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H. M. Krentz Wins Choptank Heritage Skipjack Race

Capt. Ed Farley and the skipjack H. M. Krentz took the lead early in the 2012 Choptank Heritage Skipjack Race and never gave it up. The race was held Saturday, September 22nd, on the Choptank River off Cambridge. Capt. Wade Murphy, Jr., with the Rebecca T. Ruark came in second, and the Nathan of Dorchester, with Capt. Frank Newton at the helm, took third place. Other skipjacks participating included Caleb W. Jones, Hilda M. Willing, Ida May and Thomas Clyde.

The Cambridge race is one of only two skipjack races still held annually on the Chesapeake Bay, the other being the Labor Day Deal Island race. The Choptank Heritage Skipjack Race is sponsored by the Nathan Foundation, and is coordinated by volunteers of the nonprofit Dorchester Skipjack Committee, which owns and operates the Nathan of Dorchester.

The volunteers have been working to make the race a bigger attraction for visitors. The effort and fair weather brought more people out to Long Wharf for the event this year, where they had close-up views of the start, finish and midway turn of the two-lap race. Vendors and exhibitors offered food, merchandise and information. A model skipjack regatta was held by members of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Model Skipjack Club. Bill Smith fired cannon salutes at the start of the race.

Funds raised through race activities, sponsorships and donations are targeted specifically toward the race and show-up money for the participating skipjacks. The Nathan donates her award back to the race each year to allow for larger purses for the other boats.

Snappers Waterfront Café is an Annual Host Sponsor of the event, hosting the pre-race coffee and captains briefing along with the post-race luncheon and trophy presentation. The National Bank of Cambridge is the race’s Trophy Sponsor for the permanent Choptank Heritage Cup Trophy, on display at the Dorchester Visitors Center. They also sponsor the smaller trophy presented to the race winner each year.

The evening before the race, more than 50 people enjoyed a reception for the skipjack captains and crew, sponsored by Craig’s Drug Store, at Jimmie & Sook’s in Cambridge. Craig’s also sponsored this year’s race t-shirts. Other major event sponsors included Delmarva Power, Tri Gas & Oil and Yacht Maintenance Company.

Race Committee chairman Lou Hyman thanked all the Choptank Heritage Skipjack Race sponsors and volunteers for their efforts and support. “These are not replicas,” he emphasized. “The skipjacks are a part of our heritage that is still here to be seen and appreciated. We thank everyone who is helping us keep these skipjacks alive and sailing.”

Additional details and photos of the race may be found on the Nathan’s website.

For more information or to make a donation, contact the Dorchester Skipjack Committee at 410-228-7141 or visit its website, www.skipjack-nathan.org.

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Photo Captions:

Farley_Presentation.jpg:  Capt. Ed Farley, left, of the skipjack H. M. Krentz, received the winner’s trophy from Choptank Heritage Skipjack Race Chairman Lou Hyman.

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