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patrscoe 02-12-2013 09:12 AM

St Mary's Gov Cup / other Chesapeake Bay races
I grew up in Upstate NY and sailing on lake Ontario and we have been in Virginia 8 yrs now (how time goes by) and sailing on the Chesapeake for about 2 1/2 yrs. I am trying to get back into racing, specifically distance racing but have limited experience offshore (additionally, my S2 is not design for offshore) so would need to be within the Chesapeake Bay. I have a S2 11.0a, not exactly a racer but we purchased specifically for family cruising but notice that she sails nice and even with a slightly heavy displacement, I can get her up to 7k quickly in 12k to 14k winds, has a good balance and not too much weather helm.

I have read and followed the St Mary's Governor's Cup, and appears to be early Aug. Also I have read of the Down the Bay but seems less popular.

Any thoughts on these two races?
Are there any more similar races that might be of any interest?

Ajax_MD 02-12-2013 09:38 AM

Re: St Mary's Gov Cup / other Chesapeake Bay races

Down the Bay is less popular because it's a very long, upwind slog. A lot of people simply can't set aside the amount of time from work and family to make the deliveries and the race. It's a good race though, and if you can do it, I recommend it.

Governor's Cup: A long standing, Maryland tradition. It's a lot of fun, not as painful as Down the Bay, and has a good party afterwards. I highly recommend you sign up for this one. It's a good race, and participation will help keep it alive. The finish is between the colony ship Dove and "Cross Point" on the St. Mary's River. After-party as at beautiful St. Mary's College.

Also consider:
Eastport to Solomons Invitational. This is another overnight race from the Annapolis vicinity to Solomons Island and is the shortest of the 3, but not too short to be boring! Also has a great after-party with music and booze at a local hotel.

All 3 races are north to south, and prevailing winds this time of year are from south to north, so expect an upwind slog (but be prepared for anything!)

Hope this helps.

Sabreman 02-12-2013 10:23 AM

St Mary's Gov Cup / other Chesapeake Bay races
I've been doing Gov Cup for the last 5 years and it's a great race that starts the first Friday every August. Expect every type of condition from drifting to 25 kt windward beats to 50 mile spin runs, perhaps all in the same race. It's very well run and very competitive. It's the highlight of our season. Starts are reverse, with slower boats going off at 1500 and the A boats at 1800. You'll need a PHRF certificate. The photo of Victoria in my avatar was taken near Thomas Pt during the 2012 race in about 18-20 kts.

DTB is a longer race and one that I hope to do but have difficulty getting crew. One problem is that it's held on Memorial Day weekend, so the weather can be spotty and crew often have other plans. Since its a point-to-point race, the logistics of getting the boat and crew to/from the start and finish are not insignificant. For that reason there are less entries (~35) than Gov Cup (~160).

Greyhound37 02-12-2013 10:41 AM

Re: St Mary's Gov Cup / other Chesapeake Bay races
You may want to start with a shorter point to point race that is lots of fun. Annapolis to Oxford.

Ajax_MD 02-12-2013 11:13 AM

Re: St Mary's Gov Cup / other Chesapeake Bay races
Or Annapolis to Miles River (St. Mike's).

patrscoe 02-12-2013 12:34 PM

Re: St Mary's Gov Cup / other Chesapeake Bay races
Are there any races south of the Potomac?

St. Mary's sounds like a well organize race. I read an article last year where it stated that the race use to have over 400+ sailboats but now is around 150. Big drop off.
I am located in Kinsale, Va but we are considering moving back to Deltaville this spring as there are a few yacht clubs and more sailing camaraderie. Kinsale lacks any type of clubs or organizations but is a very peaceful marina and would be convenient if I sailed the St Mary's race.

Ajax_MD 02-12-2013 12:47 PM

Re: St Mary's Gov Cup / other Chesapeake Bay races
Well, the Governor's Cup now has a "Potomac Leg" where competitors race down the Potomac to St. Mary's College and meet up with the "Bay Leg" competitors.

jasenj1 02-12-2013 01:07 PM

Re: St Mary's Gov Cup / other Chesapeake Bay races
I don't have enough posts to post links so you'll have to Google the things below

I live in the Hampton area. There are several races here at the extreme south of the Chesapeake.

Southern Bay Race Week aka The Black Seal Cup happens right after the Down the Bay Race. Many boats race down the bay and then stay for SBRW.

There's the "Round the Lights Race" hosted by Old Point Comfort Yacht Club in the fall.
They also host the Tri-Service Cup which is a competition between the yacht clubs from Ft. Monroe, Langley AFB, and Norfolk Naval Base. I don't know if other random boats can join, but you could probably crew.

There's the Neptune Atlantic Regatta which coincides with the Neptune Festival - also in the fall.

The Cape Charles Cup. The Stingray Point Regatta hosted by the Fishing Bay Yacht Club in Deltaville.

Lots of racing opportunities down here. Check Spinsheet's Southern Bay Racing News for more info.

And if anyone needs crew for any of these events, let me know.

- Jasen.

patrscoe 02-14-2013 08:02 AM

Re: St Mary's Gov Cup / other Chesapeake Bay races
Jasen, thanks for the racing info for the southern bay area. They all sound interesting. Fishing Bay Yacht Club was the club that I was interested in Deltaville. We have a friend who is there now and they also have a junior racing, our son and his friend would enjoy. Still debating to move this spring from Kinsale to Deltaville.

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