Sitella and Rattle N Rum new Chesapeake ORC Champions
23 October 2017
– neither sailors nor organizers – is happy when lack of wind puts a
damper on a long-awaited regatta. Nonetheless, Mother Nature did not
cooperate with the Storm Trysail Club’s Annapolis Fall Regatta,
which lost almost an entire weekend of windward-leeward racing due
to light air on the mid-Chesapeake Bay. And two distance races
scored on Friday allowed for just enough racing to allow the
crowning of two new ORC Chesapeake champions.
After no races held on Saturday, Principal race officer Dick Neville found a window favorable enough to get in one race on Sunday to send the 15-boat fleet home on a positive note. It was the lone buoy race for the two ORC classes and was held in 5-6 knots of breeze, conditions the rating rule took into account.
“Sailing under ORC made today manageable because the rule adjusts your rating based on the wind and course,” said Ian
Hill, skipper of the XP44 Sitella. “The ORC office and US Sailing did a good job of making sure everyone had the proper rating and I thought the scoring was fair across the board.” Sitella took first place in both legs of the distance race held on Friday then finished second in the buoy race on Sunday to secure victory in ORC 1. It was the second straight year the Hampton Yacht Club entry captured class honors at the Annapolis Fall Regatta.
“I give the race committee a lot of credit for making some good decisions in difficult situations,” said Hill, a resident of Chesapeake, Virginia. “They shortened the course on Friday, which was wise since the wind dropped out. They clearly made the right call in not racing on Saturday and were very fortunate to get one race away today.”
Mark Wheeler served as tactician aboard Sitella, which enjoyed a good
battle with another XP44 during the distance race - Bob Cantwell’s
Rival – who was runner-up in the 18-nautical mile tour of the bay
that took the fleet around government marks. “Mark did a terrific
job of calling the shifts on both days. He consistently put the boat
on the correct side of the course, which was not easy to do,” Hill