Championships on the Chesapeake Bay

Published on October 21st, 2018

A couple championships were decided during the 18th annual Annapolis Fall Regatta, held October 19-21 on the Chesapeake Bay and hosted by the Storm Trysail Club-Chesapeake Station.

Skipper Sandra Askew and her crew aboard Flying Jenny captured the C&C 30 East Coast Championship while Robin Team led Teamwork (above) to ORC Chesapeake Championship.

Team has enjoyed tremendous success since taking delivery of the J/122, which made its debut in the 2009 Annapolis Fall Regatta. Teamwork celebrated its 10th anniversary by winning back where it all began.

Veteran North Sails professional Jonathan Bartlett called tactics for Team, who steered Teamwork to victory in both legs of the Friday distance race and also posted bullets in two of three of Saturday’s windward-leeward starts.

Kevin Ryman trimmed the main, Jeff Reidle trimmed the jib and Adam Team trimmed the spinnaker aboard Teamwork, which posted a tremendously low score of 6.5 points. Sitella, an XP 44 owned by Ian Hill, sailed well in placing second with 12.5 points.

“It was a great weekend and we are very happy to come away with the win,” said Team, a resident of Lexington, N.C. “As always, the crew gets all the credit. I have an outstanding team that once again did a terrific job of sailing the boat.”

Principal Race Officer Dick Neville added a unique element to the distance race, which was divided into two parts and featured a scoring gate at the midway mark. Teamwork made the most of that opportunity by picking up first place points at the scoring gate then adding bonus points by securing overall victory as well.

“We loved the distance race because we got a chance to use sails we don’t to use in a typical windward-leeward race,” Team said. “For a point-to-point race, there was a whole lot of action. A lot of sail changes, a lot of strategical decisions to be made. We really enjoyed it.”

Chessie Racing, a Tripp 62 skippered by George Collins, placed second in both elements of the distance race and that gave Teamwork a comfortable cushion over Sitella going into Saturday’s windward-leeward action.

Team thought the scoring gate provided an interesting twist to the distance race, which was 22 nautical miles in length and was sailed in 12-16 knot winds. Storm Trysail Club-Chesapeake Station set the scoring gate 13.6 nautical miles into the race.

“We thought it was great. It gives you an intermediate stop and you get a score there. Then you kind of reset and it’s like a race within a race,” Team said. “That distance race was kind of the key to the regatta for us, especially with Chessie placing in-between our boat and Sitella. That spotted us a nice lead going into the windward-leeward racing on Saturday.”

Sitella, the two-time defending ORC champion at the Annapolis Fall Regatta, posted a solid score line of 1-2-2 in windward-leeward racing to finish well ahead of third place Kurranulla (Sydney 38, Stuart Jones) in the overall standings.

“On Saturday, the race committee did an absolutely fabulous job of getting three races in. They were very patient waiting for the wind to fill back in after it petered out. That third race wound up being the best conditions of the day,” Team said. “We really enjoyed racing against Sitella and it was a good battle.”

Alston Team (mast), Coleman Team (bow), Jonathan Quigley (trimmer), Drew Niven (pit) and Matt Welborn (sewer) completed the crew aboard Teamwork, which has captured class championships at Key West Race Week, Charleston Race Week and Block Island Race Week.

“If I have two MVPs for the weekend it would Matt Welborn and Drew Nivin. Matt worked really hard all weekend with getting the sails sorted, especially during the distance race. Drew runs our pit and did a great job of keeping the sails going up and down,” Team said.

The ORC Chesapeake Championship were determined based off the combined results of the Annapolis Yacht Club Fall Series (Oct 13-14) and the Annapolis Fall Regatta (Oct 19-21).

Askew has considerable experience racing the C&C 30 and it showed through during the Annapolis Fall Regatta. Flying Jenny secured the first place points for the first leg of the distance race then won two of the three buoy races in totaling 10 points, 3 ½ better than runner-up My Sharona.

“It was a great regatta and we had a lot of fun. Dick Neville and his team with the Storm Trysail Club always run a fantastic event,” Askew said. “The weather and wind conditions could not have been better. It was fall sailing off Annapolis at its finest, that’s for sure.”

Quantum pro Jason Currie called tactics while Grant “Fuzz” Spanhake and Nick Turney handled sail trim for Askew, a part-time Annapolis resident. Gary Snider was on the runners and did some steering for his sister while Vann Walke (pit), Norman Berge (bow) and Pete Crawford (offside trimmer) completed the crew.

“We had close racing with the five boats that were here,” Askew said. “Everything seemed to come together at the right time for our team. I thought our boat-handling was very strong and the tactical calls by Jason were spot-on. It’s just a good crew that did a lot of things right in this regatta.”

It marked the C&C 30 class debut for Gamble, who has owned a series of boats named My Sharona and most recently enjoyed tremendous success with a J/111. Andy Horton handled tactics while Quantum pro Scott Nixon served as strategist aboard My Sharona, which won both legs of the distance race on the water. However, a protest situation led to a disqualification from the start to scoring gate portion that proved costly.

“This was the first time I ever sailed the boat so we’re pleased with the performance,” said Gamble, who purchased Extreme2 from Dan Cheresh. “I had a world class crew and that certainly made a difference.”

Gamble hopes to work with Askew and the other owners to build up the C&C 30 class, which did not do a lot of one-design racing during the 2018 season. Gamble believes one possible strategy is to muster enough entries to earn a start in the National Offshore One-Design Regatta series organized by Sailing World.

“It’s a fantastic little boat and the one-design racing can be very exciting,” Gamble said. “We had three of five boats cross the line together in the third race on Saturday.”

Meanwhile, Neville is uncertain about the future of the Annapolis Fall Regatta, which was founded in 2001. This event has evolved over the years and featured racing under the IMS, IRC and now ORC rating systems.

“Unfortunately, over the last 10 years it’s been a continuous decline. Participation has been dwindling ever since we had 46 boats here for the IRC Championship in 2008,” Neville said. “If you don’t have customers, you don’t have an event. We’ll see if anything can be done to turn things around, but it’s too much work for just 13 boats.”

Source: Bill Wagner

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