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BubbleheadMd 08-06-2012 07:43 AM

39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup
 
This weekend I had the pleasure of competing in the 39th Annual Governor's Cup.

Instead of racing my boat, I crewed for a good friend who taught me a lot about how to sail, how to race, and how to campaign a boat.

70 miles pounding into a 3 foot, square wave chop with a 17-20kt wind dead on the nose. I had to work through a bout of Mal de Mer, but it was all great and totally worth it.

It was great to race with the old gang again. The after party was nice, St. Mary's is as historic and picturesque as ever. Even though we didn't do as well as our skipper was hoping for, we significantly improved our performance over last year.

Last year, we had over 155 boats. This year, we had 150 boats. In it's heyday, the Gov Cup had 400 boats and they'd have to turn people away.

Next year is the 40th race. I plan on racing my own boat, just to help boost the number of competitors, to help keep the race alive.

Some FYI: To encourage participation, they have added a "Potomac Leg" that runs from Dahlgren, VA to St. Mary's, MD. This runs concurrently with the Annapolis Leg. They have also added a "Cruising Class".

No excuses not to join in on the fun next year! :D

jsaronson 08-06-2012 12:03 PM

Re: 39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup
 
Same weather as last year's race. Not a pleasure sail!
Just got my PHRF certificate reinstated and also hope to enter next year's race. Hope to see you leading your class.

PalmettoSailor 08-08-2012 02:56 PM

Re: 39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jsaronson (Post 906074)
Same weather as last year's race. Not a pleasure sail!
Just got my PHRF certificate reinstated and also hope to enter next year's race. Hope to see you leading your class.

Our performance this year was worse than last year but no one got hurt, we didn't break anything (well except the head erupted which was pretty unpleasant), and no one got sick this year (we had a casualty last year).

With the nearly full moon, it was quite a beautiful night, despite the beat down mother nature delivered again this year. I actually felt things were a tad less rough this year, but that's likely because the Admrial ordered a heavy reef down after the head problem so we were pretty heavily reefed most of the night this year.

The ride home Sunday, further convinced my wife that racing was no fun as it was a fast motor-sail with the jib on a whisker pole, for a nice smooth ride, surfing home at 7-8+ knots while we enjoyed Bloody Mary's. It was about as pleasant a time as we've ever had on the boat, which provided highly unfavorable comparison to the previous nights race conditions.

I can't really say I blame her for not being too enamored of this kind of racing, as despite my best efforts to take the load off her, she ends up feeling like a galley slave keeping everyone fed and cleaning up exploding heads. If we do the race next year, and I hope to, we'll be doing it in a less cruisy mode, foregoing the lasagna and garlic bread in favor of sandwiches and maybe some ramen noodles.

johnnyquest37 08-08-2012 03:09 PM

Re: 39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup
 
This year's race was "Gov Cup 2011 lite." Same forecast as last year (light winds from the south) and same actual conditions much heavier than forecast. Last year we spent several hours in 22 knt head winds with 32 kt gust. This year, the highest wind we noticed was 20 knts, so it was a pretty big difference. Add the full moon (there was no moon last year), and it was much more enjoyable than last year, but still an upwind pounding through the night. It took us two more hours to complete this year, but we scored 22 places higher overall. And, like Palmetto Moon (by the way, thanks again for the Mt. Gay), we had a great ride home.

Last year's race cured my wife of overnight races. She stayed home this year.

zeilfanaat 08-08-2012 03:39 PM

Re: 39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup
 
I tracked the fleet and the weather on Friday night and figured it must have been a rough ride.

One question for all of you: just how do you manage to avoid crab pots in the middle of the night?

BubbleheadMd 08-08-2012 03:56 PM

Re: 39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup
 
The crab pots are in the shallows. If you stay out deeper than 20 feet, you're usually ok.

However, I go for the shallows to mitigate opposing current. On the Eastport-Solomons Race a few weekends ago, I failed to dodge a pot and snagged it with my rudder. Wasted 7-10 minutes getting it off with the boathook.

Stuff happens. :)

SVAuspicious 08-08-2012 04:52 PM

Re: 39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup
 
It's the nets on the Western shore on the way South that really get your attention.

PalmettoSailor 08-08-2012 06:17 PM

Re: 39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zeilfanaat (Post 907094)
I tracked the fleet and the weather on Friday night and figured it must have been a rough ride.

One question for all of you: just how do you manage to avoid crab pots in the middle of the night?

We trust in the "Big Bay, Little Float" theory. ;)

Like Auspicsious said, fish traps are a bigger worry since they could really cause some damage.

I'm told the first hint you'll get is birds blasting off just before you hit. A buddy of mine sailed through one on DTB. Fortunately, he was right between posts and the net was low so it didn't catch the bow roller and they were basically able to sail right through. My guess is he hit in the fence area vs. the pen where there would be more poles and more net to mess you up.

PalmettoSailor 08-08-2012 06:21 PM

Re: 39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by johnnyquest37 (Post 907085)
This year's race was "Gov Cup 2011 lite." Same forecast as last year (light winds from the south) and same actual conditions much heavier than forecast. Last year we spent several hours in 22 knt head winds with 32 kt gust. This year, the highest wind we noticed was 20 knts, so it was a pretty big difference. Add the full moon (there was no moon last year), and it was much more enjoyable than last year, but still an upwind pounding through the night. It took us two more hours to complete this year, but we scored 22 places higher overall. And, like Palmetto Moon (by the way, thanks again for the Mt. Gay), we had a great ride home.

Last year's race cured my wife of overnight races. She stayed home this year.

You're welcome. I'll make the same offer next year if we race, to continue to try to encourage more folks from the club to give it a shot. Its a worthy challenge and a shot of Rum is usually needed by the time you pass Church Point. :D

SVAuspicious 08-09-2012 03:49 AM

Re: 39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PalmettoSailor (Post 907151)
I'm told the first hint you'll get is birds blasting off just before you hit.

I've skirted the fish traps off Herring Bay pretty closely without having the birds take off. I expect by the time you scare the birds off it would be too late to do anything. I have heard the birds in time to avoid a trap. Janet kept saying "Why are there so many birds out here in the middle of the night?" until it finally occurred to me that we should probably stand further off. *grin*

A friend of mine got hung up in one near Pax River. He reported it was just too hard to get off in the dark so he waited until dawn to get untangled. No damage to boat or trap.


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