The Don Backe Memorial CRAB Cup Regatta hosted by the Annapolis Yacht Club on June 18-19,2016 was a great success with two beautiful days of light to fair wind sailing through a very busy harbor over Father’s Day weekend. If you think racing sailors are competitive, they don’t hold a candle to racing sailors with disabilities. The Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) sailors are tenacious when it comes to racing and the freedom it offers from their disabilities.
The regatta is sailed by one skipper and crew with disabilities, and one able-bodied crew member. The wild card this year was having Scott Gitchell, one of the AYC’s top tacticians sailing with a few, lucky skippers. For some reason, the boats he crewed on had an abnormally high number of wins?! After a late start the first morning, this regatta actually waits for its skippers, the AYC Race Committee most ably lead by Peter Gordon, got four races in for the day. At the end of the day, Lance Hinrichs, the perennial favorite, was in the lead by two points over Tom Ostrye, with Kevin Detwiler in third. Race results and tactics were talked about that evening over a delicious dinner served at the AYC Yachting Center.
The second day of racing offered light winds in the morning, so only one race was held. However, after a delicious lunch served by regatta sponsor Jimmy Johns, the winds picked-up and three races were held in the afternoon. Race results were very competitive with one race separating the winner and second place by six inches. However, Scott played a strong role in collecting three bullets and one second to catapult Skipper Tom Ostrye of Severna Park, MD into first place by a single point, followed by Lance Hinrichs of Falls Church, VA, and Kevin Detwiler of Leonardtown, MD.
The awards presentation of the original CRAB Cup and beautiful AYC pewter cups and plates were made by Peter Gordon and CRAB Executive Director Paul “Bo” Bollinger to a tired, but very appreciative group of skippers and crew. The only disability heard at the reception was not having Scott on their boat for this year’s CRAB Cup Regatta. Persons with disabilities who would like to sail in the CRAB Cup next year may send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to view more pictures posted on facebook from the event.