Ben Cesare/Ann Patin and David Dowd/Thomas Salerno win the 2017 Midwinters held at Larchmont YC.
Stay tuned for a report…
Ben Cesare/Ann Patin and David Dowd/Thomas Salerno win the 2017 Midwinters held at Larchmont YC.
Stay tuned for a report…
Sadly, for the foreseeable future, the Midwinters has left it’s home base in Annapolis. But don’t despair, the 2017 Interclub Midwinters will be held at Larchmont Yacht Club January 28-29, 2017 in all it’s “collegiate style” goodness. Each team shall have two skippers and crews, who will sail in ‘A’ or ‘B’ division. Teams will be able to stay warm in between sets in the clubhouse with food and hot chocolate.
Refreshments and dinner will be provided Saturday evening. Discounted entry fees are available for junior and college teams. The link for sign up and Notice of Race is: http://larchmontyc.org/Yachting/Winter-Sailing/2017_IC_MidWinters.aspx.
Update: Blizzard Jonas was indeed a massive storm setting a record 30 inches of snow and 50 knot winds on the bay with a travel ban on local and state roads Saturday and Sunday, so this was without a doubt the right call. Instead of the regatta, enjoy a trip around downtown Annapolis in the snow as the eye of the storm passed on Saturday.
Original Post: The Nor’easter weather situation for this coming weekend’s regatta has not improved and may have gotten worse if considering sailing conditions on both weekend days. Traveling to and from the event will be hazardous and the prognosis for sailing is poor. Therefore, we regret that the IC Midwinters will be canceled this year. Many thanks to everyone who has continually supported this event in the past and those planning on coming this year.
The 2016 Interclub Midwinters will be held at SSA on January 23-24. It is the standard A/B style regatta as in past years. The notice of race and online registration is available at the SSA Web site. The link to the NOR is at the bottom of the page.
Jay Rhame/Ted Ferranone (sorry I don’t have the crews names) won the 2015 Midwinters Regatta. It was a rainy/snow raw weekend but at least temperatures were above freezing. Each division completed 10 races. Full Results
The Annapolis InterClub Fleet is pleased to announce the construction of a new IC Midwinters Perpetual Trophy. The large plaque is being constructed by High Tech Engraving and will be presented to the current winner at the Nationals this year. Nameplates for past winners will be added. The large trophy will reside at Severn Sailing Association.
We are trying to assemble an accurate list of past winners. If you have any information or corrections, please contact Jesse Falsone (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Despite freezing temperatures all weekend, with wind chills in the low teens on Saturday, 26 teams braved the 2013 Interclub Midwinter Championship at Larchmont YC. The 104 sailors (52 skippers, 52 crews) arrived on Saturday to find snow on the ground, ice in some boats and temperatures in the low 20s. After deploying rock salt, heat guns and boiling water to free stuck lines and centerboards, teams were able to hit the water and get in four races per division, despite salty icicles that began forming on bow covers, mast partners and turning marks.
The Interclub Midwinters features “college-style” racing — competitors team with friends to form “A” and “B” teams, with the lowest combined score winning the regatta. Each race is 10-15 minutes in length and there are no discards, placing a premium on consistency and short course strategy. Sailors rotated divisions every two races on Saturday to keep warm, and when the mercury inched above 32 degrees on Sunday, the race committee was able to get in a three-race set along with an additional two-race series to allow for a total of nine races per division. Large helpings of clam chowder and hot chocolate kept competitors warm in between races. Northerlies both days caused shifty winds but were strong enough to allow for minimal delays and the sunny skies and racing close to shore allowed for brisk rotations.
Reigning IC Midwinter champions John and Molly Baxter, Danny Pletsch and Emily Anderson dominated the weekend, never finishing a race outside of the top six overall to win the overall title by 56 points over Clay Bischoff, Kendra Emhiser, Ted Ferrarone and Meredith Killion. David Dowd, Maeve Judge, Ben Cesare and Coco Sprague finished third overall despite missing the podium in both A and B fleets.
The Midwinters counts toward the Wharf Rat Challenge, a trophy donated by Steve and Heidi Benjamin for overall performance during the winter IC circuit. The next Wharf Rat event is the Stanley Bell Memorial at Larchmont March 9-10, followed by the Tally Cup at Cottage Park YC (Winthrop, Mass.) in late March, culminating with the nationals April 13-14 at Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis.
