Beginning the East Coast Big Boat Migration

Published on August 18th, 2014

In its fifth consecutive year, the 2014 Annapolis Fall Regatta on Oct 31-Nov 2 represents a scheduled step in the East Coast big boat racing season, being after the last racing events in New England and a month prior to the first race of the winter season in Florida.

Hosted by the Chesapeake Station of the Storm Trysail Club, the event is designed to attract a wide variety of race boats, ranging from HPR-style TP52’s, Carkeek 40’s, Farr 400’s, MC 38’s and the new C&C 30’s and Farr 280’s, to more dual-purpose production boats, such as J/122’s, Beneteau 40’s, J/111’s and others. Class divisions will reflect grouping like-styled boats in appropriate size ranges, and trophies will be awarded using HPR and IRC scoring.

“This regatta is fantastic, really a lot of fun,” says Steve Benjamin, co-owner of last year’s HPR Class winner SPOOKIE. “The racing is tight, race management is excellent, and the courses really fun. It’s the perfect segue for us from our northern to southern seasons.”

For three days, Storm Trysail will offer a variety of races that include not only windward-leeward buoy races on courses set near Annapolis, but also an innovative coastal race giving entries a 5-6 hour tour of the middle portion of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. In this long race, there will be a scoring gate near the midpoint where times will be taken and scored for one race worth 1.0 points, while at the finish line times will also be taken for a scoring coefficient of 1.5 points.

This allows a “two-for-one” points value for offshore race skills, and helps alleviate any bias that may be introduced by changing weather that may occur during the race.

“We think this is an important innovation for inshore racing, which is too often dominated just by windward-leeward sailing,” says Dick Neville, Principal Race Officer and past Commodore of the Storm Trysail Club. “While we have been adaptable to the changing times and the preferences of sailors, our heritage is rooted in offshore sailing, so we found this format a great way to combine the skill sets of both in one event.”

Neville also lauds the late Fall conditions in the area, where the temperatures are pleasant and the wind conditions typically consistent to produce great sailing.

“The Fall season in the Chesapeake can be the best time of year for racing here, so we invite teams to come and enjoy the local hospitality and have a great time at our event. The town and the area is alive with activities, so we promise everyone they will not regret coming to Annapolis in October.”

Classes will be offered using IRC and HPR scoring, but other classes may be formed should there be interest.

For the Notice of Race and entry information to the Annapolis Fall Regatta, visit the event website at

Source: Dobbs Davis, HPR Communications

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