From the beginning of the race off Deal Island, the Tilghman Island-based skipjack, with Captain Wade Murphy Jr. at the helm, held the lead among the eight skipjacks in the 57th annual competition sponsored by the Deal Island-Chance Lions Club.
Eleven skipjacks were scheduled to race, according to race director Stoney Whitelock, but only eight showed, and mounting waves and increasing winds, the remnants of hurricane Hermine, forced race officials to shorten the five-mile course to just three miles. Second place honors went to the Thomas Clyde , also of Tilghman Island, with Captain Lawrence Murphy at the wheel. The Ida May , captained by Sean Ridgely, came in third, followed by the Helen Virginia with Captain Art Benton at the helm, placing fourth.
As for Murphy, he savored his 11th first-place win, which makes him one of the “winningest” skipjack race captains on the Chesapeake Bay. Built in 1886 on Taylors Island, Rebecca T. Ruark is the oldest of the surviving skipjacks.