8th annual Elf Classic Yacht Race at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

. February 20, 2018

The Elf Classic Yacht Race returns to the Chesapeake Bay on Saturday, May 12, 2018, with the traditional yacht race departing from Annapolis and arriving at the finish line on the Miles River and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md.

The May 12 race features a nautical Le Mans start, beginning with a captain’s meeting on land, followed by the sound of a whistle, signifying each yacht captain’s mad dash to a tied-up dinghy, or tender. Next, the captain’s row out to their moored vessels and waiting crews, before tying up their tenders and raising anchor, with up to 30 yachts racing off from Annapolis in a cloud of white sails across the Chesapeake Bay.

The Classic Yacht Restoration Guild, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, and Eastport Yacht Club are sponsoring the annual race, which includes a fleet of antique and classic sailing yachts, both large and small. Race proceeds benefit CYRG and CBMM, where race participants will be greeted along CBMM’s Fogg’s Cove and the winners announced at a trophy reception later in the day.

Organized by CYRG, the race features America’s oldest active racing yacht, the 1888 Elf. Restored to historically accurate condition and re-launched in 2008, Elf is a Lawley-built 30-foot class cutter. Elf pioneered offshore yacht cruising in 1893 by being the first small craft to race round-trip from Marblehead, Mass. to Halifax, N.S.

“It’s very unusual to see a single classic yacht on any given day, so watching a fleet of them sailing away from the anchorage and into St. Michaels is an incredible experience,” said CYRG President and Elf skipper Rick Carrion.

The event begins at 8:00 a.m. at the Eastport Yacht Club, where spectators can watch the fleet depart Annapolis against the scenic background of the U.S. Naval Academy. The race can be seen as it crosses the Chesapeake Bay to the Eastern Shore and into the Eastern Bay, and the Miles River.

The race concludes at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, where onlookers will greet the fleet of classic racing yachts as they arrive along CBMM’s Miles River waterfront, anchoring off in Fogg’s Cove. The race ends when all captains have rowed to shore, and signed the race log on land.

To see a documentary and race footage of the Elf Classic, go to bit.ly/ElfClassic. To register a yacht for the race, download a complete registration package at cyrg.org, or contact CYRG’s Rick Carrion at cyrg.elf@gmail.com or at 443-566-2212. The racing fleet is limited, with early registration recommended, giving preference to wooden, classic, and traditional yachts.

CYRG is a non-profit, member organization dedicated to the preservation of maritime heritage through the maintenance and operation of Elf. She was designed by George Lawley & Sons of South Boston, Mass., and built in 1888 for William H. Wilkinson. Over the warmer months, she can be seen dockside at CBMM, and under sail along the Miles River and Chesapeake Bay.

Established in 1965, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a world-class maritime museum dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment and people of the entire Chesapeake Bay, with the values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship guiding its mission. Serving more than 70,000 guests each year, CBMM’s campus includes a floating fleet of historic boats and 12 exhibition buildings and historic structures. For more information, visit cbmm.org

The 1888 racing yacht Elf, shown here, is the flagship for the 8th Annual Elf Classic Yacht Race.

Category: Museum News

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