2020 Capital Cup Race Report

Photo by Norman Watkins

2020 Capital Cup (7 Nov)

“A HUGE Success!”

The first annual Capital Cup is now history. Sixteen skippers from six clubs in Maryland and Virginia competed in eight races in the quest to bring back the Capital Cup for their club and bragging rights. The warm weather, beautiful pond, event organization, racing and comradery were exceptional at this event. The only thing that was lacking was consistent wind. Light winds meant that everyone would have to bring their “A” game. Those that could figure out the wind patterns and adjusted their boat properly did the best. This was a different type of regatta, as only the top five boats scored points in every race. The course easily held sixteen boats and made a top five finish ever so more rewarding.

The experience on the course included skippers who had previously only completed one race day to skippers with multiple championships under their belt. The team approach rewarded the teams that had strategy, coaching and acted as a team. Individual scoring was taking place, but the club points were only being added up. It was great to see some of the rookies improve as race day progressed. Danny Thomas, Walter House and all the club commodores were encouraging and coaching as every one’s performance mattered. Having the event at the end of the year gave rookies a chance to improve before the event and gave the clubs an end of season celebration of the hobby.

Who was celebrating after every race? Well, for the doubters that thought rookies could not compete with the veterans I offer this…Anchoring Team Cumberland Valley Model Yacht Club (CVMYC) Jarl W. (Two-time National Champion) won five of the first six races, Alan K. (MMYC’s current DF65 Season points leader) won the 2nd, Tom W. (Experienced yachtsman) won the 8th race for double points and first year rookie Bart D. won the 7th race. Yes, a rookie won one!

Before we get into how the teams finished, I would like to thank our volunteers Danny Thomas (Race Director), Walter House (Race Official), John Ebell (MMYC Commodore) and Andy Barron (Photographer). Koni D. and Ara S. did a fantastic job setting up the booth and checking everyone in. They really did a great job showing up hours early, staying late and making this one of the best events of the year. Thank you so much. We all really appreciate your hard work! Anyone who has ever put on one of these events knows how much work goes into it. Thank you for all you did. Now, onto the club competition.

First off, it must be noted that everyone had a great time and the interaction between clubs was fantastic! We were able to make new friends and finally meet sailors we have only heard or read about. It was truly an experience to remember. Every team had their highlights no matter where they finished.

Northern Virginia Model Yacht Club (NVMYC) sent the smallest contingent (two sailors) and despite a valent effort, finished in fourth place with 16 points. Mari showed how great of a sailor she is by scoring points in 5 of the 8 races. There was an advantage for teams that had a greater number of experienced sailors as they had a better chance at finishing in the top five. I am sure they will be back next year with more help once their fellow club members hear about their experience.

“It was a fun event. Was great to sail with a team and apply team strategies”. --Mari

Finishing third with 30 points was Heritage Harbour Model Yacht Club. Alan scored a bullet(1st) in race 2 and John K. scored in five of the eight races. Ken and Dave both scored in two and three races, respectively. Dave was very consistent even in the races he did not crack the top five.

Second place went to the host club as they narrowly missed the mark with 43 points. John Ebell finished just out of first, twice as Jarl edged him both times for first. Tom Walsh was one of the more consistent entrants as he scored in 6 of 8 races including getting a bullet in the eight race for double points. The Rookie Bart D. contributed points with a third and first place finish. Finishing last in races 5 and 6, Danny Thomas helped with a little boat adjustment. It worked as the lucky 777 turned into greased lightning.

Cumberland Valley Model Yacht Club came into this meet as the odds on favorite and did not disappoint. They jumped out to an early lead only to be tied with Heritage Harbour after three races. They then scored 8 points in the fourth race and led the rest of the way. They were only threatened by the Maryland Model Yacht club going into the double points race, but a fourth by Jarl and third by Scott S. sealed the deal. Speaking of clutch performances… Jarl was on that day, as he conquered the competition with five wins. Yes, you read that right. Despite the talent on the pond, he was locked in and quickly became the target of other teams’ strategy. The seventh race was his only off race for the day, as he finished 14th. The rest of his races were a lesson in great sailing, as he scored in seven of the eight races. The rest of his team was strong too. Jack added a 4th in the 4th. Scott S. scored two third place finishes and they could not have come at a better time (7th and 8th races) as his placing third in the double points race sealed the victory. This team was on fire and they really did work as a team as starting positions were calculated, ghosting competitors evident, stealing wind widespread and strategy talks were commonplace. They obviously were the first team to use tactics and strategy and it worked. For their efforts they were crowned champions and hold the gorgeous Capital Cup until someone unseats them. They also become the host club and will get to defend on their home turf in Hagerstown.

“This was truly a team event, as three out of four members scored points over the course of the day and came through when the Cup was on the line in the final race.” –Jarl W.

This was such an amazing event and will be marked on everyone’s calendars for next year! It was truly a special event and the beginning to many more events to come!

Jarl's fast #88 Photo by Andy Barron