Peter Hall grabs Fall Bowl and heads North
written by Henry Thomas on October 31 of 2023 and read by 289
After rounding the mark
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Severn Sailing Association's traditional Fall Soling Bowl took place on the Chesapeake Bay, in Annapolis, Maryland, this past Saturday/Sunday October 28-29. Nine boats competed with 8 local Chesapeake Soling Fleet sailors; Peter Hall traveled from Montreal, Quebec to continue support the event as an international venue for the Soling Class.
Four races of the five races planned were sailed — 3 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday. Exceptionally mild warm weather and light breezes presented fun but very challenging sailing conditions. Saturday's races were sailed in a northwesterly which filled in the late morning at 7-9 knots but gradually faded through the day with the third race - a five-legged crawl to an upwind finish – barely, but fairly, completed. With an early start on Sunday, the fleet struggled in very tough dissipating northeasterly winds (the most difficult and frustrating in Annapolis) and severe current. All boats completed every race with Sunday's single race requiring Peter Hall 1 hour and 15 minutes to circuit the course.
As has become his habit in Annapolis, Peter Hall (Obelix CAN 225) dominated every race with his excellent crew Gord Devries and John Balydon. He did not always drive away relentlessly and a variety of wannabes were nipping at his heels for 2nd place in each race. Henry Thomas (Ruffian, USA 852) tailed Peter closely in the 1st race, Howard Vickery (Celerity USA 835) shot off the line and lead Peter around the course for the better part of the 2nd Race, and Andy Dize dueled Peter to the end of Race 3. Most impressive from a strong fleet of old-timers and newcomers was that of John McGrane at the helm with another new fleet sailor, Owen Chandler, with an impressive and convincing second place finish in Race 4.
The silver bowl awarded Peter is the same as was originally granted to the winner since the first Fall Soling Bowl hosted in 1969. In accepting his award, Peter read the names of illustrious former winners, legends of the Soling Class – including his own on many previous occasions.
All sailors, competitors and guests enjoyed cocktails and freshly shucked oysters (thanks to Joe Van Gieson and his many apprentice shuckers) at the SSA club on Saturday following the racing. We all had a great time catching up with drink on Sunday as well and we are looking forward to hosting Soling North Americans event in May 2024. IN SUMMARY, the Chesapeake Soling Fleet of Annapolis is strong and growing. Stayed tuned…
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