A record 35 teams turned out for the 2012 Interclub Midwinter Championship at Larchmont YC on January 28 & 29, 2012. The 146 sailors (70 skippers, 76 crews) represented the largest gathering at an IC regatta in nearly 16 years, and those who attended were not disappointed. A rare January southwester filled after the first race on Saturday at 8-14 knots with stiff chop, followed by a shifty, puffy westerly on Sunday of similar velocity to allow for 20 races over two days.
The Interclub Midwinters features “college-style” racing — competitors team with friends to form “A” and “B” teams, with the lowest combined score winning the regatta. Each race is 10-15 minutes in length and there are no discards, placing a premium on consistency and short course strategy. Sailors rotate divisions every three to four races to keep warm, though the warm weather allowed everyone to spectate from the lawn and porch while sipping soup between sets.
Past IC national champions John and Molly Baxter, and Danny Pletsch and Jane Delashmutt, all St. Mary’s College alums racing for the home LYC club, sailed consistently to finish seventeen point ahead of Team 21, Ben Cesare, Dorsey Roseberry, David Dowd and Tricia Leicht to win the title. Clay Bischoff and Kendra Emhiser won the A division, and finished third overall with teammates Ted Ferrarone and Meredith Killion. Despite the overall win, Baxter and Pletsch each scored at least one race of 16th or worse in the competitive fleet that featured three former college sailors of the year, 18 former collegiate All Americans, and several national and world champions from a variety of classes.
The Midwinters counts toward the Wharf Rat Challenge, a trophy donated by Steve and Heidi Benjamin for overall performance during the winter IC circuit. The next Wharf Rat event is the Stanley Bell Memorial at Larchmont March 17-18, followed by the Tally Cup at Cottage Park YC (Winthrop, Mass.) in early April, culminating with the nationals April 28-29 at Rochester YC. Thank you to Heineken for its continued support of IC class regattas at Larchmont.
January 26-27, 2008
Severn Sailing Association, Annapolis, MD
Reigning InterClub National Champions John and Molly Baxter representing Larchmont Yacht Club (NY) dominated their A Division rivals at the 2008 InterClub Midwinters. Eleven races were sailed in each division of this classic college-style regatta, with the Baxters winning 7 of them in the light to moderate conditions. The contest was tighter in the B division, with “Dans” Pletsch and Maggie Lumkes a bit deeper in the standings, but staying close enough in points to secure the regatta win for the Larchmont team. Annapolitans Matt and Lori Schubert won B division with a 13 point margin and consistent sailing to pull their team, which included Brian Bissell and Alexis Rubin, into second place. The Manhasset Bay Yacht Club team, consisting of Pedro Lorson, Mimi Berry, PJ Patin, and Donna Marie Cipollone finished third.
This year’s regatta was noteworthy for the greater number of junior sailors on the water, teaming with friends, fathers, and coaches for some old-fashioned frostbiting action. Now in its 8th decade, the tradition of dinghy frostbiting continues, and is a great way to teach kids the basics of sailboat racing.
With the win, John and Molly move one point ahead of Benj/Charlie in the Wharf Rat standings with two regattas to go. If you haven’t sailed at least one of the three regattas to date, you’re out of luck in the battle for the Wharf Rat this year, and teams who have only sailed one event so far need to sail the final two events (Stanley Bell at LYC March 15-16 and Nationals at Metedeconk River April 19-20) to have a chance.
Jim Bowers/Bridgid Murphy and Paul Adam/Gaelen Phyfe win the uncharacteristically light air InterClub Midwinters. A high pressure system sat over the area all weekend producing light winds of 3-10 knots from the NE. Nonetheless, we raced 10 races on Saturday and 4 more on Sunday morning before the breeze finally shut off for the day. At least this year it was really warm and sunny and felt more like a typical April day.
With much of the water in the Northeast better suited to DN sailing than InterClub frostbiting, it came as a surprise to many that the annual InterClub Midwinters would indeed be contested in Annapolis on February 7 &8.
However, the IC Midwinters has had a charmed existence, and at the last minute the frozen tundra broke up and washed out into the Chesapeake. Twenty-five teams came from all over the New England, New York, New Jersey, and even Ohio to compete in this unique event which is run like a collegiate regatta. Sailing and socializing in equal proportions is the theme of this classic event. Twenty races in total (ten in each division) were completed in blustry Northwest winds, but the short fetch off the Naval Academy breakwater kept the seas relatively flat. The temperature was cold on Sunday despite abundant sunshine, and icing on hulls and rigs added to the regatta’s mistique.
