It didn't take long for local sailor Rod Jabin and his Ramrod team to show who was boss at the 2010 Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship, which was held Oct. 15-17 off Annapolis, Md.
During the first of three days of racing, Ramrod won two races right off the bat, in each case leaving second place to defending champion Helmut Jahn of Chicago, on Flash Gordon. When the two teams traded finish positions in the third race, it left some hope that the next day could see Flash Gordon or one of seven other teams rebounding for a lead change. But it was not to be.
Ramrod, with Jabin at the helm and fellow Annapolis native Chris Larson calling tactics, was unstoppable, winning not only all three races on Day 2, but also the final two races on Day 3. In the end, Ramrod posted a mere nine points to Flash Gordon's 20. Kevin McNeil's Nightshift from Annapolis finished third with 28 points.
"It's pretty remarkable to have won; we've never done so consistently well," says Jabin, who has owned Ramrod since 2005, is a member of the Chesapeake Bay Farr 40 Fleet and most recently won the Annapolis NOOD Regatta.
"We had a solid crew; the rig was good, the sails were just right," he says, pointing out that his crew has been together "for some time," with only Larson joining it early this year.
While the first two days of racing challenged teams with high winds - 18-25 knots on Day 1, increasing to 20-30 on Day 2 - the third day served up a more moderate 10-15 knots of breeze.
Annapolis-to-Bermuda Race set for 2012
Bermuda Ocean Race organizers announced that the 18th biennial Annapolis-to-Bermuda race will begin June 8, 2012. The BOR is a race that begins in Annapolis, a community with a 350-year-old maritime history, and ends 750 miles later in Bermuda.
Annapolis' Eastport Yacht Club and Bermuda's St. George's Dinghy Club host the event.
"The race is designed to challenge sailors with a unique combination of conditions - unpredictable winds down the Chesapeake Bay, shipping traffic along busy coastal waters, a Gulf Stream crossing, swirling eddies, invisible competition and treacherous reefs encircling Bermuda," says Mary Ann DeGraw, BOR chair.
Open to any single- or multi-hulled sailing yacht, Annapolis organizers are anticipating up to 50 entries. The fleet in 2010 ranged in size from 21 to 81 feet reflecting both cruising and racing designs, and crews of two to 28 ranging from professional sailors to Sea Scouts.
"It's a formidable environment for a first-time ocean racer and no easy feat for more veteran racers," DeGraw says.
Notice of Race requirements will be announced at a later date. For information see www.bermudaoceanrace.com.
This article originally appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Home Waters section of the January 2011 issue.