“White Boat” Disappears into the Twilight...Re-emerges First at Finish

A fleet of forty boats including ten J105’s participated in the 2018 Twilight Race on Saturday, June 16.  In this year’s running of the mid-distance race participants were treated to a beautiful summer evening, finishing into a spectacular sunset over Annapolis.  The breeze was light and constant from the south with a range of 7kts to 12kts.  The fleet was assisted by favorable tides that initially pushed the boats upwind and then reversed just in time for the downwind leg.  Boats that managed to dodge the commercial traffic and stay in channel made the most of the tide.

It was a clean start at the Alpha mark (GC1) but not without drama.  About half of the 105-fleet duked it out for line honors at the favored boat-end with Breakaway masterfully navigating within inches of a nervous committee.  The first leg was a six mile beat SSE to Echo (R86).  The White Boat, Firebrand and Breakaway rode the end of an ebbing tide to round the windward mark first.  Spinnakers were set and the fleet headed north to the Bravo mark (R90).  On the downwind leg, the 105-fleet split with the three leaders heading west into the channel and most of the other boats hugging the eastern shore.  The changing tide again favored the channel for those willing to duck a cruise ship and a few steaming freighters.

Spinnakers were all doused at Bravo as the fleet headed west to finish at the Whiskey mark (Annapolis weather buoy). John White crossed the finish line first at 8:27pm with Firebrand finishing second.  The most exciting part of the race came at 8:33pm in the battle for bronze.  Santa’s Reign, Dear, Crescendo and Better Mousetrap finished third, fourth and fifth with just seconds separating them.  Helios, Breakaway, Wind River, Smoke and Oakem, and Chessie finished in that order very close behind.

Special thanks to the Shearwater Sailing Club for organizing a fun and competitive regatta.  Race Committee ran a great event that was enjoyed by all.  Final results can be found on the Results Page.

Dennis McCloud