- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
With the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in full swing in London, the Olympic feeling was present throughout Saturday’s 39th Governor’s Cup Yacht Race, the annual overnight race that allows the wind to take sailors from Annapolis, down the Chesapeake Bay and into St. Mary’s City.
The race kicked off Friday afternoon and the first of 150 boats sailed into St. Mary’s College of Maryland in St. Mary’s City at 12:12 a.m. on Saturday.
Skipper Paul Parks sailed his boat “Sundog” into St. Mary’s City with two-time Olympic silver medalist Randy Smyth on board.
Smyth, who medaled for the United States of America in the 1984 and 1992 Summer Games, was sailing in the Governor’s Cup race for the first time.
“Luckily, it was the opposite of what the weatherman told us the other day,” Smyth said of the race. “It was windy instead of no wind. We had the expectations of sitting out there all night and floating around like a cork. But, the wind kept steady and it made for a sweet night.”
Smyth assisted in helping “Sundog” finish in the top spot within the Multihull A division among a total of six boats.
After the long night of sailing but with plenty of time to rest until Saturday’s events begin, Smyth said he and the crew, “went back to the room and crashed out.”
The two-time Olympic medalist also took time to notice the surrounding area of St. Mary’s City, site of the race’s finish.
“It’s kind of funny because I am from Florida, from kind of a small town,” Smyth said. “I come up here to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, you know big towns. Then, we come sailing down here and there are no [street] lights. I go, ‘What happened? Was there a power failure?’ You’re removed down here and that’s kind of cool.”
Other winners alongside Parks and “Sundog” included Gary Schoolden (Cruiser, “Caribbean Magic”), Russell Wesdyk (Multihull B, “Lola3 The Wild Child”), Charles Engh (A0, “Stray Dog”), Othmar Blumencron (A1, “Dame Blanche”), Christian Smith (A2, “Integrity”), Ed Tracey (B, “Incommunicado”), Stovy Brown (CD, “Age of Reason”) and Frederick Mertes (N, “Blinding Fury”).
Blumencron and his “Dame Blanche” boat was awarded the Waldschmidt Trophy, an award given to the boat deemed best in fleet.
The Bickel Trophy, awarded to the most-improved boat, was awarded to James Chen and his crew on board the “Chaotic Flux.”
The Alumni trophy was awarded to Andrew Eyring and the “Hero Squad,” and the TPP Trophy awarded to Lt. Col. Scott Ward on board the “Crocodile.”
Smith, a rising senior at the United States Naval Academy and sailing in his third Governor’s Cup race, was skipper of “Integrity,” a boat full of Navy sailors. Smith admitted this was the best year yet after their victory in the A2 division.
“We did really well and our crew performed beyond my expectations,” Smith said. “We pretty much stuck to the west coast and played the right shift. This was the best because it was still enough wind to keep sailing.”
Smith, who will be a fourth-year Navy sailor this upcoming school year, said that he and other Navy summer sailors end their four-week summer schedule with this race.
“I love racing on the Chesapeake Bay,” Smith admitted. “I love coming down to Southern Maryland, especially this part, and going past St. Inigoes Creek and things like that. It’s a lot of history and a lot of past there. … It’s a great race and it’s always about the ships.”
This year’s race not only featured racers from the normal Annapolis start line, but also sailors who kicked off the newly-added Potomac leg of the race from Dahlgren, Va., allowing sailors to sail the race via the Potomac River.
Potomac Leg winners included Woody Morris (N, “What Boat”) and Martin Howell (Spinnaker, “Truculent Turtle”).
Full results are posted on the Governor’s Cup website at www.smcm.edu/govcup/.