A Lesson in Current Issues at the Annapolis NOOD

In a light easterly--and under threatening skies that were all bark and no bite--17 classes got in two or three races on the first day of the Lands' End Annapolis NOOD. Understanding the current proved vital for John Edwards' Rhumb Punch, which won both races in the J/29 class.

Annapolis NOOD Friday

Stuart Streuli

ANNAPOLIS, Md.-After two races in the J/29 class at the 2005 Lands' End Annapolis NOOD Regatta, John Edwards finds himself in an unusual position, first place. "This is the most success I've ever had," said Edwards, of Solomon's Island, Md. "It's the first time I've been in this position after Day 1. It was very, very close racing. In both finishes we were overlapped with two other boats. We swapped the lead with the other boats all day long. You could never leave anyone uncovered." Racing in a light easterly that varied from 5 to 10 knots and shifted through about 30 degrees, Edwards said the key to his wins was dealing with the current, which varied quite a bit on the course for Division 2 and was quite strong at the windward mark. "As you got toward the other side (of the Bay) you needed to keep an eye on the mark behind you," said Edwards. "You could point all day long at the mark ahead of you and never get there." But as happy as Edwards is with his lead-three points over John and Tony Esposito's Hustler and Case Whittemore's Patriot-he still doesn't consider himself a favorite for the regatta. Tomorrow the breeze is expected to build significantly to 15 to 25 knots out of the south. "There's no doubt a new sheriff comes to town when the breeze picks up," he said, "and that's the Espositos on Hustler." Also racing on the J/29's course was the 38-boat Melges 24 fleet, the second biggest of the regatta. The event will decide the class's national championship and getting the early jump was local sailor Neil Sullivan, with two-time Olympian Morgan Reeser at the helm. Sullivan's M-Fatic scored a 2-1, the only boat in the fleet to record two top-3 finishes. In second is Phillip Wehrheim with a fifth and a fourth. Shawn Burke's Grins is in third with 10 points. A little farther south from the Melges, J/29s, J80s, and Tripp 26s, was the regatta's big-boat circle with the 30-something boats, including the 10-boat Beneteau 36.7 fleet. Tied, on points, at the top of the standings is Wes Siegner's Abino and Richard Reid's Zingara, each with a first and third. In second after a fifth and a second is Cal Huge. "I'm the weak link," says Huge, a cruising sailor from Summerville, S.C., who started racing two years ago. "No he's not," said crewman John Blais. "He's amazing." Jubilee, Huge's Beneteau 36.7, is close behind some pretty tough competition, so maybe the truth is somewhere in between, but without question Huge, in only his third regatta with the boat, is a player. After two practice sails they warmed up at Miami Race Week, where they finished sixth in PHRF 4, then sailed Charleston Race Week. "We did something there we'll never do again," said Huge. "We won all nine races. The competition here is a little stiffer." Win or lose over the next two days, Huge's next racing test will be offshore, the Annapolis Newport Race in early June. Closer to the host Annapolis YC was the keelboat circle with the J22s, J/24s, and Etchells. Leading the latter, with a first and two seconds is Sailing World editor at large Gary Jobson. With Jud Smith pulling the strings and co-owner Gary Gilbert on the bow, Jobson sailed three solid races and leads by 8 points over Ched Proctor, Wade Edwards, and Buddy Cribb, who are all tied for second. Henry Filter, who's currently at the head of the J/22 class, doesn't enjoy nearly the same cushion. After a first, a second, and an eleventh, he is just one point ahead of second and only seven points ahead of seventh. Always one of the most competitive classes at the regatta, the J/22s were particularly aggressive today, requiring three recalls and a black flag just to get a clean start. In second is Timothy Libby. Top-three Results from the other classes follow below. For complete results, see the SailingWorld.com home page. The 2005 Lands' End Annapolis NOOD will continue through Sunday. Lands' End Annapolis NOOD Regatta Results after Day 1 Class Race 1,2,3 (if sailed) Total Points City/State J/22 1. Henry Filter 1,11,2 14 Stevensville, MD 2. Timothy Libby 7,5,3 15 Annapolis, MD 3. Peter McChesney 8,7,1 16 Annapolis, MD J/24 1. Mark Hillman 2,5,2 9 Bethesda, MD 2. Robby Brown 10,1,1 12 St. Petersburg, FL 3. Datch/Hobsen, Michael 4,2,8 14 Annapolis, MD Alberg 30 1. Currier, Charles 1,3,1 5 Annapolis, MD 2. Williams, Tim 2,4,2 8 Annapolis, MD 3. Morris, Larry C. 6,1,3 10 Severna Park, MD Catalina 27 1. Anderson, John 2,1,1 4 Pasadena, MD 2. Urban, James 1,4,2 7 Annapolis, MD 3. Walsh, Tom 5,2,3 10 Pasadena, MD S27.9 1. Flechsig, David 2,1,1 4 Port Charlotte, FL 2. Spierling, John 5,2,2 9 Shelby Township, MI 3. Elliott, Michael 6,3,3 12 Linden, MI Etchells 1. Gary Jobson 2,1,2 5 Annapolis, MD 2. Ched Proctor 8,4,1 13 Southport, CT 3. Wade Edwards 3,2,8 13 Concord, MA J/30 1. Rutsch, Bob 1,1,3 5 Chevy Chase, MD 2. Putnam, Bob 2, 2,1 5 Annapolis, MD 3. Wallop, Bill 2,7,4 13 Annapolis, MD J/80 1. Tihansky, Jahn 1,1 2 Annapolis, MD 2. Storck Jr., John 2,2 4 Huntington, NY 3. Daoust, Jean J. 3,5 8 Ottawa, ON Canada Tripp 26 1. Dickson, Tim 2,1 3 Alexandria, VA 2. Smith, Stephen R. 1,2 3 Annapolis, MD 3. Zinn, Michele & Don 4,3 7 Annapolis, MD Beneteau 36.7 1. Wes Siegner 3,1 4 Chevy Chase, MD 2. Richard Reid 1,3 4 Port Credit, ON Canada 3. Cal Huge 5,2 7 Summerville, SC J/105 1. Pete Schellie 1,2 3 Annapolis, MD 2. Richard Levitt 3,6 9 Northfield, NJ 3. Marty Hublitz 4,7 11 McLean, VA J/35 1. Kevin McNeil 2,1 3 Annapolis, MD 2. Ted Lepich 1,3 4 Annapolis, MD 3. James Sagerholm 3,2 5 Annapolis, MD J/29 1. Edwards, John 1,1 2 California, MD 2. Esposito, John / Tony 3,2 5 Mohegan Lake, NY 3. Whittemore, Case 2,3 5 Richmond, VA Melges 24 1. Sullivan, Neil 2,1 3 Annapolis, MD 2. Phillip Wehrheim 5,4 9 Rochester, NY 3. Burke, Shawn 7,3 10 Atlanta, GA Mumm 30 1. Bodo & Nick v.d. Wense 5,1 6 Wayne, PA 2. Nelson Stephenson 4,2 6 Southport, CT 3. Rick Swann 2,4 6 Fairfield, CT Cal 25 1. Natter, Bill 1,1,3 5 Annapolis, MD 2. Hoyt, David 6,3,1 10 Glen Burnie, MD 3. Surla, Jr., Leo T. 3,2,5 10 Washington, D.C. C&C 99 1. Bob Wilson 1,1 2 Whitby, ON Canada 2. Ken Karsten 2,2 4 Annapolis, MD 3. Mikie Titgemeyer 4,3 7 Annapolis, MD