May 19th Elf Classic Yacht Race benefits Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Launching early from Annapolis’ Eastport Yacht Club, the second annual Elf Classic Yacht Race brings the centuries-old tradition of yacht racing back to the Chesapeake Bay on Saturday, May 19. Proceeds from the race benefit the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, MD, where race winners will be announced and celebrated later in the day.

The 1888 racing yacht Elf as seen out on the Chesapeake Bay in last year’s inaugural Elf Classic Yacht Race. Photography by Dan McGrath.

Organized by the Classic Yacht Restoration Guild (CYRG), the race’s flagship is the CYRG’s restored 1888 racing yacht Elf. A fleet of classic yachts will join Elf in a cloud of traditional sail for an 1880s-style race from Annapolis to St. Michaels. Featuring the nautical version of a “Le Mans start,” yacht captains will row to their vessels in the Annapolis harbor to raise their anchors and sails, before getting underway.

Spectators are invited to watch the 9am start from the Eastport Yacht Club and then spend the day along the Miles River and St. Michaels harbor as participants cross the finish line at CBMM. Captains will finish the race by anchoring off, rowing to shore, and signing the race log at the historic Tolchester Beach Bandstand on the museum’s grounds.

A visit to CBMM on May 19 also includes admission to the annual Maritime Model Expo, which runs from 10am to 5pm and features live music, family activities, demonstrations and exhibits, and a variety of food on campus.

To register a yacht for the race, download a complete registration package under the “Events” tab at, or contact CYRG’s Rick Carrion at [email protected] Early registration is recommended—with wooden, classic and traditional yachts given preference when participating vessel limits are reached.

The Classic Yacht Restoration Guild is a membership organization dedicated to the preservation of maritime heritage through the maintenance and operation of the Elf. Built by the renowned Lawley Yard in Boston, Elf was restored to historically accurate condition by the CRYG and re-launched in 2008.

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing the stories of the Chesapeake Bay and the people who have shaped their lives around it. With 18 waterfront acres in the historic town of St. Michaels, the Museum offers exhibits, demonstrations, boat rides on the Miles River, and annual festivals that celebrate Chesapeake Bay culture, boats, seafood, and history. For more information about CBMM, visit or call 410-745-2916.

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