The InterClub Midwinters has built quite a reputation for itself. That reputation is one of great sailing and socializing in equal proportions made possible by the regatta format, called “collegiate style”. Each boat is shared among sailors from two divisions who form a team for scoring purposes – just like in college sailing. First one division sails a few races, then the other. Alternating between racing and socializing is even tempting for those sailors that normally consider frostbiting as part of the lunatic fringe. As one new frostbiter described, “I thought I’d get pretty cold out there, but I was pleasantly surprised that these little tubs keep you moving, and before you know it, your round is over and you’re back in the club eating soup!”
Lots of New Englanders consider the IC Midwinters a “must do” regatta. As its name implies, the InterClub was originally conceived as a class of boat that could be shared among sailors from different clubs. Annapolis IC Fleet members have always been extremely generous in loaning their boats out to frostbite brethren from up north. With no boat to bring, these travelers usually hop a shuttle flight from Boston, Providence, or New York for the weekend. Boston’s frostbite ace, Jim Bowers, says “coming to the IC Midwinters is a no-brainer each year because the sailing is as great as the party, and it’s just so easy”. This formula also drew sailors from New Jersey, Buffalo, and, and even New Orleans.
For most sailors in this regatta, college is a fading memory, but the sailing skills that make All-Americans are the very ones that make winners at the IC Midwinters. The winning team this year consisted of Steve & Jane Kirkpatrick, Chad Demarest, and Whitney Besse from Scituate, MA. Both crews won their respective divisions with the skills that earned them All-American status in college. Those skills include crisp boat handling and accurate split-second decision making. In second place were Jim & Susie Bowers and Jocko & Myrna MacRae from Winthrop, MA. In third were Bill Healy, Leah Anderson, Brent Jansen, and Paige Hannon. Healy, a fixture at this regatta since 1998, put a team together with Saint Mary’s College sailing team members. The top local team consisted of Wayne Pignolet, JoAnn Jones, Hal Gilreath, and Lisa Pline in fourth place.
Saturday’s racing was held in a typical winter Northwester ushered in by building high pressure. Winds ranging from 5 to 15 knots with quick oscillations made lead changes in each race inevitable. At the end of the day, Paul Adam and Kim Queen (Winthrop, MA) held a commanding lead in B Division and a respectable overall lead with teammates John Pratt and Kristina Roussel. However, skippers Kirkpatrick and Demarest rallied on Sunday in a difficult southwesterly that added a nasty chop to the equation. Demarest and Besse sealed the regatta win with a resounding 1,1,2 in the final three races.
Once again, PRO John Potter and the SSA race committee team defined race management efficiency by firing off 12 perfect races on Saturday and 6 on Sunday. After the event Potter said “sometimes when a regatta goes off this well, I don’t know what to do with myself afterward”. But Potter knows all too well that there will always be another regatta to run, and TESOD is just around the corner.
Demarest put it nicely when he addressed the crowd while accepting his championship trophy; “The IC Midwinters is a great regatta for the class because it gets so many new people involved each year. The class needs more fun events like this, and more sailors to fill the ranks”.
The Annapolis InterClub Fleet would like to thank our suppliers; Phillips Seafood, The Bagel Connection, Fawcett’s Boat Supplies, Kinder Industries, Harken, Guck, Inc., Ronstan, Annapolis Performance Sailing, Sailing Magazine, Layline, Seitech, North Sails, and Riff Raff Graphics.