Each year bring new challenges, and 2019 was no different. This year we were scheduled to start the race 2 hours earlier than previous years to allow us to enjoy more daylight hours during the race. Instead a massive “bomb cyclone” whipped into the area with winds in excess of 40 kts during the gusts and sustained winds in the high twenties. The decision was made to delay the race until dawn the next day when the winds were forecast to settle down. Most of the schooners pushed off the dock in Baltimore at 0300 to get down to the start, a latitudinal line through the Whitehall Bay #1 bouy.
The start was gorgeous, with the sun just peeking over the horizon and winds around 15 – 20 kts, blowing the fleet down-bay at a fine clip. As forecast, the winds continued to calm throughout the day until there was but a ghost of a breeze by sunset. Luckily, the race course had also been shortened; the finish line was Cove Point for B & C classes, and Smith Point for A & AA.
2019 Race Results
* Those of you who are observant will note that there are two 1st place winners in class AA. There was confusion in the race committee regarding the application of placement penalties from previous years. Applying previous year’s placement penalty, Pride of Baltimore II won. Without the 10% penalty from a 2018 first place finish, Sultana would have won. Acknowledging their error, and with clear changes in place to ensure this sort of error does not occur again, the GCBSR race committee has awarded two first place ratings in the 2019 AA fleet