Wednesday, August 03, 2005

St. Mary's Overnight Race (& Party)

The annual Governors Cup – a classic overnight Chesapeake Bay race from Annapolis to St. Mary’s College – is set to begin on Friday, August 5. As this article in the Baltimore Sun reports, roughly 160 boats will compete on a 73 mile course that heads down the Bay and then bangs a right up St. Mary’s River. The “sportsman” interviewed in the Sun article explains, “It is a combination of moments of dreamlike pleasure, communing with nature, seeing shooting stars juxtaposed with the sheer terror of racing in a thunderstorm with a spinnaker up in the middle of the night.” Having done the race back in the late 1990’s I can vouch for all of that PLUS the whizbanger of a party they throw on the St. Mary’s College campus. I crewed on one of the local Annapolis yachts and we arrived in the morning...crossing the finish line under spinnaker chute, doused and docked and began drinking immediately - drank through the day, stumbled to the dinner under the big top tent and left the dock that evening for home port Annapolis. I can’t claim to recall this part of the journey as I was unconscious on the deck – waking up only briefly when we grounded in the Chesapeake mud at 1:00 AM. Eleven different classes are expected to compete in the race, including Multihull, PHRF and the St. Mary's Alumni class.

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