With no drops races, consistency and risk management were vital to ultimate success. The lead changed many times between four teams, and the title came down to the last series. Steve and Jane Kirkpatrick were not having a stellar regatta, but they delivered the goods when it mattered most in the penultimate race by forcing the leading B Division team of Simon Stauss and Lisa Pline into a poor start. In doing so, the Scituate-based team won their third consecutive IC Midwinters by merely three points. Chad Demarest and Whitney Besse sailed a fantastic regatta to capture A Division honors and pull the Scituate team up into the winner’s circle.
Saturday morning at 9:30 am Thomas Point had 30 knots from the WNW and there were some real green meanies rolling down Spa Creek. However, after a one hour postponement, we had 10 races in a quintessential 10-20 knot northwester. On Sunday the breeze was down slightly from Saturday (WNW 5-15) but despite lots of sunshine it was a bit colder with temperatures in the 30s), really nice racing.
Another Great Regatta was held on February 8-9, 2002!
“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!'”
How much better can you state the essence of this regatta? This year’s event is stacking up to carry on this tradition. As we have bragged about in the past, we have not lost a midwinter’s race due to bad weather in the last 5 years. You are virtually guaranteed two days of great sailing, and with the borrowed boat program (see the NOR), and air fares reaching rock bottom, you can now get here with a minimum of fuss.
A Great Regatta = Good Management + Great Location + Fun Atmosphere
29 boats braved the freakish snow storm that hit the Mid Atlantic with 8 inches of snow. We completed 18 races in two days in shifty NW-SW breezes. Team Scituate consisting of Steve/Jane Kirkpatrick and Chad/Kelly Demarest repeat as Midwinter Champions.
Written for the Scituate Frostbite Association Fleet and used with permission (sort of).
Steve, Jane, Whitney and I had the pleasure of competing in the IC Midwinters this past weekend. The Annapolis IC fleet runs it “college style” with A and B division teams splitting time in the same boat. This year saw 27 teams–pretty amazing given the conflict with Miami OCR. The A/B thing makes it very social, as there’s plenty of time shore-side to get to know your fellow competitors. Seeing a lot of old friends and making new ones over copious (though not Berkeley-esque) quantities of free beer is always a good thing. The “boat loan program,” which ensures that traveling sailors are matched with a free charter boat, free housing, and free ride to/from the airport, attracts non-IC sailors…a fantastic thing for the health of the class and an ingenious fleet-building plan. As Annapolis has had the largest average turnout of any IC fleet this season, it also appears to be working. True hardcore IC sailors, like Jim/Suzie Bowers and Jocko/Myrna MacRae, also took advantage of the program–they got hooked up with a gucci Menkart. Mike Birman and Galen Phyfe got to sail a Vanguard for free. All of them were back home in Boston in time for the game.
Racing started on Saturday at the very civilized hour of 11:00, which was good because the front that had almost blown Steve/Jane off I-95 the night before was still kicking up a meaty northerly at 9:30 when we got to the club. When Steve/Jane hit the water an hour later, it was down to probably 15 or so, and the course was set up at the mouth of the Severn right off the USNA field in a flat, breezy, very shifty northerly. Steve and Jane got off to a good start with a 4/3/1 and, at the rotation, Steve’s advice to me was “dude, it’s shifty.” And dude, it was. There was a funneling breeze at the middle of the mouth of the Severn, but there were also huge lefties coming from the mouth of the harbor 90 degrees left of the weather mark. To complicate matters, the current was ripping out but you could duck it on the far left corner. What’s a sailor to do? We tried to tack on every shift and never commit to a side, and it worked pretty well. We lost boat a boat or two on the first beats when we committed to a side rather than taking smaller shifts. We posted a 1/3/5 and turned the reins back over to Steve and Jane. After going back on an OCS, they pulled a 10 in the first race. You all know what happens next, right? They win the next two going away. Law of averages. Whit and I were crucified by a port tacker on the first start of our set, but we clawed back to a 6. The next one was worse, as we were over at a messy pin and never established a lane on the beat. A sweet low-road on the run caught us 6 or 7 boats, and we finished 4th. The last race was strange. Good start, good lanes, great speed, bad finish. We end with a 6/4/8. John Pratt/Kristina Roussel (A) and Paul Adam/Kim Queene (B) from Winthrop sailed an amazingly consistent day, and were 5 points up on us in the overall. Steve/Jane were winning A, but Whit and I were a distant third in B…16 points behind Paul/Kim’s highly impressive 2/2/2/1/3/1. Former Midwinter Champ Bill Healy’s team was close behind us, as was Jim/Suzie/Jocko/Myrna.
