The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race: Racing to Save the Bay

Captains' Comments

If you would like to say something about your experience/s with the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race, please let us know! Send your comments to Selected comments will be posted here. We would like to hear from mates and crew, as well as captains!

From Brian Duff, Schooner Tom Swift (September 16, 2010):

I have been very lucky to have been invited to captain a number of different schooners over the years of this great event. I have also had the wonderful opportunity to be engaged as a rigger and confidant working with the owners of even more of these schooners that participate in this race. I can say after 6 years of involvement here, and a lifetime of sailing and racing elsewhere, that this is simply the most fun and worthwhile sailboat race I have ever been a part of.
The spirit and attitude of the captains and crew of most of these boats is very open, sharing and honest, with each owner having immense pride in his boat. The willingness to show and share these boats, to talk about them, and drive them hard to prove their worth on the race course is one of the things that sets the crew of these schooners apart from mere average boats. Each one of these boats is unique, as are the people on them.
The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race is such an important part of my life, and now my son's life too, that we are traveling all the way back up from BVI to race this year on the small schooner Tom Swift. I can't wait to see you all again, and plan to be here year after year!

From Aram Nersesian, Schooner Heron (August 30, 2010):

I was talking with Roger Worthington (Prom Queen) about our schooners and how they have changed our lives. What if, back in 1996, I had purchased a ketch, or (bite my tongue) a single-masted boat like a cutter, instead of a schooner? Well, I wouldn't have met Roger and Paula, family I didn't know I had; I wouldn't have found my hero, Dave Junkins, or experienced the unstoppable energy of Nan Nawrocki, or the unlimited generosity of Bill Mellen; I wouldn't have been able to enjoy the ethereal smile of Paul Schaub (Celebration) or the warm handshake of John Eginton (Mystic Whaler); and I certainly would have missed hearing that beautiful baritone voice of Al Roper.
Then, I realized: It wasn't owning a schooner that allowed me to expand my life into the wonderful friendships that I've made, friendships that have shaped an important part of my life for more than a decade. It WAS and IS the GREAT Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race! Without my participation in that event, without having joined that amazing community, I'd simply be a lone schooner driver, plying the waters of the Chesapeake and beyond.
It's hard to remember how many times I've done the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race to date...perhaps 12 times. In all those races, from the top down - from the Chairman (now, Chairperson) of the Board, and President, down to the myriad "365-days-a-year volunteers" who tirelessly do all the work to make this event happen - this Race, this phenomenon, has been run with the highest level of professionalism, with the needs of all boats, captains, and crews met efficiently and without hesitation. I've said it once...I've said it a hundred times...I'll say it a hundred times more..."Thank you Captain Lane Briggs (Norfolk Rebel). Thank you, everybody. Thank you and keep up the good work."

Parade of Sail


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