There was no question that Testing Life was going to return to the Annapolis-to-Newport Race after making a spectacular debut in 2015. So when owner Brian Mulhull saw the October 7 announcement that entries were being accepted for the next edition, he did not hesitate.
“It popped up on Facebook and I immediately went to the website and registered,” Mulhull said. “We had an absolute blast and the whole crew agreed that we could not wait to do this race again.”
Testing Life captured first place in Performance Cruising Class 2 and also finished third overall among PHRF entries with a corrected time of 3 days, 10 hours, 44 minutes and 47 seconds. Along the way, the Tartan 46 proved that racer-cruisers were ideally suited for the Annapolis-to-Newport Race.
Race Committee officials initiated a pair of Performance Cruising classes for the 2015 edition of Annapolis-to-Newport and actively encouraged owners of those designs to enter the event. Ratings were assigned based on the specific characteristics of such sailboats and numerous seminars were conducted to help first-time skippers through the preparation process.
“I thought the Annapolis Yacht Club did a phenomenal job of catering to my type of program,” Mulhull said. “The whole process was way easy and the hospitality on both ends was spectacular.”
Testing Life was among a dozen first-time entries and enjoyed immediate success in its maiden voyage between the two historic maritime cities. Mulhull needed every member of the crew to help carry home all the awards he received during the Prizegiving Ceremony. None meant more to the skipper than the Youth Challenge Trophy.
“I told the crew before the race that if we won anything, it would be the Youth Challenge Trophy,” Mulhull said. “We run a program with 10 commandments, and right at the top is that we are always looking to introduce young people to the sport of sailboat racing.”
At press time, eight boats had entered the 36th biennial Annapolis-to-Newport Race, which starts June 2 and 3 on the Chesapeake Bay. Event Chairman Jim Praley is hopeful that
increased participation of Performance Cruisers along with the continued support of the more traditional offshore racing boats will enable the event to exceed the 71 entries of 2015.
“We have seen a real resurgence of interest in the Annapolis-to-Newport Race and we will continue to encourage new entries,” Praley said. “Any owner who is considering competing in this renowned race should know that our organizing committee will provide whatever support necessary to help them navigate their way to the starting line.”
The first in a series of “What to Expect” seminars was conducted during the U.S. Sailboat Show and four others have been scheduled. Next up is a Rigging and Sails Panel Discussion slated for Jan. 14. Also on the docket is an Electronics Presentation (March 11), Medical Aid at Sea (April 22), Navigation, Weather and Routing (May 20).
Annapolis-to-Newport Race officials also announced the return of two important and loyal sponsors – SpinSheet Magazine and Fawcett Boat Supplies.
SpinSheet Magazine, which has provided comprehensive coverage of Chesapeake Bay sailing since 1995, has again signed on as media sponsor.
“We’re really excited to be back in 2017 as a media sponsor of the Annapolis-to-Newport Race. Annapolis and Newport are two great sailing towns, so it draws great competitors,” SpinSheet publisher Mary Ewenson said. “We love the challenge of the race down the Bay followed by the offshore leg to Newport. We’re looking forward to seeing this be one of the biggest runnings of the race ever.”
Fawcett Boat Supplies, an institution in Annapolis, continues as a supporting sponsor of the biennial offshore classic. Boatyards, riggers, cruisers, live-aboards and racers have relied upon Fawcett since 1948.
“We are honored to be invited back as a sponsor of the Annapolis-to-Newport Race for 2017. We continue to have product and staff ready to support the growing participation of this great sailing event,” said Bill Griffin, General Manager of Fawcett Boat Supplies.
An early entry discount for the Annapolis-to-Newport Race will continue until January 15, 2017. Interested skippers can find the Notice of Race and entry forms at the following link: http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eid=2982