Glimpses of the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race in Portsmouth, VA – Part 3
North Landing from my window in the Renaissance. Pig and Oyster Roast Awards in the tent at far left. Portsmouth Visitor Center and landing for the ferry to Norfolk on the far side. The ferry was evicted for the weekend to make space for schooners. On the near side center, with flags flying, LIGHT REIGN, first in Class A and winner of the Perpetual Trophy for the best corrected time to Thimble Shoal (127 nm)
2014 Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race – Official Results 10/18/2014
Start off Annapolis; AA and A boats race 127 nm to Thimble Shoal, B and C boats race 80 nm to Windmill Point
Class AA 127 nm Start Thu 13:40:00
Elapsed time / Corrected time / Place
Summerwind 18:19:26 / 14:46:58 / 1
Pride of Baltimore II 23:15:34 / 20:56:26 / 2
Liberty Clipper DNF
Lady Maryland DNF
A J Meerwald DNF
Mystic Whaler DNF
Class A 127 nm Start Thu 13:40:00
Light Reign 18:54:44 / 13:04:58 / 1
Woodwind 18:13:34 / 13:18:33 / 2
Brilliant Fri 18:37:00 / 13:54:37 / 3
Adventurer (56) 20:51:49 / 14:51:37 / 4
Hindu 35:58:00 / 30:20:44 / 5
Class B 80 nm Start Thu 13:50:00
Apella 19:02:00 / 14:45:32 / 1
Tom Bombadil 18:49:00 / 14:51:54 / 2
Adventurer (65) 19:07:00 / 15:24:44 / 3
Sally B 22:11:00 / 17:53:41 / 4
Libertate 36:47:04 / 32:01:15 / 5
Edlyn Rose DNF
Bonny Rover DNS
Class C 80 nm Start Thu 13:50:00
Farewell 18:15:00 / 12:59:21 / 1
Susan B Merryman 23:22:06 / 17:48:36 / 2
Istar 30:32:00 / 24:17:16 / 3
Summer Wind DNF
Norfolk Rebel DNF
According to Race Chair Bill Mellen, “It was light air at the start with winds appearing early AM on Friday. Then it was a drag race on a reach for schooners Woodwind and Summerwind as they made the 47 nm between Windmill Point and Thimble Shoals in 4hr 6min neck and neck with Woodwind making it to the line at Thimble Shoals first.”
This year Jay Irwin received the Black Dog Trophy, created in 2006 to honor the individual(s) who supports the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race in the spirit of Captain Lane Briggs (1932-2005), the founder of the GCBSR. Named after Captain Briggs’ faithful companion, Reb, this bronze statue of a black dog signifies loyalty to the race mission and faithful and honorable support for the event without personal recognition. In the words of Captain Briggs, “It’s amazing what you can get done if you don’t care who gets credit for it!”
The board of directors presents this award, honoring significant contributions to the race, as deserved and not on an annual basis, making it the most prestigious presentation of the organization. Flanking Jay are Race Chair Bill Mellen and Al Roper in his role of perennial emcee.
Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race Perpetual Trophy Awarded to LIGHT REIGN (A Fleet), James Turrell at the helm, with the best corrected time at Thimble Shoal of 13 hours, 4 minutes and 58 seconds. LIGHT REIGN was first in the new Special Class this year in Gloucester.
Howdy Bailey Buckle, awarded to a B or C Fleet schooner for line honors at Windmill Point, was given to FAREWELL (C Fleet), sailed by Linda Gunn, with an elapsed time of 17 hours and 18 minutes. The Windmill Point Trophy, formerly the Michelob Chesapeake Bay Challenge Trophy, was also awarded to FAREWELL, with the best corrected time at Windmill Point of 12 hours, 59 minutes and 21 seconds. Linda is hobbling with ski poles after hip surgery. Looking on is P-town’s Stormy Mayo, who hung in with ISTAR for third place with an elapsed time for the 80 miles of 30h32m.
Capt. John Eginton with Pat Dutton of Mystic Whaler received the Rebel Educational Trophy, which balances the triad of the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race: a valiant race down the length of the Chesapeake Bay; historical preservation of the schooner fleet; and an education program focused on the heritage, ecology and natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay. We all know that it takes an experienced crew to race a schooner under full sail, but often the educational program the schooner carries along goes unnoticed. The schooners participating in the education program spend untold hours planning, fundraising, training and executing their educational program. The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race Educational Program Committee selects the schooner deserving recognition for their contribution to this essential element. It is the schooners’ educational programs that will perpetuate Captain Briggs’ vision of the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race for generations to come.
The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race Clock, awarded for line honors at Thimble Shoal to the fastest schooner in the race, again went to WOODWIND, Capt. Jen Kaye, with an elapsed time of 18 hours and 15 minutes.
Every year a donation is made to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation with the stipulation to put students on the water for a day. Many of these kids are from large cities, and it is a very special experience for them. $177,624 has been donated to date. Nan Nawrocki, Race Chair from Baltimore, George Treiber, GCBSR Treasurer and Elizabeth Buckman of CBF.
James Grundy, owner of Class AA winner Summerwind (the ex-Merchant Marine Academy boat familiar in Gloucester) made a personal gift of $5,000 to match the GCBSR.
The volunteers that make the GCBSR so enjoyable for schooner crews are like family to those who are, or have been regular participants. This is race chairman Bill Mellen, who has run the event for seventeen years. It is a complicated one-way race that requires a very wide starting line for the large schooners close to the main shipping channel. Bill is always ready to listen to suggestions about handicapping, safety or any other aspect at the Sunday morning captains’ recap of the race. Roger Brown donates a breakfast for all the captains, crew and volunteers at his popular restaurant.
Schooner crews have a way of blending and here we have folks from ADVENTURE, BRILLIANT, PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II etc. etc. and etc.
At the Gloucester Schooner Festival no volunteer worked harder than Brett Ramsey. Our mutual friend Jay Irwin is no stranger to Gloucester. Jay, 81 drove up from his ‘old folks home’ in Baltimore to help rig Ed Boynton’s SUGARBABE in May, then again to race with Ed in the Gloucester Schooner Festival.
So hat’s off to the volunteers!
Postcript ___ In Baltimore, before the race, there are days of festivities with a similar dose of hospitality. Every schooner is assigned a liasion in Baltimore and another in Portsmouth, insiders, who make a real difference in the quality of the participants’ visits. It can be a tough slug getting a boat to and from this race, with a substantial commitment in time and expense. The typical autumn weather often makes the race itself challenging to say the least. Why do we do it? It’s the people!