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Light Breezes Mark Day 2 of the Annapolis NOOD

Three out of four divisions race

May 4, 2002

Dying breezes greeted sailors as they sailed and motored out to the four racing areas of the 2002 Sailing World Annapolis NOOD regatta Saturday. In fact, only three divisions were able to start racing after a light southwesterly–the only direction not forecast by the weatherman–came up after a three-hour postponement. “We were reading the sailing instructions, trying to figure out when they’d call off racing for the day, when the wind finally came up. It was nice.” said Bernie Smith of Arlington, Va., racing on the Cal 25 _ White Cap_. “While we were waiting for the breeze to happen, we had lunch, a beer, and told a lot of stories.” The wait must have worked for the crew of _ White Cap_, they broke the winning streak that class leader _ Love Shack_ had put on the class after three straight bullets on the first day of racing with their own win today. “We had a good start, got ahead, covered _ Love Shack _ and stayed ahead,” said Smith.

Jim Palmer of Pasadena, Md., crews on _ Skybird_, an Arlberg 30 owned by Ralph Townshend, of Severna Park. Md. “It was nice when the breeze finally came up,” said Palmer. “We had a poor start but caught up with everybody pretty quickly. The skipper (Townshend) is good at chewing away at the boats ahead and we ended up in second.” The crew of _ Skybird_ was still a little shaken by a disqualification suffered in Friday’s breezy conditions. “We were shell-shocked,” said Palmer. “It took the wind out of our sails but we’re all good friends and managed to have a good time today.”

Friday’s big breeze was still on a lot of crewmember’s minds today. “We worked out some growing pains yesterday,” said Matt Baldwin, a sailmaker from Norwalk, Ct., who was sailing on _ Love Letter_, a Henderson 30. “It made everybody realize that they needed to step up and concentrate.” The mental step up must have worked, the crew of _ Love Letter_ were able to score a win today over class leader, Mike Carroll’s _ New Wave_, a Clearwater, Fla.-based program. “We had a tough second weather leg because we were getting hammered by all the J/105s ahead of us,” said Baldwin. “But down wind we were able to get some clear lanes and go fast. We were pumped when we crossed ahead of _ NewWave_ and won the race.” The crew of_New Wave_, in first by one point after Friday’s racing, finished second and lead the 6-boat Henderson 30 class by 5 points.

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Marking his seventh year with the J/30 Encounter, owned by Bruce Dowling, of Arnold, Md., is Dave Lurz, from Pasadena, Md. “I’m a water rat,” says Lurz. “You can put me out there on a piece of plywood and I’m happy. Sailing on _Encounter_has been the opportunity of a lifetime. I’ve learned a lot and the crew are a great bunch of people.” Lurz helped some new crewmembers get acclimated during Friday’s trying conditions. “Yesterday helped everybody get back in the groove, it’s early in the season for us and this regatta helps a lot.”

In the 13-boat Mumm 30 class, a six boat, winner-take-all shoot-out is on tap for the final day of racing. “Tomorrow will be a big one for us,” said Darren Jones, a crewmember on Richard Perini’s Sydney, Australia-based Foreign Affair, just four points out of first. “There are six boats in contention for the top spot.” Dan Cheresh of Holland, MI. is in first place with 16 points, ahead of Bent Dietrich’s _ Rainbow_, also with 16 points but losing the tiebreaker. With 17, 18, and 20 points respectively, are _ Mirage_, Tramp, and Foreign Affair.

The 6-boat strong Pearson 30 class also boasts some tight competition. Roy Lappalainen’s Severn Run is in first but tied for points with Henry Starr’s _ Constellation_, a boat that won Saturday’s only race in a rather strange manner. “We put the spinnaker up sideways on the last run,” said Doug Orr, a network engineer from McLean, VA. “We left it up because we were ahead and didn’t want to take any chances. It looked kind of like an asymmetric sail up there. We even jibed with it like that.” _ Severn Run_ is winning the tiebreaker but Orr and the rest of the crew have their sights firmly set on the top slot. “We’re match racing now,” said Orr. “And we’re going to do the best we can to win tomorrow.”

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Jud Smith, of Marblehead, MA., took control of the 27-boat Etchells 22 fleet when sailmaker Ched Proctor, of Southport, CT, firmly in control at the end of Friday’s racing with a 2,2,1, stumbled and took a 15th today. Proctor is now six points behind Smith but with a fleet this big, anything can happen on Sunday. Champing at the bit are the three classes who didn’t get to race today, the J/22, J/80, and J/24 classes.

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