A Record 273 Boats Race in the Sailing World Annapolis NOOD

America’s Cup Legends Dennis Conner and Ted Turner Win Their Classes

A record-setting 273 one-design boats in 17 classes raced in the 2003 Sailing World Annapolis NOOD Regatta, which was held this past weekend on Chesapeake Bay. Mostly light breezes, and a strong ebb tide were the main features of the event, which included sailors from 22 states and four countries. Everything from Cal 25s to 12-Meters joined in the fun, with some classes sailing as many as seven races on four race circles. "Racing is the best form of family counseling," says the crew of the J/35 Maggie, which includes two generations of the Scheidt family. "We’ve sailed together our whole lives," says Susan Scheidt, the family matriarch. "We all love it." Scheidt and her husband Peter started racing in Annapolis in the 1960s on a Jet 14, raised the bar in the 70s with an Alberg 30, and since 1998 have raced on their J/35, Maggie. The Scheidt family, which includes daughters Karen, whose husband trims, and Christina, whose husband does mast, and brother David as tactician, sailed their way into the winner’s circle with 14 points despite the tricky conditions during the three-day event. "The wind was a little light," said Karen, "but good. Technically it was interesting racing, especially with the current on Saturday." Their win in the nine-boat class helped assuage the pain of paying $18 an hour for the babysitter who was tasked with caring for the family’s 9 children.Peter McChesney, owner of the J/22 Palmer Legal Staffing overcame a 12th-place finish on the first day of racing to win the Annapolis NOOD’s largest class. How do you win a 50-boat class? "Cold Heineken," said McChesney. "We make sure we have some cold ones on board for every race." But barley-based refreshment wasn’t the only key to McChesney’s win. "We made sure the rig was tuned right, matched sail trim to rig tune and the sea conditions, and adjusted rig tune between every race." McChesney was helped to victory by his crew, which includes his wife Margaret and long-time friend Keith Murphy. "She [Margaret] keeps the two of us under control and is the real reason we won," said McChesney. "She’s so darn good." An understanding of the current that bedeviled so many competitors on Day 2 helped the threesome, too. "There’s usually not that much current on the Bay," said McChesney. "We used the current on the starting line to help us get some great starts. If you recognized that the current was strong, you could use it to your advantage and get some good starts, which is everything in a big fleet, especially in one with such good sailors."Mike Carroll, of Clearwater, Fla., scored his second win in as many years in the Henderson 30 class at the Annapolis NOOD. "We had excellent tactical calls from John Jennings, stellar helmsmanship from Marty Kullman, and excellent crew work," said Carroll. "Sailing in light air is at times even more difficult than sailing in heavy air. Marty was able to keep the boat moving in extremely light air, and John was able to keep us out of trouble on a racecourse that could get crowded at times." Jennings, the current World Masters champion kept his explanation of the team’s victory simple. "The conditions were wonderful to sail in," he said. "It was a little shifty and a little light, but it was similar to the conditions at home on Tampa Bay. It was shifty and there were some big holes, but we went fast, didn’t make too many mistakes, and had some good luck."There’s no doubt about it, if you want to hear a group of sailors roar like a Superbowl crowd, have Dennis Conner come to the podium of their regatta’s awards ceremony and accept a trophy. Conner topped the 35-boat Etchells class at the Annapolis NOOD with 16 points, 21 points ahead of the second place boat, Annie, owned by Gary Gilbert. Dressed in blue blazer and a Stars and Stripes baseball cap, Conner accepted the crowd’s adulation with a tip of the cap and a heartfelt thank you to his crew. Conner’s appearance was brief, but it was a highlight of the event.Another name from America’s Cup history also made a big splash at the Annapolis NOOD. Ted Turner, winner of the America’s Cup in 1977, was