The St. Mary’s College of Maryland special task force for the Governor’s Cup yacht race has developed a series of recommendations to make the 2011 edition of the event more broadly appealing and more financially viable. Comprised of College personnel as well as Chesapeake Bay sailors, the task force considered a variety of changes to the structure of the race as well as the on-shore after-race party.
Significant changes include the introduction of a cruising class and starting slower classes first. In addition, a two-staged start will give slower boats a head start down the Bay toward the St. Mary’s River. Slower classes (cruising, PHRF C/D, and PHRF B) will start beginning at 3 pm with a break before starting faster classes beginning at 6 pm.
US SAILING president and ESPN sailing commentator Gary Jobson, who is also a member of the College’s Board of Trustees, participated on the task force. “I was pleased to participate on the College task force to help revitalize the Governor’s Cup race,” said Jobson. “The proposed changes should appeal to top-end racers as well as less competitive sailors who want to participate in this great tradition on the Chesapeake.”
The on-shore event will be redesigned to bring together the regatta participants, volunteers and spectators for more of the shore-side activities. A larger variety of vendors than in past years will increase the culinary options. The increased variety of food throughout the day will replace the formal skipper’s dinner, which was a ticketed event. Also, on-campus housing will be available for alumni to welcome them back to St. Mary’s for this event.
“I am grateful to the task force members for answering the challenge to make Governor’s Cup financially viable for the College,” said President Joe Urgo. “As a result of their good work, we think we’ll make the race more popular, and continue the tradition of competitive sailing from Annapolis to the banks of the St. Mary’s River, at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.”
A more detailed description of changes is posted on the Governor’s Cup web site.
Registration for the 2011 race will open later this spring.