Chesapeake Bay Log Canoe racing.

This past weekend I spent my time hanging off the stern of a log canoe as we raced around the Chester River in light winds and blazing hot sun.  Fun was had by all, including Brad, whose official job was the beer icing man - which inadvertently afforded him the chance to use one of the crew's motor boats to shuttle crew back and forth to the dock and to join the crash boat out in the river for the racing action.

Cloud tied up to her owner's crash boat.

Flying Cloud was built in 1932 and when the interior exposed wood is wet, and it is most often with such low freeboard, you can smell the years.  Even so, she's pretty darned fast and her skipper keeps us on our toes with a few well chosen words as frequently as needed.  There's a great book on the boats, Chesapeake Bay Log Canoes and Bugeyes, if you're interested in reading up about how this all came to be.  For my part, I'm thrilled to be a part of this history, and having a chance to trim a sail, the main of course...  is just awesome.

Cloud in her infancy. 

Up close with John B. Harrison's creation.

That's me on the outrigger contraption at the stern while we get the main up.

This race was hosted by the Chester River Yacht & Country Club in Centreville, MD.  Many of the boats, 8 of us in total that showed up out of about 12 that actively race, came from various points along the river.  We were anchored in the Corsica River near Pioneer Point, otherwise known to most locals as the place where the Russians have their summer get-away from DC.

Under sail with crew on the boards.

The weekend series consisted of two races on Saturday and one on Sunday.  We ended up placing 6 of 8 in the first race, but with the kinks out, we managed a well fought 2nd in the second race and then a nail biting 2nd in the Sunday race.  Corrected time is the final official placing, but our skipper emailed our finish line places and liked our progress.  I think if all goes well, we have a good shot at winning the Governor's Cup at the end of the month.  Our sister boat, Jay Dee can't compete due to her flat stern, so all we have to do is sail our own fast race and not have to give any time.

Flying the "womper".  So named by crew for the sound it makes when it fills.

Clearly there wasn't much wind (and it was really hot), but in these boats, that's usually preferred, at least 5 knots and we move along quite nicely with all that sail area. 

Haydn looking happy to be on the water after watching our second race.

I'll be back with another post with a video of the entire race from Sunday.  Brad picked up a GoPro camera and this is the first attempt at video making ever.  We were raising the kite on the way out to the race course on Sunday morning and having a little bit of trouble with the kite sheet getting on the wrong side somehow.  Enjoy!