District 2  Regatta Report

Sat Jul 9th, 2011 through Sun Jul 10th, 2011

Competitors for the 77th Annual Miller Series, Gibson Island, MD

Competitors for the 77th Annual Miller Series, Gibson Island, MD

2011 77th Miller Series


Winds were on the light side as expected for this annual July racing series for Stars. Excellent races were run on both days, though challenging for both the Race Committee as well as for the Star boat crews. Ten boats were on the starting line after the long tow out from behind Gibson Island. A moderate leftover Northeast breeze from the evening’s thunderstorms gave us false hope all morning but as the sun rose higher the breeze slowly expired and veered towards the East.

At the start, crews were hiked and the Stars looked brilliant clearing the line in an 8 knot breeze. Three quarters up the beat, boats coming out from the right side looked good. Tom Price with Alex Schwab crewing took a lot of sterns but worked late to East and in a new, stronger veer led the fleet to the weather mark. Down the run, John Vanderhoff very sensibly took the low lane and sailed past Price and the pack to his left and went on to win. Price and MacCausland finished 2nd and 3rd.

Race 2 was a light, slow one but interesting. No other boat than a Star could have had decent racing in the light air and mercifully flat water. At the start, Price, Keith Donald and Mike Hecky immediately banged right and went all the way to the lay line on a light breeze that continued to veer to the East and even edging south of that. The strong ebb current stayed all day making the runs relatively painless. Way out in front and racing the time limit, Price carefully sailed “Bop” around the second lap, wisely shortened in length by the Race Committee. Only 4 boats were able to finish within the time limit. A challenging, frustrating race that was put out of its misery after being thrown out by a protest committee for being shortened, contrary to the sailing instructions. A race best forgotten!

Hungry Star sailors enjoyed a great Gibson Island Club dinner and the air conditioning to end the long day. In the morning on Sunday, the breeze was again light but had every indication of being reinforced by a thermal if it would only develop soon enough. Sure enough, after a short wait that beautiful darkening on the horizon spread across the course and 9 Stars went off in a nice little southeaster. Hopping from puff to puff and holding off John Vanderhoff (with Adam Dolezal crewing) and John MacCausland with Arnis Baltins, Tom Price took the gun after a strong pass of Murray Leigh (sailing fast with Courtenay Jenkins crewing) and Vanderhoff, late on the first downwind leg.

The final race became a battle between Vanderhoff and Price, tied, each with a 1,2. John MacCausland led all the way around, showing his normal speed and finesse in the strongest breeze of the weekend. Vanderhoff and Price started side by side and matched tacks up the beat, each preserving their starboard advantage, swapping places frequently. Price finally worked to the advantaged right side only to lose Vanderhoff in the last left shift of the beat. Downwind, Price got to the 3 boat circle first and rounded just ahead but couldn’t hold Vanderhoff on the last beat. On the run, Price worked high, fishing for John Vanderhoff's wind but John stayed comfortably ahead to take second and the Regatta!

It was a great weekend of Star racing at Gibson Island and the Race Committee, led by Ms Rebecca Boykin (Rebel) did a wonderful job in challenging conditions. With excellent support and regatta organization by Murray Leigh from the host Chesapeake Bay Star fleet, the Stars were a welcome sight on the Bay north of the Bridge. In their Centennial year, the Star still provides the best racing you could hope for in the typical July conditions.

Many Miller Series pictures taken by Sarah Price can be viewed at https://picasaweb.google.com/112206598671924033498/MillerSeries

77th Annual J. Rulon Miller Series for Stars, Gibson Island Yacht Squadron by Tom Price, 7313 “Bop”

Place Boat Skipper Crew Sail #: Fleet 1 2 3 Total
1 8038   John Vanderhoff   Adam Dolezal   8038   NCB   1 2 2 5
2 Bop   Tom Price   Sarah Price   7313   CB   2 1 3 6
3 Erin   John Maccausland   Arnis Baltins   8395   CR   3 3 1 7
4 Neva Joe   Murray Leigh   Courtenay Jenkins   7454   CB   6 4 6 16
5 Hope   Keith Donald   Sean Quinn   4125   AN   4 7 7 18
6 8131   Steve Kling   Mike Lovellette   8131   AN   5 5 9 19
7 Big Jim   Mike Hecky   Shane Zwingelberg   7996   CR   7 9 4 20
8 Nice Blue   Read Beigel   Laura Beigel   7425   AN   9 8 5 22
9 7497   Kris Wilson   Andy Noel   7497   AN   10 6 8 24
10 Grinch   Bert Collins   Jake Doyle   8063   AN   8 DNS DNS 30

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