Next weekend’s Sperry Top-Sider Annapolis NOOD will see more than 200 teams racing in 16 one-design divisions. After last weekend’s Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week, there are sure to be some scores to settle on the Chesapeake.
The 32-boat J/22 class will be the largest in Annapolis. Expect a good battle between Todd Hiller’s Leading Edge and Travis Odenbach’s Instigator teams; Hiller and Odenbach finished third and fourth, respectively, in Charleston. Of the 27 teams registered for the J/80 division, 12 competed at CRW, including top-five skippers Will Welles, Bruno Pasquinelli, Thomas Klok, and John White. In the 13-boat J/24 division, expect Chris Jankowski’s Street Legal crew to be hot coming off a second-place finish last weekend.
Personally, I’m looking forward to crewing aboard Hugh Bethell’s Jester in the 26-boat J/105 division.
Here are a few notes from the trenches. (Got news from your fleet? Let us know in the comments below.)
If you’re looking for a storyline in the 105s, the team on Tenacious is a good one. Twin brothers Scott and Carl Gitchell own the boat. Scott is a public-school principal; Carl is recently retired Army. His last posting was supervising reconstruction in Afghanistan. Great people, successful racers, good and fun team—pretty much classic 105ers.
—Chris Groobey, Java
**Bill Sweetser is a great guy, and his boat RUSH is the top boat in our fleet. He is also very understated. At any rate, Bill is hosting a party at his home in Annapolis for the J/109 crews on the Saturday evening. Last year, all the skippers and crew were there.
—Steve McManus, Saykadoo
Well, Bill, you better grab another handle of Mt. Gay, because the word is out!