Annapolis to Newport 2011 has concluded its 64th edition with all seventy boats having crossing the finish line or retiring from the race.
Annapolis to Newport
'Patience is a virtue' can be traced back to a poem entitled 'Piers Plowman' which was written in the mid 1300s and it may have seemed to a few of the competitors that the Annapolis-Newport Race 2011 started in the 14th century and took until the 21st to cross the finish line.
By 0615 on the morning of June 8, all 70 boats in the 64th running of the 475 mile biennial race had either finished or retired. Light winds contributed to the frustrations of many some of whom retired due to time restrictions while others patiently waited to make their decisions as to which side of Block Island to pass in hopes of finding breeze that alluded them on their trip out of the Bay.
Nicole Weaver, Watch Captain on PHRF I boat, Shinnecock reported 'if it had been a cruise it would have been really pleasant…one of the best. Trying to get somewhere quickly was challenging and we had to anchor for a few hours right outside the Chesapeake Bay Bridge tunnel.'
Peter Gibbon-Neff, Co-Owner with his wife Debbie of the Farr 395 Upgrade, said that it was 'one of the most frustrating Annapolis-Newport Races he’s ever done and appreciated the patience and sense of humor of his crew including his son Peter a Class of 2011 graduate of the US Naval Academy.' Gibbons-Neff celebrated the 50th anniversary of his doing his first A2N race on his family’s boat Prim, a boat with a long history with this race having first competed in 1955 and most recently in 2009.
For the first time in this race each boat carried a Yellowbrick GPS transponder that transmitted both boat speed and position every 30 minutes which allowed the Race Committee to once again award first out of the Bay trophies in each class. Up until about 20 years ago personnel on the Chesapeake Lightship at the mouth of the Bay reported on the exit status for all competitors but when the lightship was replace by an unmanned tower these awards were discontinued.
In 2007 the race had its first double-handed class entrants and in this year’s competition a PHRF cruising class was added. With the Transatlantic Race 2011 beginning at the end of June in Newport, the Annapolis-Newport Race welcomed a large number of competitors who would be continuing their journey back across the pond under sail having landed in the USA in container ships at the Port of Baltimore.
For the first time in race history entries included boats from the United Kingdom, Germany and Hong Kong. The first boat to finish, IRC I competitor George David’s Rambler 100 took line honors at 09:20:33 on June 5, missing the record set by Joseph Dockery’s Farr 60 Carrera in 2001 by only 22 minutes.
Annapolis to Newport
IRC I winner from Hong Kong on Beau Geste, Karl Kwok was second to Rambler 100 over the line but continues to enjoy distance races on his Farr 80. Beau Geste broke the Annapolis-Bermuda Race record in 2010 by close to 19 hours.. The first IRC II boat to complete the race, Varuna a Rogers 46 from Germany owned by Jens Kellinghusen at 10:53:32 on June 6. IRC III first to finish Christopher Dragon a J/122 owned by Andrew Weiss crossing the line on June 7 at 02:13:47.
In PHRF I, Michael Brennan’s Sjambok who in 2007 corrected to win the IRC Class in the race finished on June 6 at 09:21:54. The third of seven Service Academy boats to cross the finish line, Navy 44 Swift Skippered by Midshipman Graham Tyson corrected to first place in PHRF II. Five boats were entered by the United States Naval Academy in IRC and PHRF classes with the United States Coast Guard Academy putting together two teams in IRC III.
The team aboard Vanquish, a R/P 65 finished on June 6 at 02:07:14 with youth on their side. Vanquish is sailed by members of the [Oakcliff] All American Offshore Team which is only open to U.S. sailors under the age of 30.
PHRF III winner Actaea owned by Michael and Connie Cone has entered every A2N Race since 1999. It was with great pleasure that the Race Committee awarded the Cones and crew the C. Gaither Scott Trophy.
The winner of this trophy is chosen at the discretion of the Race Committee, the criteria of which is a well guarded secret. Michael Cone upon hearing that they were awarded this distinctive honor accepted on behalf of his wife and crew. 'It is an honor to be considered in the same category as Henry Morgan'.
Morgan, previously awarded the Scott Trophy in 2005 completed his last A2N race in 2009 on Dolphin at the age of 85 and passed away in May, a couple of days after competing in an AYC Wednesday Night Race at his home Club in Annapolis.
Although none of the boats in PHRF Cruising completed the race, Annapolis Yacht Club Commodore, Bill Torgerson on his Little Harbor 52 Dragon won the First out of the Bay award in his class. In the Double-Handed class, Jason Richter on Paladin was the fourth and final boat to finish but corrected over an amazing group of hearty competitors to take first place.
The Annapolis Trophy was awarded by the City of Annapolis to the winning team representing the Annapolis Yacht Club made up of Kalevala II-Tapio Saavalainen, Windborn-Rick Born and Vento Solare-Paul Milo.
Twelve teams made up of three boats competed for this honor, representing the Annapolis Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, Tred Avon Yacht Club, Storm Trysail Club, Naval Academy Sailing Squadron, Naval Academy Offshore Sailing Team, Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia and Norddeutscher Regatta Club from Germany, the first European team to enter the team race.
The Organizing Authorities wish to thank once again the generous supporters of the 2011 Annapolis-Newport Race, Primary Sponsor, Thomson Reuters and Yellowbrick Tracking Sponsor, Blue Opal Consulting.