SSA hosted a dinner, but the only thing anyone will remember was the desert. Words cannot do the desert justice, so I won’t even try. It was the best food with sugar any of us have ever eaten. The main course could have been *&^% on a shingle and it still would have been an unbelievable meal. There was beer, too, but we lit out for a night on the town that turned ugly and ended in Hearts and Sammy’s in the hotel.
Sunday dawned cloudy with a light SW’ly that built to a solid 10 when A hit the water for a cold, hard and uncivilized 9:30 first gun. It was clearly very wavy and getting windier. We knew the breeze was up when two boats Bruce-ed on the last run. Steve/Jane were deep on the first race after missing a lefty, but powered back to a 5. 808, in case you’re wondering, is very, VERY good at powering back. That boat is NOT speed-deficient. Anyway, they were winning the second race for a while, but they had to chose between covering the correct side and covering the correct competition…they finished 3rd, ahead of Billy, Jim and Pratto. The last race they played the middle and survived a 20 degree lefty to finish 5th. When Whit and I got out to the starting area, we were almost planing in 16 knot puffs, surfing down 2-foot waves. Our only goal, after watching the left pay consistently in the A set, was to be towards the pin and play the left. At 15 seconds we got nervous and bailed from the pin, starting on port behind everyone, and were soon the furthest boat right. And then we got headed. We tacked and never looked back. We came from behind to win the next race on the last beat. We couldn’t get by Jock/Myrna in our last race, and were happy to post a 1/1/2 set. It was only noon, but they sent us in ’cause of the PHRF frostbiters, who, we were told, “play by different rules” than we do. Curiously, this was deemed sound logic.
We finished up with a comfortable combined win, and managed to win both divisions to boot. We were all proud to represent SFA, and I think the rest of the world is starting to see that we’ve got the most competitive frostbiting in the country. Scituate on Sundays is the most intesive learning session you’ll find, anywhere, and it lasts all winter long. What a bargain!
A quick plug: the Annapolis IC fleet really goes all-out for this event. There was hot food between every set, the kegs were always tapped, and the RC work (though not Charles-esque) was damn good. The competitors were all very nice and very social (and very lubricated). The hot water in the showers worked. The raffle was good (not quite Kirkp…oh, you get the idea) and the Winthrop crowd absolutely cleaned up (they had 4 teams) on tee-shirts and hats. Someone not named Jim or Suzie won the sail. It was a first-class regatta.
The four of us had an absolute blast. We will all do everything we can to go back next year, and we encourage anyone else interested in a really great regatta to come down and give it a shot. Skill levels are totally irrelevant…the sailing is good, but the atmosphere is what makes it such a fun weekend.
1 – Guck (808) w/ Ched North
2 – Menkart (699) w/ Benj North
3 – Original woody (34?) w/ Ched North
4 – Menkart (672) w/ Ched North
5 – Vanguard (757) w/ New Doyle (–these guys were blazing fast in the flat water Sat!)
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.
The 2001 InterClub Midwinters held at Severn Sailing Association on February 10-11 was a resounding success. Some of the best frostbite sailors in the northeast and mid-Atlantic region gathered for the annual event, with a few guest “rock stars” sprinkled in adding to an already eclectic mix. Conditions were trying for the 24 teams of sailors and race committee alike on Saturday, with westerly winds blowing from 15-25 knots. The shifty and gusty nature of these winds made staying upright the priority, and approximately one dozen crews took a dip in the 30 degree Chesapeake waters during the day. The winds on Sunday were ideal at 10-15 from the northwest, but an early 0930 start and colder temperatures gave real meaning to “frostbite” sailing as ice formations on sheets and hardware were common.
The InterClub Midwinters has become a premier one-design event. Past regatta chairman, Jesse Falsone, says “we attract some incredible talent to this regatta including multiple world and national champions, Rolex winners and nominees, college All-Americans, America’s Cup veterans, and a host of very talented dinghy sailors who can beat the pros on any given Sunday”. This year’s regatta chairman, Alex Pline, boasts that “we give the sailors a lot of bang for their buck – some great sailing combined with a fantastic social atmosphere.”
