2024 Bay Race October 2-6

“It’s impossible to describe the feeling of camaraderie and fellowship that emanates from the wonderful schooner sailors, truly a group belonging to another age. It’s a celebration of why we sail, a reminder that sailing is an art form, valuable simply for the sake of its enjoyment.” Andy Schell, Spin Sheet

For the Love of the Bay


The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race works year-round to fulfill its mission to promote public awareness of the Bay’s maritime heritage and encourage preservation and improvement of the Chesapeake’s natural resources—with a special eye toward the next generation. Read more about our mission and history.
The Bay Race is a friendly competition among majestic schooners and traditional vessels. AA- and A-Class vessels race 118 nautical miles from Baltimore to Thimble Shoals. The official race for B-, C-, and N-Class vessels ends at Windmill Shoals (83 mile mark), but boats are welcome to race to Thimble Shoals for bragging rights and award-night mention

The Fleet

The fleet—like the sailors and organizations that participate and the weather they encounter—varies from year to year. What they will all share, however, is the unforgettable experience of friendly competition between vessels from another age, the conditions Mother Nature provides, the Bay’s timeless beauty and the pleasure of trading stories at the after-race celebration. For details, please see For Participating Vessels and Public Events.

Racing Classes

Below are the four schooner classes and the invitational non-schooner class that make up the fleet. Race classes are roughly divided by rated vessel length. See the Draft Race Handbook (PDF) for a full description. Awards go the vessels placing 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each class. See past race results.

AA-Class Schooners: 50’+
A-Class Schooners: 40′-50′
B-Class Schooners: 30′-40
C-Class Schooners: 20′-30′
The N-Class is an invitational, non-schooner class open to “traditional” vessels (such as sloops, ketches, yawls, work boats, etc. of roughly 1950’s and earlier design) and to vessels operated by organizations with a mission that aligns with the GCBSR. Please read For Participating Vessels and follow “Register Your Vessel” to request an invitation.