Remembering Phebe, sailing to Oxford, and some drama
It was an interesting weekend on the Bay filled with wind (sometimes), storms, sailboat racing, and plenty of drama.
Annapolis Yacht Club and Severn Sailing Association teamed up for the second annual Phebe King Memorial Regatta for 18 high school teams. Congratulations to the Severn School for its convincing win! Below find top 10 scores.
Find final Phebe Corckran King Memorial results here. Find a piece about the first Phebe King regatta here.
SSA also held its Daysailer, Lightning, and Laser Spring Series. Find more SSA results here.
The inaugural Annapolis Yacht Club Spring Oxford Race started well for 100 boats in an unanticipated and then diminishing northerly breeze. There was some radio confusion at the start over check in (boats needed to check in at the RC boat, not by radio)…
Mid-race there was some confusion as to how close one gets to ships under way. Here’s a tip: you DON’T get close to ships under way. Ever. We were astounded by how dangerously close sailboats in the race got to ships traveling as fast as 19 knots up and down the Bay. We even heard one Bay pilot say “You should be ashamed of yourself how close you came to this ship.” Click here for nine ways to avoid ships on the water.
Then, on the other side of the shipping lane as the afternoon set in and the winds grew yet even quieter, there was even more confusion, as southbound racers nearing the Choptank tried to establish if the course would be shortened and/or the race was abandoned. The RC flew the November flag at 3:20 p.m. It seems that many did not get the memo about the race abandonment. A handful of those who did hear the three blasts and announcement over the VHF were angry enough to rant about it.
Then, SPIT was flying over the airwaves. Full disclosure, your friendly SpinSheet editor was on a boat that had already dropped out, which is always disappointing, but being on a slow boat who’s really there to enjoy the company of friends and not to win, it’s easy to make the decision. The race abandonment was much harder on competitive boats that were still in the game.
That racers were angry is understandable. It’s frustrating to have an RC make a decision that makes no sense from your perspective. The manifestation of that anger---making nasty, anonymous comments about the race committee and host yacht clubs (AYC and Tred Avon Yacht Club) over the radio—was unsportsmanlike. We’re grown ups here playing a game, supposedly in the Corinthian spirit. Let’s add that the race was free, thanks to sponsor Hinckley Yachts, and that the race committee members are all volunteers.
To those of you who DID identify yourselves while giving helpful feedback on the radio (here’s lookin’ at you Marc Briere on Cheetah), thank you. We don’t yet know the RC’s perspective, but we will connect once they have done their own debrief meeting and will share their thoughts AND some ways you can submit your opinions in a constructive fashion that may help RC in the future.
Oh, yes, and to add to the drama, a whomper of a thunderstorm storm rolled in and really rocked the boats! To anyone who slept through the storm, we know who drank all the rum in Oxford.
SpinSheet's photos of the start are available for purchase here.
Moving right along to weeknight racing....
A little shout out to Baltimore City Yacht Association. BCYA’s Tuesday night racers begin their racing earlier than most. Tomorrow, they complete the last race in their first series of FIVE weeknight race series (including the diehard series extender in October!) These guys can't get enough of racing, and for that, we love them.
Here are BCYA’s current series standings. Hey Baltimore racers….send us some pictures!