Skip to main content

Adventures of the 2014 DelMarVa Rally

Sailing is often about the adventures you have and the people you meet, and this could not be truer for the participants of the 2014 DelMarVa Rally, which wrapped up on Saturday, June 14, in Annapolis, MD, with an awards ceremony and party for the cruisers.

Sailing is often about the adventures you have and the people you meet, and this could not be truer for the participants of the 2014 DelMarVa Rally, which wrapped up on Saturday, June 14, in Annapolis, MD, with an awards ceremony and party for the cruisers.

The DelMarVa Rally was originally hosted by Spinsheet, a local Annapolis magazine, but was hosted by World Cruising Club (WCC) in association with Spinsheet for the first time this year. It’s a 450-mile week-long trip held annually in June that takes sailors of all experience levels around the DelMarVa Peninsula (that’s short for Delaware/Maryland/Virginia) from Annapolis, MD, to Portsmouth, VA, up the Atlantic to Cape May, DE, and back to Annapolis through the C&D Canal. Each leg provides a unique sailing experience: first sailors take on the Chesapeake, then head offshore and finish the rally by motoring through a narrow canal. Sailors typically spend a day or two at each location, where they meet up to re-provision, debrief, celebrate and check out each town.

According to the WCC, the Rally is ideal for sailors who are looking to get a taste of distance cruising without jumping directly offshore. Only the second leg is offshore, but the DelMarVa requires sufficient boat prep and typical bluewater skills, such as overnight sailing for longer, more challenging adventures. It’s also a good way to perform a shakedown before tackling the World Cruising Club’s Caribbean 1500, a rally that launches from Portsmouth, VA, and ends in Nanny Cay, Tortola.

For Robin and Gary Wells, who moved aboard Adagio, an Amel Super Maramu, the day before the rally this year, completing the DelMarVa was a way to learn the new boat. “We’re excited about being underway and to experience life on the water. Moving aboard has been a long-time dream for us,” said Robin.

Whether a racer, long-time cruiser or sailing newbie, this year’s DelMarVa Rally challenged every sailor that entered, with consistent 10-20 knot breezes on the nose, thick fog and Chesapeake Bay chop. Most boats motorsailed the majority of the course and there were a few weather delays. In the end, 18 of the 23 yachts finished the rally in its entirety.

As is often the case, sailors bonded together through the poor conditions. “We got tossed around out there, but we came here for an adventure and to meet people and that’s what happened,” said Tim Foster, skipper aboard Molly Kate, a Beneteau 321 and the smallest boat of the rally. “It was great seeing the DelMarVa flags flying from the masts and to know we were part of the community.”

To ensure safety and foster community, sailors kept in touch via VHS and daily radio nets, received daily weather reports from Andy Schell of WCC who also sailed the rally, had satellite tracking and received discounted dockage rates—all benefits of joining a rally. It wasn’t an official race, but boats won awards such as “Best Logbook” and “I’ll Never Do that Again.”

Though there was some friendly competition throughout the journey, the rally ultimately became about forging friendships and learning important lessons. “The coolest things have happened. I met some of these sailors last night and already feel like close friends,” said Robin. “Sure, we had our mishaps, but by sailing with everyone else, I’ve learned sailing tips and tricks, including what not to do on our boat. I’m incredibly grateful to have experienced this.”

Related

fa70b13c-8eec-4c35-b30f-f89e497b469a

Crowdsourcing Age-of-Sail Weather Data

Although big, multi-million-dollar projects like the Large Hadron Collider and the human genome project with their legions of PHD’s tend to grab headlines, there’s still a part of play for the “citizen scientists” of the world. Amateur birders have long contributed to an ...read more

01-LEAD-Ultime-race-Yvan-Zedda,-OC-Sport-Pen-Duick

Ultims to Race Solo Around the World

For years now, maxi-trimarans, both solo-sailed and fully crewed, have been racing the clock on their own around the world in an effort to set ever faster records for the world’s fastest circumnavigation under sail. Back in 2000-01 there was also a no-holds-barred ...read more

P1-01-LEAD-018_CARYNBDAVIS_AMISTAD

Juneteenth on the Water

Discovering Amistad and Mystic Seaport Museum have partnered to organize their third annual Juneteenth festival, featuring concerts, speakers and a reflection on the lasting legacy of racial injustice in America. Declared a National Holiday in 2021, Juneteenth celebrates the end ...read more

Lead-2021-01-17-vue-03-34-av-tb-01

New Multihulls for 2022

Lagoon 51 In keeping with many of the more recently launched models created by French multihull builder Lagoon, the Lagoon 51 is all about comfort, “en plein air,” in particular, as the French might say. Topside, a whopping 80 percent of the boat’s flybridge is given over to ...read more

bermuda

How to Spectate on the Newport Bermuda

The biannual Newport Bermuda Race starts on Friday with the first warning signal at 1 pm. Whether you’re tracking a loved one’s progress or just spectating an event that draws pros and weekend warriors alike, there are plenty of ways to stay up to watch. The starting line will ...read more

03-Hyeres-220429_SOF2022_SAILINGENERGY_1933_3184-copy

US Sailing Strikes Gold in Hyères

After being skunked or nearly skunked at multiple Olympiads, could the US Sailing Team (USST) now under the direction of Olympic veteran Paul Cayard, be finally turning it around? If its performance at the 53rd French Olympic Week regatta in Hyères, France, where the team posted ...read more

P1480042

New York City’s Newest Fleet

120 children enrolled in Brooklyn Boatworks’ STEM and life skills-focused program launched their hand-built optimist prams on June 14 from Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The launch is the culmination of years of student work, with boats in process before the pandemic caused the ...read more

AdobeStock_197518370

Charter: Off the Beaten Path

So, you like to charter in the Caribbean with its warm waters, swaying palm trees, steady trade winds and strong rum drinks. What’s not to love? It can be easy, though, to get stuck in a rut when chartering year after year in the same place. Sure, the British Virgin Islands are ...read more