (Annapolis, Md.) on Big Kahuna, is the only boat to have won both of its races. If there was any racing excitement today, then it happened in the J/105 class where all 45 boats drifted into a pile at the mark roundings. Without enough wind to pave a clear path around the race course, the old adage of getting a good start and clear air was one many were repeating. Only one race was held, beginning at 4pm, and Marty Hublitz (McLean, Va.) won over Brian Keane (Weston, Mass.) on Savasana. Three of the classes - the Beneteau 36.7, C&C 115 and J/35 classes did not finish within the time limit, so they have not completed one race in the series. The Mumm 30s and Melges 32s completed one race with local sailing standout Rod Jabin winning the recently-formed Melges 32 class. Turbo Duck, owned by Nick and Bodo Von Der Wense (Wayne, Pa.) leads the Mumm 30 class. Two, however, did not finish within the time limit: Sea biscuit, owned by Dorsey Owings (Millington, Md.), which finished 20 seconds after the expiration, and Barking Mad, owned by Jim Richardson (Boston, Mass.), which finished one minute behind. At this point, the race committee plans to run as many races as possible tomorrow, Sunday April 29, the final day of racing. Sean Simmons (Baltimore, Md.), owner of the J/24 Minor Threat, was selected as the Sperry Top-Sider Boat of the Day and each crew member will receive a pair of performance Sperry Top-Sider shoes. Sperry Top-Sider is the national title sponsor of the St. Petersburg NOOD which is presented by Sailing World. Support sponsors include Gill, Sunsail, North Sails, Budweiser Select, Active Network and Mount Gay Rum. The overall winner in Annapolis will receive a Sunsail charter during the 2007 Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta Championship, in the British Virgin Islands, where they will compete against the overall winners from each stop on the nine-regatta Sperry Top-Sider NOOD circuit. For more information on the 2007 Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta in Annapolis, including daily results and images by Sailing World Editor Dave Reed, go to www.sailingworld.com. Daily highlights videos will be available online at t2p.tv.