Pline is referring to the regatta format – dubbed “collegiate style” by the regatta organizers. Sailors form a team by having two separate crews in each boat, one crew sailing the “A” division and the other sailing the “B” division. Only one crew is on the water at a time, giving the other crew a chance to warm by the fire in the clubhouse, eat a hot snack, and talk with friends and competitors.
Unlike all other midwinters regattas, this one is run smack in the middle of winter and in a cold mid-Atlantic climate. For frostbite sailors, cold is relative. Annapolis is the southern-most InterClub frostbite fleet, and the sailing area here rarely freezes, although a northerly blew the ice out just in time for the regatta last year. In Rochester, NY and Hyannis, MA frostbiters usually stop sailing in January and February, and wait for the thaw in March before continuing. Rochester frostbiter, Ryan Walsh, says “we rarely get above freezing when we sail, and we were racing around ice floes and through the slushies in the Genesee River during the fall.” Other fleets like the Larchmont, NY and Winthrop, MA frequently ice over causing weeks of cancelled sailing, so traveling to “balmy” Annapolis is a welcome change for those frostbiters used to rigging their boats with a pick-ax.
For the second year running, the Newport, RI team of Ed Adams, Carol Newman-Cronin, Andy Pimental, and Monique Gaylor won the event. Mr. Adams is ubiquitous in the sailing world, having recently coached Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl to their Olympic Gold in Australia. Ms. Cronin is an active Snipe sailor and match racer, and was recently recognized as a nominee for the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year. Mr. Pimental owns a small boat building business, and often teams with Ms. Gaylor (New York, NY) for big events. Annapolis sailors didn’t fair so well, with the top team finish going to Jesse Falsone, Dina Temple-Raston, Macy Nelson, and Jeff Janos in 6th place. Professional sailors from Annapolis Andy Horton and Terry Hutchinson took a break from their busy schedules to compete, finishing 6th and 7th respectively in B division showing the depth of talent in the IC fleet.
The Annapolis InterClub Fleet would like to thank our suppliers; Phillips Seafood, The Bagel Connection, Fawcett’s Boat Supplies, UK Sails Annapolis, Kinder Industries, Harken, Guck, Inc., Ronstan, SpinSheet Magazine, Sailing Magazine, Layline, SailingCentral.com and Riff Raff Graphics.
Doug Clark, former coach at the Naval Academy, was one of the founding members of the Annapolis InterClub Fleet. He’ll be coming down to the regatta this year with sailors from the Merchant Marine Academy. I asked him about the “old” days, and this is what he had to say:
“I believe the first IC Midwinters was 1989, Pete McChesney and I were the instigators. I sold a Soling we had at Navy and purchased 3 new IC’s from Menkart. At SSA we found some 100 series boats in Rochester for $500 a piece – instant fleet. Alex’s (Stout) boat the “pig” I think is the only surviving member. We had 12 teams that 1st year. The funniest thing was when Gary Jobson was sailing and came into the basin to rotate and got his sail wrapped up in a piling and tore it to shreads. Good laughs for all the spectators. Thanks for all the hard work.”
Is it too cold and windy to frostbite in February?
Since 1996, frostbite regattas in Annapolis (4 Midwinters and 1 Nationals) have never missed a single day’s racing. On average, the Annapolis IC Fleet misses less than 2 days racing per year due to bad weather. These statistics make Annapolis the most reliable location for frostbiting on the East Coast. The Annapolis Midwinter’s regattas generally run over 20 races in a weekend, or 10 races per division.
A few past winning skippers of the IC Midwinters include:
The 2000 InterClub Midwinters on February 5-6, 2000, was frostbiting at its finest. The ice covered waters of Spa Creek and the lower Severn River gave way last Saturday in a freshening Northwest breeze, leaving perfect conditions for the 26 IC teams from all over the Northeast. The IC Midwinters in Annapolis is famous for its collegiate format (i.e. two teams per boat, A and B divisions). The unique sailing area surrounding the Severn Sailing Association allows IC sailors to quickly switch out teams at the docks and return to the sailing area for racing. Twenty two races in total were run, 11 for each division.
A Northwester brings classic frostbite conditions to Annapolis – puffy and shifty. InterClub sailing is perhaps the most instinctual sailing one can imagine, and staying in phase with the shifts that these conditions bring is paramount. There’s no time to think in InterClub sailing when its this shifty, and a one second delay in making a decision can cost you a valuable lane or positioning for the next shift.
