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

Alexforbes Archangel1-1 (14)

Cape2Rio Draws to a Close

With just four boats still on their way, it has been a long road to Rio for the fleet competing in this year’s Cape2Rio. Larry Folsom’s American-flagged Balance 526 Nohri took line honors and a win in the MORCA fleet, finishing with a corrected time of 18 days, 20 hours, and 42 ...read more

_01-Steve-and-Irene-1

Close Encounters: A Star to Steer By

I first met Steve and Irene Macek in the proper way—in an anchorage full of bluewater cruising boats. This was in St. Georges, Bermuda, in the spring of 2019. Theirs, without doubt, was the most distinctive boat there—an immaculate, three-masted, double-ended Marco Polo schooner ...read more

14_01_230123_TOR_JOF_0414-2048x

The Ocean Race Leg 2 Kicks Off

After a trial by fire start to the race and only a brief stop for limited fixes, the five IMOCA 60 crews in The Ocean Race set off for Cape Town, South Africa, early on January 25. Despite arriving somewhat battered in Cabo Verde, an African island nation west of Senegal, the ...read more

Lead

Cruising: Smitten with a Wooden Boat

I was sailing down the inner channel of Marina del Rey under a beautiful red sunset when Nills, one of the crew members on my boat, pointed out an unusual and unique-looking 40-foot gaff-rigged wooden cutter tied to the end of a dock. Its classic appearance was a stark contrast ...read more

Screen-Shot-2023-01-23-at-12.03.19-PM

Racing Recap: Leg One of The Ocean Race

New to spectating The Ocean Race? