Exciting Midnight Sail For First Annual BCYA Sailstice
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From Spinsheet Magazine on the Chesapeake: Chasing the Sun with BCYA
Three years ago, the team I race with decided we should toss off our gloves, turn up the yacht rock, and properly celebrate the longest day of the year as many others do with a summer solstice cruise. We’ve enjoyed our tradition so much that we wanted all of our fellow sailors to realize how special the beginning of summer is—and what better way than with a race! We got a few other members of our club onboard with the idea, and so was born the Baltimore City Yacht Association’s first annual BCYA Summer Sailstice June 22.
Envisioned as a race into the sunset, 10 boats rendezvoused off of historic Ft. McHenry at 6:15 p.m. for this inaugural event. After a combined fleet start, we embarked on a 22-nautical-mile course out into the Bay, rounded Craig Hill Lighthouse, and made our way back to Baltimore’s beautiful Inner Harbor. The finish line was right off of Anchorage Marina, which hosted a spectacular midnight breakfast for all who raced, complete with mimosas and warm croissants.
Although our sunset was obscured by heavy cloud cover, sustained winds of 18-22 knots (with gusts over 30) ensured that this race would be one to remember. The predicted rainfall held off for the most part, but the north-northeast wind direction gave the course a long reaching leg, and plenty of waves breaking over our bows meant a wet and wild ride for many racers—particularly for us bowmen who tend to get that lucky first spot on the rail...