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Annapolis to Newport Race 2013 - Online registration now open

by Nathan Adamus on 2 Mar 2013
Annapolis to Newport Race 2013 Sarah Proctor
Annapolis to Newport Race 2013. Online registration is now open and the Notice of Race has been posted on the race's official website located at Annapolis Newport Race. 2013 marks the 34th running of the 475 mile biennial Annapolis-Newport Race run by the Annapolis Yacht Club (AYC) and New York Yacht Club (NYYC).

The Annapolis to Newport race links two of the nation's oldest seaports and is one of the most historic and well-known U.S. East Coast blue water races. The race provides a contrast between the country's largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean, creating an extremely challenging racing triathlon that combines elements of grand prix sailing, ocean sailing, and cruising.

The course heads south for 120 miles from Annapolis to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, then east to the Chesapeake Light and hence northeast to Newport. After navigating the shallows and currents of the Bay, navigators have to decide if they want to sail the rhumbline to Newport, go in toward the shore, or head further into the ocean. Vessels then head up the coast to Block Island and eventually toward the entrance of the Narragansett Bay for the final approach to Castle Hill Light. For skippers and crews, this course requires many more tactical and strategic decisions than the other East Coast offshore races. These choices all offer the potential for gains or losses making it a very exciting and fun race to sail.

Community activist and Donnybrook owner Jim Muldoon has been a consistent fixture at the Annapolis to Newport race. Although his 2011 appearance was cut short when his 73-footer had a grounding issue near Norfolk, Virginia, his passion for the race has never waned. This year, he looks to wipe the slate clean and come back with a vengeance in his new Andrews 80. 'I have always enjoyed the Annapolis to Newport Race because it requires a diversity of sailing skills to deal with the tides, depths, and currents of the Chesapeake Bay combined with the challenges of ocean racing,' Muldoon said enthusiastically. 'Leaving from Annapolis, a great sailing town and ending up in Newport, another beautiful sailing home, is always a sailor’s delight.'

Another local sailor Rick Born (J/120 Windborn) reiterated Muldoon's sentiments. 'I first ran the Annapolis to Newport race with Alan Harquail aboard Insight in 1991,' said Born. 'Since then, the same nucleus of crew has participated in twenty or so ocean races together. In fact, four of us from that first race on Insight will reunite for this year's race aboard Windborn. When you sail offshore, unique bonds and friendships are created. I would encourage anyone contemplating doing the race for the first time to go ahead and do it. Bringing your boat to Category 2 standards is a good exercise, and the race itself is either in protected waters or along the coast where there is comfort in knowing assistance is not far away. The Race Committee is supportive and the venues and social events are tops.'

Both Annapolis and Newport are great vacation destinations with lots of local attractions to enjoy. AYC and NYYC both welcome the participants to enjoy the full use of their clubhouses. Both offer outstanding dining and a relaxed atmosphere to gather with fellow competitors.

'The Annapolis to Newport Race is wonderful opportunity for sailors, crew, and family to come together and have a great time while acknowledging the significant achievement of participating in this event,' said Mark Myers, AYC Past Commodore.

In 2011, twelve three-boat teams represented the Annapolis Yacht Club, New Yacht Yacht Club, Tred Avon Yacht Club, Storm Trysail Club, Naval Academy Sailing Squadron, Naval Academy Offshore Sailing Team, Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia, and Norddetscher Regatta Club from Germany, the first European team to ever compete for the City of Annapolis Team Race Trophy.

The course record is held by Joseph Dockery's Carrera, a Farr 60 skippered by Chris Larson, which finished the 2001 race in 42 hours, 58 minutes, and 12 seconds.

Besides the new awards introduced this year, boats that competed in the 2012 Newport to Bermuda Race are eligible for the Chelsea Clock Seafarer Trophy for combined performance in both races. Boats also entering the Marblehead-Halifax Race are eligible for the Chelsea Clock Mariner Trophy for combined performance in these races.

AYC Regatta Manager, Linda Ambrose, was enthusiastic about the potential for the 2013 race. 'This race has flown under the radar for a while, and this year we really want skippers, crew, and spectators to be immersed in the full experience that this venue has to offer,' Ambrose said.

In addition to the open divisions racing under IRC or PHRF, there is a start for the traditional cruiser or racer-cruisers, as well as a double-handed division. 2013 also marks the fourth time in the race's storied history where GPS transponders will be used to keep track of each boat so fans can follow their favorites as they make their way to Rhode Island.



Annapolis Newport Race 2013

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