AYC tweaks regatta lineup for 2018

| March 9, 2018
Rams Head

If you built it…they will come.  Tweaking a line from Field of Dreams… Annapolis Yacht Club has tweaked its 2018 regatta schedule to encourage participation and make it more convenient for sailors to compete.

Following a thorough review and after much discussion, the AYC Sailing Committee has recommended shifting the Spring One-Design Regatta from a Saturday to a Sunday, moving the Annual Regatta back a month and altering the format of the Fall Series.

“We are constantly exploring ways to improve our customer service and respond to the needs of our participants,” said Jonathan Bartlett, Vice Commodore of Annapolis Yacht Club. “These changes and adjustments are response to sailor feedback or were identified as necessary by the Sailing Committee.”

This year’s AYC Spring One-Design Regatta will be held on Sunday, April 29, to make it easier on owners bringing boats back from Charleston Race Week. This event was previously conducted on a Saturday, putting somewhat of a squeeze on owners who had trailered their boats back from Charleston.

“We’re just trying to make it a little easier for owners to compete in the One-Design Regatta,” Bartlett said. “That extra day might not seem like much, but we think it will make a big difference for those folks who have just returned from Charleston.”

Bartlett noted the Helly Hansen National Offshore One-Design (NOOD) Series will make its annual Annapolis stop the following weekend (May 4-6) and was hopeful J/70 owners and others will consider the AYC One-Design Regatta as an ideal warm-up.

Competition for the AYC One-Design Regatta will be offered in the following classes: J/22, J/105, J/70, J/30, and Etchells.

A more significant change involves the AYC Annual Regatta, which is being moved from June to July. That move was primarily made to avoid conflicts with out-of-town events that prevented many sailors from competing.

This summer, the AYC Annual Regatta will be held on Saturday, July 21, and will replace the Summer One-Design Regatta on the schedule. Because the event is now being held in the mid-summer, the Race Committee has set an early afternoon start to take advantage of the sea breeze that is prevalent during that time of year.

“In years past, the Annual Regatta was held in mid-June when many Annapolis-area boat owners are away. We were finding the date was not conducive for boats that did the Annapolis-to-Newport Race or Block Island Race Week,” Bartlett said. “By moving out of June, we move out of a time period when there are less boats leaving town.”

Competition will be conducted for a total of eight one-design classes while handicap divisions will sail under the ORC rating rule for the AYC Annual Regatta. One-designs being offered starts are: J/22, Cal 25, Alerion 28, Harbor 20, J/70, J/80, J/105, and J/30. Organizers are hopeful the introduction of ORC will produce an increase in handicap racing.

“We would like to rejuvenate and grow this regatta, which should be one of the highlights of the season,” Bartlett said. “This is a signature event for the Annapolis Yacht Club that everyone should celebrate and enjoy.”

Annapolis Yacht Club’s popular Fall Series will see some slight schedule revisions designed to reduce the time commitment required to compete. All the smaller one-designs will complete the series in one weekend with windward-leeward racing on September 29 and 30. Similarly, larger one-designs and ORC entries will have their series held the weekend of October 13-14, also exclusively using windward-leeward courses.

“We believe this will fit the personal schedules of all sailors much better,” said John White, a member of the AYC Sailing Committee. “Instead of devoting two different weekends to the Fall Series, you are only doing one.”

AYC has eliminated the distance race element of Fall Series because that type of competition is now being offered by the new Race to Solomons that is slated for Saturday, September 22.

Another new element of the AYC Fall Series involves a special Severn River course for the smallest one-designs in the fleet. Multiple starts will be held for owners of Alerion 28, Harbor 20, and Herreshoff 12.5 on Saturday, October 6, which is the same weekend as the United States Sailboat Show.

Severn Bank

Category: LIFE IN THE AREA, Local News, NEWS, Sports

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