Watch Classic Yacht Race Kick Off from Buyboat Cruise

1920 buyboat the Winnie Estelle

The 8th annual Elf Classic Yacht Race is happening in late September, and this year, you can get a front-row seat to the race’s unique start on the Miles River.

 1888 racing yacht  Elf
1888 racing yacht Elf

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) is offering a special cruise on the Winnie Estelle, the museum’s classic 1920 buyboat, to watch the race start.

The race takes places in St. Michaels on Saturday, September 29, with the spectator cruise running from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., to coincide with the beginning of the race. It’s quite a sight to see, as things kick off with a traditional 19th-century yacht racing start. That means captains meet on land, and when a cannon booms, each captain makes a mad dash to a tied-up dinghy, or tender. Captains must then row out to their moored boat where their crews are waiting, tie up their tenders, and raise anchor. Up to 30 yachts participate.

See the racing start in action in the Classic Yacht Restoration Guild’s 2014 documentary below:

The annual race is sponsored by the Classic Yacht Restoration Guild and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

If you want to be on the Winnie Estelle spectator cruise, participation is limited. Register in advance by clicking here.

-Meg Walburn Viviano