back on the helm of the 12-Meter Courageous, USA-26, his ride for that Cup series. Turner and his yellow-clad crew sailed three races during the regatta, racing against USA-30, Freedom, winner of the 1980 Cup races, owned and driven by Ernest Jacquet of Boston. The 12-Meters attracted some attention on Day 2, but didn’t really get to center stage until the final day of racing, when the six other classes on their race circle, in a holding pattern for more breeze, were treated to the sight of the two 55,000-pound, beautifully-restored champions duking it out match-racing style. Jacquet and the crew of Freedom survived a race riddled with holes and shifts to post a win in the final race, which soothed the pain of losing the first two races of the series.Garth Hitchens and the crew of the Beneteau 36.7 Gijima Kakhulu ["Run Fast" in Zulu] spent the weekend battling it out with Wes Siegner and his crew on Abino. Siegner was the winner of the inaugural Beneteau 36.7 national championship last fall, also raced in Annapolis. "This win was payback for the 5 months’ worth of emails that Wes sent me giving me grief about last fall," said Hitchens. "Now it’s payback time." Hitchens, who sells boats and rigging in Annapolis agreed with the consensus about the conditions during the event. "The current was the biggest thing to deal with. If you had wind, it was okay, but if you fell in a hole you were gone," said Hitchens. "You had to be going fast and get through the current as quick as you could." But current and windshifts didn’t make much difference on the final day of racing. "We match-raced Abino all day," said Hitchens, " and that took the shifts and everything else out of the equation. We just had to stay close to Abino."12 Meter 1. Ted Turner  “Courageous”  1, 1, 2 Atlanta2. Ernest Jacquet “Freedom”   2, 2, 1      Boston1D35 Class              Points  State (locales: city/state) 1. Douglas DeVos        13      Michigan 2. Buddy Cribb Jr.      18      Florida 3. John Fisher          22      Massachusetts Beneteau 36.7 Class 1. Garth Hichens        12      Annapolis, MD 2. Wes Siegner  13      Chevy Chase, MD 3. Jim Keen             21      Solomons, MD Henderson 30 Class 1. Michael Carroll      8       Florida 2. Jeffrey Gale         15      Bahamas 3. David Irwin          19      Texas J/105 Class 1. Alec Cutler          31      Annapolis, MD  2. Steve Phillips       35      Arnold, MD 3. Bill Sutton/Marty Hubitz     36      Arlington, VA J/35 Class 1. Peter Scheidt        14      Highland, MD 2. Kevin McNeil 16      Annapolis, MD 3. Sagerolm/Christofel  19      Annapolis, MD Mumm 30 Class 1. David Pyles          15      Easton, MD 2. Bodo & Nick von der Wense   15  Pennsylvania 3. Chris Sherin 16      New York J 22 Class 1. Peter McChesney      26      Annapolis, MD 2.  James Hayes 37      Annapolis, MD  3. Greg Fisher          43      J/24 Class 1. Will Welles          23 2. Tim Healy            28      Rhode Island 3. Mark Swanson 39      Massachussetts J/80 1. Matt Baker           13      New Jersey 2.Ann Farmelo   17      New York 3. Paul Baehr           20      New York Etchells Class 1. Dennis Conner        16      California 2. Gary Gilbert 37      Oakton, VA 3. Thornburrow Parsons 44       Hong Kong J/30 Class 1. David McConaughy 17          Newport News, VA 2. Dallam/Griffiths/McGuirk  21 Bel Air, MD 3. Costello/Rutsch              25      Melges 24 1. Travis Weisleder     20      Newport, RI 2. Jeffrry Todd 24      3. Chris Doubek 24      Arnold, MD Alberg 30 1. Read Beigel          12      Severna Park, MD 2. Rolf Townshend       28      Severna Park, MD 3. T.C. Williams        30      Annapolis, MD Cal 25 1. Geoffrey Swanhart    15      Sterling, VA 2. Tom Corboy   18      Annapolis MD        3. Bremer/Seay   33     Sherwood Forest, MD Catalina 27 Class 1. John Ebell           23      Annapolis, MD 2. Francis Wright       27      Annapolis, MD 3. James Urban  27      Pearson 30 1. Henry Starr          13      Silver Springs, MD  2. Roy Lappalainen      18 3. John Blais III       19      Hampton, VA S2 7.9 Class 1. Dan Cherrish/Brad Boston     7       Ontario, Canada 2. Bob Fleck            16      Alexandria, VA 3. Paul Fruehauf        24      Wilmington, DE