- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
From a 100-day sailing race around the world to a one-night race down the Chesapeake Bay, St. Mary’s College of Maryland graduate Ryan Breymaier makes a return to St. Mary’s College to participate in the 40th annual Governor’s Cup Yacht Race starting tonight and ending throughout the early morning hours on Saturday at the St. Mary’s College campus.
A 1997 graduate of St. Mary’s College, Breymaier turned his four years of learning the sport of sailing while at St. Mary’s into a professional ocean-racing career that has included a permanent move to France and several international accolades that includes being the first American to place in the International Monohull Open Classes Association Ocean Racing World Championship, that coming in 2011 with a sixth-place finish.
But for Breymaier, he said for all of the sailing success he has come across, it all originated at St. Mary’s College.
“I learned everything while at St. Mary’s,” said Breymaier, who had not sailed prior to arriving on campus in 1993. “I have become a professional in what I do and have gone a long way in my field and I owe it all to the St. Mary’s College sailing program.”
Breymaier participated in the Governor’s Cup race each of the four years he was at St. Mary’s and a couple of times post-graduation, however, he has not raced in the event in what he estimates to be 10 years.
Racing in the A0 class on board the newest boat donated to the college, “Yellow Jacket,” Breymaier will race with a crew of 11 others, including seven current students and four recent alumni.
Included in the students is yacht skipper Jake Wolf.
“It’s really nice to be able to get back to school and show some of the young St. Mary’s students how it’s done,” Breymaier said. “It’s very cool in a variety of ways for me, not the least of which, to try to give something back. When I went to St. Mary’s, I had a lot good mentors there and it’s given me an incredible vocation. It just makes me super happy to maybe do the same thing for somebody else.”
Breymaier and the team became acquainted with each other as the sailors traveled to Annapolis, Breymaier’s home city when in the United States, to stay with the pro racer on Wednesday and Thursday nights.
He added that he would like to not only give a few teaching lessons, but win his class, too.
“We are the smallest boat in the big-boat class,” Breymaier said. “So, that’s not going to be very easy to do, but if we pull it off with a student crew, that would be incredible. More than anything, I want to give these students an example of what you can do if you put your mind to it. Hopefully, I can inspire other people to do what I’ve done.”
Breymaier and crew will race from Annapolis, the original starting point of the race that takes racers down the Chesapeake Bay and into St. Mary’s City.
Introduced in 2012, the Potomac Leg of the race that starts from Dahlgren, Va., gives racers an alternate route, via the Potomac River, also returns for the 2013 version of the Governor’s Cup.
As of Wednesday, just over 130 boats have been registered for the race spread across 11 classes.
“You never know what’s going to happen on the Chesapeake Bay in the summertime,” Breymaier said of the race. “You can have squalls where you get a lot of wind or you can have very light air. You can have a light breeze from the north, which is what we all hope for but is not always the case, but it presents the challenge of the changing conditions.”
But conditions changing over the course of one night is familiar to the sailor, who has also participated in a race from New York to San Francisco traveling around Cape Horn, the southern tip of South America.
Breymaier and crew traveled the route in 47 days and landed the sailor a World Speed Sailing record for the fastest time over that route.
Breymaier also owns the seventh-fastest transatlantic sailing time of all time.
“I do the same thing as they do in the Governor’s Cup, but I am living on boats for weeks at a time,” he said.
For live tracking of the boats through the overnight race and other information on the Governor’s Cup, go to www.smcm.edu/govcup.