With no throw-out race in an eleven race series, consistency was the key to success. The Newport, RI team of Ed Adams and Carol Cronin, and Andy Pimental and Monique Gaylor won the regatta with an impressive display of consistency amidst an extremely talented field of sailors. Ed and Carol placed 2nd in A Division, losing by merely one point. Andy and Monique came from behind on Sunday to win B Division. The Winthrop, MA team of Jim Bowers and Myrna MacRae (1999 IC National Champions), and Jocko MacRae and Barb Evans were second. Both teams placed third in their respective divisions. Coast Guard Academy sailing coach, Bill Healy, and a team of cadets including Ty Reed, Rob Cotler, and Kate Sheahan were in the running to win the regatta up until the last series when a broken halyard forced them to withdraw from a race and miss the start of another. Bill Healy, a long-time IC sailor, had a remarkable series to place first in A division.
The IC Dinghy MidWinter Championship Regatta travelled from its home in Annapolis for the first time this year, but little was lost by the change of locale. Fleet racing in three fleets, instead of the A/B format, took place at the Larchmont YC in Larchmont, NY on Long Island Sound, home to an active Interclub fleet since the boat was originally commissioned in 1946.
Forty teams braved small craft warnings and forecasts of near southern ocean wind conditions for the event. Saturday was sunny and cold with a westerly breeze of 15-18 knots with stronger gusts and much higher winds forecast with a coming frontal line in the afternoon. Stanley Bell’s Larchmont Race Committee determined that an effort should be made to get in some racing while conditions still allowed it and the fleet set out in the shifty, puffy conditions.
The Committee set a windward leeward course with a wide offset that had the effect of reducing the number of jibes downwind. A strong contrary tide on the beat made for additional tactical challenges. The first two races were completed without serious mishap and resulted in a trade of 1st and 3rd places between 1998 National Champion Neal Fowler of Hyannis and Jim Bowers of the Winthrop (MA) Fleet. Bill Tripp of Larchmont held third at this point.
In the third race, chaos began to break loose. A strong puff on the run set many of the boats as close to a plane as the venerable design will come, however several of the boats which had held high on port jibe found themselves in trouble and several capsizes ensured, including a spectacular crash jibe flip by Larchmont skipper Anthony Law during which his boom snapped in half. Neal Fowler put another bullet on the board in this race and began to put a stranglehold on the regatta.
The fourth and fifth races saw a slight decrease in the chaos. Former Sunfish Class Champion Paul-Jon Patin won the fourth with Fowler second, however Patin was never able to become a factor in the regatta because he found himself rendering assistance to swimmers in several races. Ed Adams of Newport won the fifth race (Fowler’s only double digit performance) to press Bowers in second. The top three were closely followed by Tripp, Kerry Klingler of Larchmont and Bill Lynn of Marblehead who had seconds in race two and three.
The sixth race once again saw the fleet pummelled by some spectacular puffs. Bill Lynn was one of the victims when an out of control competitor caused him to capsize at the leeward mark. Two other boats had already flipped on the run and several others escaped from close shaves. Bill Tripp won the race, but with Adams in second and Fowler in fourth there was no room to move up. With all of the crashboats occupied and fully 25% fleet retired due either to capsize or breakdown, the Race Committee elected to call it a day and try to save something for Sunday’s predicted lighter winds.
Many of the sailors enjoyed the fine party at Larchmont that evening with beer provided by sponsor Sam Adams (no relation to Ed!) and raffle prizes donated by Harken, Douglas Gill, Guck and The Layline.
Unfortunately, forecasts are notoriously innacurate, and Sunday, far from bringing more sailable conditions brought – in addition to frigid temperatures – a gusty northerly with puffs in the mid-30’s and shifts all over. The Race Committee postponed for an hour, but with no sign of a decrease in the wind, packed it in and called it a regatta, giving Neal Fowler an additional feather to add to last spring’s National Championship.
— Andrew Besheer
(all fleets on same start)
|A-Fleet (18 boats)|
|755||Neal Fowler||Mike Collins||Hyannis||11|
|717||Jim Bowers||Myrna Fong Macrae||Winthrop||20|
|693||Ed Adams||Carol Newman Cronin||Newport||22|
|B-Fleet (16 boats)|
|801||Matt Cotrell||Cicily Natunewicz||Annapolis||78|
|675||Alex Pline||Sherry Eldridge||Annapolis||84|
|C-Fleet (5 boats)|
|270||Ross Dierdorff||Ian Mutnick||Annapolis||120|
|88||Peter Daniels||Mike Marrero||Larchmont||163|
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.