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“Nationals October 2019

Build It and They Will Come – AYC’s Double Handed Distance Race

| October 14, 2020, 04:36 PM

The Annapolis Yacht Club hosted its second annual Double Handed Distance Race October 3-4. The race attracted 37 teams from around the country, more than doubling the number of teams from the inaugural year. The 24-hour, 92.2-mile course appealed to teams wanting both the challenge of the shorthanded crew format as well as a distance race. The competitors included a mix of elite double handed teams vying for a spot in the Olympics, sailors who normally race on fully crewed teams, and a growing number of casual racers who wish to experience the double handed discipline. 

Inspired by the new Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat Olympic event announced a year and a half ago, Annapolis Yacht Club committed to offering events to support shorthanded sailing. 

The competitors in our inaugural event in 2019 all returned this year, having given suggestions and advice on how to make the second edition even better. COVID 19 presented its challenges, but also opportunities. On the downside, all shoreside activities were conducted via ZOOM. However, the inaugural AYC Two Bridge Fiasco which was inserted into the summer schedule amid other canceled events, a casual three-hour single or double handed fun event, encouraged at least three local teams to sign up for the AYC Double Handed Distance Race. 

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The majority of the boats were in the 28 to 45-foot range and were divided into the J/105 OD Mixed Doubles class and ORC 1 and ORC 2. In all, we had 17 mixed-gender teams – the 11 J105s, 3 in ORC 1, and 3 in ORC 2. Of the 37 teams, three were married couples, one was a brother/sister duo, and there was also a father/son team. Eight J/105 owners from Fleet 3 – Northern Chesapeake Bay loaned boats to competitors. 

Some amazing things happened as part of this race. First, the wind on the Chesapeake Bay seldom does what it did in this race. Second, the winning J/105 team finished 5th inline honors, despite starting 10 minutes after those taking 1st-4th line honors. Third, numerous boats finished within one minute of each other. Finally, although people were tired after 24-hours they couldn’t stop talking about the race and how much fun they had. 

People around the world “watched” the race on the YB tracker and interacted via social media, as the competitors experienced the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay with a moon bright enough to illuminate the puffs while enjoying the sport they love with a friend or family member. 

The timing of the event couldn’t have been better with the announcement this week of OFFSHOREDOUBLES.ORG whose mission is to support doublehanded competition. 

To visit the Annapolis Yacht Club Regattas Facebook – Click Here 

To see full results from the race – Click Here 

Severn Bank

Category: Boating, LIFE IN THE AREA, Local News, NEWS, Post To FB, Sports

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