“It was brutal!” says Dan Cheresh of the cold and windy conditions at the Storm Trysail Club’s Annapolis Fall Regatta Oct. 21-23.¬†Five races were completed over three days, with one day of racing (Saturday) canceled due to gusts over the class limit. “The race committee did a great job in challenging conditions.”

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Regatta winners Extreme 2.

Cheresh and the Extreme2 team jumped to an early lead with two wins on Day 1, winning the first around-the-buoys race and then winning the distance race. Distance races are embraced by the C&C 30 One Design class and are included at most events. “I wasn’t crazy about it at first,” says Cheresh. “I’m an around-the-cans guy. But I went along with the class when they wanted to add distance racing. Now I really like it. There are so many beautiful things to see on a distance race. It’s very challenging and it rounds you out as a team. I’m a changed man!”

Following the unscheduled lay day, three races were completed on a clear, cold Sunday with winds in the teens gusting into the high 20s. In the first two races, Extreme2 traded wins with Kip Meadows and his team on roXanne. But Extreme 2 won the last race sealing the regatta win, while roXanne finished third in the race to wrap up second overall . “You truly had to fight for every boat length and never get discouraged or give up. You had to stay composed and we fought hard to win,” says Cheresh of their final-day performance. “There were a lot of gear changes and you had to stay on top of things tactically. If you had the wrong sail up, or your rig tune was off, you had to struggle through the transitions in the wind speed. At some point your set-up was going to be wrong and you had to just fight through it.”

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Sandy Askew and the team on Flying Jenny.

What was the key to their consistent performance? “I felt our downwind speed in heavy air was very good because we’ve spent so much time in the boat. We’ve been sailing a lot in pressure – San Francisco [September’s Rolex Big Boat Series] was really good for us in that respect,” says Cheresh. “But we don’t have as much of an advantage upwind. Several boats were very fast, including roXanne, BobSled, and Flying Jenny. Looking at the results, our performance seems dominating but it really wasn’t. We had to fight for every lane and every position.”

“It was a very competitive fleet,” says Tink Chambers of Stagg Yachts, managers of the C&C 30 Class. “It was great fun to watch.” The STC Fall Regatta wraps up the 2016 sailing season for the class. The next event is Quantum Key West Race Week, scheduled for January 2017.

All photos by Dan Phelps, SpinSheet magazine. Visit their site at spinsheet.com