Friday - Long Distance Race followed by BBQ at the Dunigan's
Saturday - Day 1 District 2 Championships followed by GI Clubhouse Lawn Party
Sunday - Day 2 District 2 Championships
Get your crews together!
This summer marks the 100th year of Star boats on the Chesapeake, specifically at Gibson Island. This will be the third time the Gibson Island Club has hosted the Star Internationals (1930 & 1951). We will host the celebration as only our Club can do, as a whole Island event complete with spectators and post-racing social celebrations.
Entries are expected from throughout the East Coast and both sides of the Chesapeake. The three days of racing will be conducted by Regional Race Officer Greg Cukor and well supported by Squadron Members. The Distance race on Friday memorializes the annual Star distance events that were usually run far down the Bay and back, sometimes finishing the next day! Not nearly that extreme, we will round several lighthouses this year and be back in time for the Dunigan party on Friday evening.
A little history might be interesting... In 1923, after discarding their fleet of elderly Mower-designed Fishers Island 24, centerboard sloops, the newly formed “Water Committee” (preceding the Yacht Squadron) led by three Gibson Island Members, purchased 12 of the hot new Star Class sloops from New England Boatworks. Twisting arms and buying drinks for their sailing buddies there, all were sold by delivery and the new fleet had begun. With a fine unanimity of purpose, they were given the names of various fish (Trout, Porpoise, Tuna, Mackerel, Minnow, Bonito, Tarpon, Bass, Shark, Perch, etc). They also were painted in different colors and locally were called the Rainbow Fleet. Haul outs and bottom paints were regulated as well as sail purchases. They were initially moored on the Bay side of the Causeway in their first season until a strong Nor’easter caused all of these fishes to return to their natural element - the bottom of the Chesapeake! (Except Porpoise, who had a cover and naturally, needed to breathe...) Quickly raised, they found moorings in the protected Gibson Island Harbor.
So began the Chesapeake Bay Star Fleet, which was granted its District 2 charter in 1924. In 1925, eight more boats were ordered from the MM Davis Yard in Solomons Island, MD. USNA bought four Stars to race with them in 1925. There being no Stars yet on the Eastern Shore, the Johnson brothers Loundes and Graham would sail their Star over from Oxford, MD across the Chesapeake and race at Gibson Island, sailing back after each weekend. Time in the boat obviously helped as they won the Star Internationals in New Orleans in 1929, bringing the prestigious championship regatta to their host club at Gibson Island in 1930. Famed helmsman, Arthur Knapp, won that year after starting last (over early) but making an 11th-hour move by unreefing at the last mark in a near gale, passing boat after boat and putting the five boats between him and his nearest competitor to win the Championships!
Though a numerically small Star Fleet, Gibson Island is pleased to host a big event, honoring its long history with these most beautiful and challenging racing boats. All Star sailors are welcome to celebrate a Century of Star Boats on the Chesapeake in what is sure to be a memorable regatta.
Tom Price, Gibson Island Sailing Director, Star 8015 “Bop”