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Schooners sail into Baltimore for great race

An exciting week of sailing is ahead as the 26th Annual Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race returns to Baltimore beginning Sunday, Oct. 11.

Check out the boats, see them sailing around the Baltimore Harbor and watch them set sail down the Chesapeake Bay in a race to save the bay.

schooner raceFamilies can view the schooners as they begin arriving in Canton on Sunday. The boats can also be seen from the docks Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and Tuesday, 5-7 p.m. at Baltimore Marine Center at Lighthouse Point, 2736 Lighthouse Point East. A Parade of Sail will take place at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 14 and can be viewed from Canton, Fells Point, Harbor East and the Inner Harbor.

The schooners will depart for the starting line at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 15 and the race begins Friday, Oct. 16 just south of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge near Annapolis. It ends in Portsmouth, Va.

Schooner racing on the Chesapeake Bay is rooted in the trade rivalry between Baltimore and Portsmouth/Norfolk, Va., according to the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race website. The fastest sailing vessels delivered goods and people to their destinations and often garnered the best price for their cargo by beating slower schooners into port. These schooners also played a critical role in our nation’s early wars. In 1988, the captain of a Norfolk schooner challenged Pride of Baltimore II to a race from Baltimore to Norfolk, reviving a historic rivalry and kicking off what has become the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race.

The race brings focus to the maritime traditions of schooners on the Chesapeake and brings attention to the environmental issues facing the bay. All net proceeds of the race are donated to support youth education efforts aimed at saving the bay.

This year there are more than 30 schooners entered in four different classes. Boats are coming from as far as Florida, Canada and Michigan.

For details on the race visit the GCBSR website.

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