Can anybody say déjà vu? For the second consecutive year – and the third time out of the past four, the schooner SULTANA, led by Captain Michael Fiorentino, was victorious in the 2019 Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race, sharing top honors with the schooner PRIDE OF BALTIMORE, II. Due to high winds, the race was postponed by one day to October 18. The traditional race course from Annapolis to Norfolk was shortened, with the truncated race ending at Smith Point, Virginia. In brisk winds, SULTANA completed the race in 18 hours, 29 minutes and 30 seconds. Twenty two schooners competed in the 2019 Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner race, including six vessels in the largest “AA”class. Commenting on the victory, Captain Fiorentino stated, “We have amazing community support and an extremely dedicated crew, volunteer base and staff that make this all possible.”
The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race promotes awareness of the Chesapeake Bay’s heritage and to encourage preservation of the Bay’s resources. Prior to participating in the race, the schooner SULTANA spent several days in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor providing educational programs for local students. During these programs students sailed the Patapsco River, handled marine life, and learned about life aboard a sailing ship in colonial America.
Many of the same vessels that participated the Great Chesapeake Schooner Race, including the schooners PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II, VIRGINIA, LYNX and LADY MARYLAND will visit Chestertown for the Sultana Education Foundation’s annual Downrigging festival on November 1-3. Sultana Downrigging is one of the largest public sailing events in the United States, and a fleet of seven historic vessels is set to take over 1,000 people sailing during the festival. Limited space remains to sail on the schooners VIRGINIA and LADY MARYLAND. For more information visit www.downrigging.org.