It’s always a good idea to be careful what you ask for. So when folks at the Hospice Class skippers meeting a couple days ahead of the September 21 event fretted about what to do if the predicted light breeze died before they would be able to finish their pre-set 5.5-mile government mark course, the weather gods must have been listening a little too closely.
Defying earlier predictions, Saturday’s blustery fall conditions for Hospice Cup XXXII brought challenges across both race courses and wrecked havoc on the unsuspecting. But Cedric Lewis’ veteran team on Mirage took everything that came at them in stride, handily winning all three of the day’s contests in the highly competitive J/105 class – with 11 entries the event’s largest – to take the Best in Fleet trophy as well as the Sajak Family Foundation Trophy for best in a Cruising One Design class.
Sailing with Lewis were long-time teammates Danielle Vileno, Molly Wilmer, Chip Carr, Vernon Sheen, and helmsman Fredrik Salvesen.
“It was gorgeous,” Lewis said. “It was a great day for racing. The wind picked up a lot, and by the second race we were seeing 25-knot gusts, but it was a steady direction.” Waves were the biggest challenge, he said.
Winning the overall Hospice Cup Trophy, signifying the most consistently strong performance over three consecutive years, was the team led by brothers Carl and Scott Gitchell on Tenacious, who also won last year. Although the Tenacious crew finished sixth in class this year, their earlier wins in 2011 and 2012 made the team the clear winner when the results were tabulated.
Evidence of the strong breeze and heavy chop can be seen clearly on the results sheets, which are peppered with dropouts across nearly all of the Red Fleet racing classes.
Annapolis Yacht Club ran multiple races for Red Fleet, which included most of the racing classes: the J/35s and PHRF A0 through C, as well as the J/105s. Meantime, on a pre-determined 5.5-mile government mark course, the Storm Trysail Club managed PHRF N and, racing separately, a reverse-handicap, staggered start race for a strong contingent of Hospice Class racers, teams and boats who do not normally race. With 21 starters, Hospice Class was by far the event’s largest.
Although EYC was actively involved in registration and overall organization and scoring, the assortment of entries this year was such that it made more sense – including financially for beneficiary Hospice Cup, Inc. – to abandon plans for its White Fleet when race day arrived.
Victory in the Hospice Class, and the associated Martin F. McCarthy Trophy, went to Richard Tudan and the crew on his Freedom 40/40 Willoway. Close behind him in second was Richard Hill and his team on his Sabre 402 Calypso – and because Hill was sailing with a Hospice caregiver, Calypso earned the Lovelace/Sniegon Memorial Trophy.
Both the ARINC Trophy for top helmsmanship by a NavalAcademy midshipman and the Kass Memorial Trophy for best performance in PHRF went to Jon Driesslein, whose team on the Navy 44 Defiance topped the PHRF A2 class.
The Hank Lawton Trophy for top crew fund raising went to Jim Muldoon’s Donnybrook team, racing once again as the sole competitor in PHRF A0.
This year, the Annapolis Sailors Club fielded a new award for the top finisher among their members in Hospice Class. The new award went to Lauren Anthone, whose Rover team finished eighth.
Now in its 32nd year, the Annapolis Hospice Cup has served as a model for similar events across the country. Area hospice beneficiaries this year included Capital Caring, Coastal Hospice, Gilchrest Hospice, Hospice of the Chesapeake, Hospice of Queen Anne’s, and Montgomery Hospice.
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