October 5, 2010
Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race
Set for Oct. 14 - 15
(THE CHESAPEAKE BAY)—More than 45 stately schooners are scheduled to participate in the 21st annual Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. Starting just south of the Bay Bridge near Annapolis, Md., on Oct. 14, 2010, they will sail through the night, and dock in Portsmouth, Va., on Oct. 15.
The event's mission, with the motto "Racing to Save the Bay," is to promote public awareness of the Chesapeake Bay's maritime heritage and to encourage the preservation and improvement of the Chesapeake's natural resources.
"This is a great adventurous event because it perpetuates the dream of bringing attention to the Chesapeake Bay's history, tradition, and the need for its preservation," said Al Roper, president of the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. Roper said the event breeds better Bay stewards through its educational component.
Hundreds of local school students at both the starting and ending points of the race have the opportunity to go on board some of the schooners while they're docked to learn knot-tying, sail-hoisting, and the teamwork it takes to crew a boat.
"You take a kid and put him on a boat and it changes his life," said Roper.
Through the years, the money raised by the race has enabled thousands of school-age students to participate in the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's (CBF) on-the-water educational experiences that bring to life what they read in text books.
"The Schooner Race is an extraordinary volunteer effort, a challenging sailing race, and a great time—all for a serious purpose. In fact, the race might be one of the longest-standing supporters of CBF's education programs. We are very grateful," said Elizabeth Buckman, CBF Vice President for Communications and a former Schooner Race board member and participant.
Dubbed a world class racing event by sailing enthusiasts, the race is organized by volunteers representing four
boat clubs: Fells Point Yacht Club in Baltimore, Portsmouth Boat Club, Towne Point Yacht Club in Norfolk, and Broad Bay Sailing Association in Virginia Beach. In addition, each year more than 100 committed volunteers donate their time, energy, and financial support.
The first Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race was founded in 1990 by the late Captain Lane Briggs, as a personal challenge between his Tugantine, Norfolk Rebel, and the Pride of Baltimore II. It was his contagious commitment to the maritime heritage of the Bay and his love of schooner-rigged sailboats that energized the growth and success of the event. Since Briggs' death in 2005, the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race has been held in his memory.
Although the race begins October 14, the public can enjoy related festivities throughout the race week. For more information, contact Virginia@schoonerrace.org or Maryland@schoonerrace.org.
October 10, 1:00 p.m.: Dinghy Race fundraiser in Fells Point to benefit the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race
October 12, 6:30 p.m.: Schooners & Crooners free concert on Broadway Pier
October 13, 9:00 a.m. - noon: Education program at Broadway Pier; area students get hands-on experience aboard select schooners
October 13, noon: All schooners docked in Fells Point, some open for tours
October 13, 5:00 p.m.: Parade of Sail through Baltimore's Inner Harbor and Fells Point
NEAR CHESAPEAKE BAY BRIDGE, ANNAPOLIS, MD
October 14, 1:30 p.m.: Photo opportunities abound as race begins with schooner-rigged vessels in full sail, embarking on their fast-paced adventure down the Chesapeake.
FINISH LINE HAMPTON ROADS, VA
October 15: East-West line at the Thimble Shoal light off Hampton's coast for classes A and AA. Others finish at Windmill Point. All dock in downtown Portsmouth.
PORTSMOUTH, VA – SCHOONER DAYS
October 16 and 17: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Bay related educational opportunities; open house tours of racing schooners; variety of related activities and exhibits.