J/80 class will make its debut at the Annapolis Yacht Club Summer One-Design Regatta this year.
That popular sport boat, which boasts a strong local fleet, voted to change its schedule for this season and add the AYC One-Design Regatta, being held the weekend of July 23-24 on the Chesapeake Bay. Previously, the Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge had conflicted with the Summer One-Design Regatta, but that is no longer the case.
“A lot of owners, especially those of us who are Annapolis Yacht Club members, have always wanted to do the Summer One-Design Regatta. We are happy that things have worked out in such a way that we can add this event to the annual calendar,” said John White, a member of the AYC Sailing Committee.
White, a champion skipper in multiple classes, will be among the pre-regatta favorites in the J/80 class. The Severna Park resident has amassed numerous wins in the J/80 class aboard USA 1162, including several at Screwpile. The Whitehall Yacht Yard owner, who has been racing a J/80 for six years, topped a 22-boat fleet of J/80s at the Annapolis NOOD.
Other successful programs expected to compete in the AYC Summer One-Design Regatta include VAYU (David Andril), White Lightnin’ (Vince Kalish), Outlaws (Derick Lynch) and Eleven (Bert Carp).
“All the boats go through the water at the same speed so the competition is almost always very close,” White said. “Looking at the scratch sheet, I would say that any of the boats could win the regatta.”
Nine J/80s are entered in the AYC Summer One-Design Regatta, a strong turnout White attributes to good communication within the local fleet. “We usually rely on the one-design classes to market the regatta to their owners. Annapolis has a very active group of J/80 racers that is well-organized,” he said.
J/22 class representative Jason Ipe expects that design to be properly represented as well with approximately 10 boats. Some of the top skippers in the area are already entered, including Jeff Todd (Hot Toddy), J.R. Maxwell (Scooby) and Chris Gaffney (Committed).
“Our J/22 fleet sailors have always enjoyed the Annapolis Yacht Club One-Design Regatta,” Ipe said. “It’s a great format for summer racing on the Bay when the breezing typically fills in the afternoon.”
Ipe was referring to the fact Annapolis Yacht Club race committee officials decided a few years ago to conduct afternoon racing to take advantage of the sea breeze that is commonplace in the mid-Chesapeake Bay region this time of year. Peter Gordon is serving as principal race officer this year and will attempt to complete at least three starts.
J/70 had the largest turnout for the 2015 AYC Summer One-Design Regatta with 12 boats and organizers are hopeful a late push will produce similar numbers this year. Entries in the Alerion 28 class are also lagging at the moment.
“We know owners tend to wait until the last minute to register for regattas, but we encourage those who are interested in doing our Summer One-Design to enter as soon as possible,” said Dick Neville, a member of the AYC Sailing Committee.
All documents pertaining to the AYC Summer One-Design Regatta can be found by clicking this link: http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=2862