Stedman Smith Cup
Our Friend, Memorial Day Weekend, 2000. Cruising aboard The Write Byte.
It started out badly, Tommy Jackson aboard Reveille splashed yesterday intending to defend the cup. He never got to start, thanks to a suspect tiller that in light air would likely have held. But with winds in the high twenties, who could blame him for backing out? Then, in the pre-race mixing, If... blew out her main. The possibly debilitating tear was reacted to quickly and with resolve a reef above the tear was fixed, allowing If... to start the race. Unfortunately another tear in the main a few minutes after start had If... heading for the barn as well. The good news is, the crew had time to put the boat away and drive to Oxford for lunch.
With the rest of the fleet oblivious to If...'s troubles and flying toward Oxford on a beat in a stiff breeze, it was exciting sailing! At the end of leg 1 with just three minutes separating the leader Adventure Kwest from second place Reflections, it was promising to be an exciting second leg.
Following yet another incredible lunch served by the Tred Avon Yacht club, we prepared to set out on leg 2. While dropping anchor for the committee boat, the Coasties swung by intending to give us an inspection. Many thanks to them for passing on the boarding when we told them we were about to start and committee boat a race.
Alas, by the time we set out on the leg home, the wind had faded to under fifteen. The longer the race went, the more it faded until we finally shortened course to 19A, several miles short of the intended finish line. Adventure Kwest seemed to get ahead of the fading air and stayed there, while Reflections and What's Next seemed to have missed that dividing line somehow and fought to keep moving as the wind disappeared around them. With What's Next dealing better in the light air than Reflections, I'm anxiously looking forward to Paul West's report on the final standings, not yet known at this time.
The third running of the annual Stedman Smith Cup went well, today. My particular depression at not be able to compete in the rousing big air we had for Leg One was replaced by relief as I sat aboard the committee boat with Deke Sheller, thankful I wasn't drifting in the sun for leg two. Many thanks to Deke Sheller and his son Garrett for the use of Garrett's most excellent Catamaran as Committee Boat. Almost has me converted... if I could get one in Aluminum, I'd be there.
For those interested, the History of the Stedman Smith Cup
Official 2005 Smith Cup Results
|| Leg 1 Actual
|| Leg 2 Actual
|| Combined Actual
|| Combined Corrected
It was a tale of two races with the first leg being an exhilerating wet ride to weather with reefed mains, willing rail riders and tactics a necessity while the second leg was just right for recovering from the first leg with a relaxing downwind coaster, perfect for enjoying a frosty adult beverage and working on your tan.
The race was not without casualties as Greig Mitchell blew out his main. Undetered, his crackerjack crew quickly threw in a reef and kept the hammer down only to blow it out a second time. Not to be denied they motored back to the dock and took the land yacht over the hard to the TAYC for a well deserved lunch. I think Greig is about to realize what the acronym B.O.A.T. stands for . . . (break out another thousand).
Hope to see more of you all out there next year.
Choptank Fleet Captain
Images from Reflections Courtesy of Bruce Franz.