Friday, September 20, 2019

The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race Shearwater 45 Trophy

The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race is an annual 118 mile dash from Baltimore MD to Portsmouth VA. It has been raced every year since 1990, after Capt Lane Briggs of the Tugantine "Norfolk Rebel" challenged "Pride of Baltimore" to a race down the bay. It is a charity event, supporting various charity organisations involved with maintaining the health of Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.

The match-up between "Norfolk Rebel" and "Pride of Baltimore 11" was far from even
, a sailing tug against a much bigger and more powerful trading schooner replica. That set the tone for all races since then, with schooners of all types and sizes handicapped to race against each other.

I have sailed in this race on three different boats, all of my design. They were the 60ft "Ancilla 11", the Hout Bay 40 "Adventure" and the Shearwater 45 "Apella". This year there is another Shearwater 45 competing, the near-identical sister "Moonbeam". These two boats were built alongside each other in Cape Town, where they were owned by friends and business colleagues. Now they belong to two different friends, Dan Hall and Mike Ritenour.
Shearwater 45 schooners "Apella" and "Moonbeam"
This race originated as a challenge between two schooners. In that spirit, last year I challenged the two Shearwater 45 schooners to race for a trophy that I would provide. And here it is. It is a floating trophy, to be raced for each time both boats are in The Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. It is named the "Shearwater 45 Challenge". The winning boat will have the right to mount it on a bulkhead in the saloon and carry it with bragging rights until they next meet on that same course. I will provide the winner's name plate each year, to be attached to the trophy as the historical record.
Shearwater 45 Challenge trophy
I have three people to thank, for assisting me to create this trophy.

1) Hunter Gall, good friend and client. He reworked my 3D model to prepare it for 3D printing as a half model.

2) Philip Gurecki and his company Accurate Machine. He did the 3D printing of the half model.

3) Kevin Agee for the beautiful piece of sapele mahogany for the back board. This is an off-cut from the toerail of his new 27ft sportfisherman that is nearing completion in York County VA.

I will be sailing in the race this year on "Moonbeam" with owner Mike Ritenour, two of my friends and whatever other crew Mike manages to Shanghai on the wharf. My two friends are surfing buddy and cruising sailor Scott Page and accomplished single-handed circumnavigator Anthony Steward.

Dudley Dix