The Annapolis InterClub Fleet hosted its annual InterClub Midwinter’s Regatta February 8 & 9 at the Severn Sailing Association. Nineteen boats and nearly 80 sailors competed to almost triple last year’s turnout. The increased participation in the regatta comes as no surprise. The Annapolis InterClub Fleet now boasts 17 local boats on the docks compared with only 7 just a year ago. What’s more is the average weekly participation is now at 10 boats. Renewed interest in this classic 1945 Sparkman & Stephens design has been seen throughout the northeast.
The regatta was held in its customary format – collegiate style with 2 teams per boat. The idea is to promote the class by giving those people without a boat the opportunity to sail. The fleet has also utilized this format at its Opening Day Regatta in November. Spending half the time on the water and half in the clubhouse by the fire is very appealing to many sailors. While off the water, frostbiters viewed the racing action while warming their insides with chili, soup and hot chocolate prepared by fleet members. The Bagel Connection (Arnold Station and Bestgate Rd.) again sponsored the event, supplying plenty of fresh bagels and cream cheese.
In the true spirit of the frostbite tradition, sailors were met on the first day with driving snow and a gusty northeast wind. The sailors were perhaps the lucky ones in these conditions. They were able to rest in the clubhouse while the other division sailed. The race committee, headed by Kathy Coxe, was not so fortunate and stayed on station to run the races for over three hours as snow piled up in their boats. Kathy was assisted by Delrie Hobbs, Diane Burton, Trevor Thurston, Peter Gleitz and John Potter. They were successful in running 16 races in total over the weekend.
The competition was truly awesome. The ranks were filled with champions in various classes and more than a few past and present collegiate All-Americans. The aggressive nature of Division A was met with three black flag starts by the race committee. In spite of all the starting line tension, Division A was dominated by the cool head of long-time InterClub guru Neal Fowler and crew, Mike Collins. Together, they easily won 5 of eight races and never finished worse than third. Collegiate All-American Bill Hardesty and Anna Strang from Kings Point USMMA won two races and sailed well in the others to place a strong second in the division. Pete Spaulding also sailed extremely well winning one race and finishing second in 3 others to claim third place in the Division A. Macy Nelson and Lorie Stout of the Annapolis IC Fleet finished fourth. Division B turned into a shoot-out between Ray Wulff sailing with SpinSheet’s own Mary Iliff and Barney Harris who teamed up with Kim Couranz. The two teams won 7 of eight races with Wulff/Iliff winning the last race to claim the B Division crown. Tim Dawson and Kara Shadwick won a race and were never far behind in any of the others to place an overall third in B Division.
The 1997 InterClub Midwinters was a success due largely in part to the combined effort of fleet members, volunteers, and sailors who made the trip. The Annapolis InterClub Fleet would also like to thank Banks Sails Chesapeake for being a generous sponsor of the event.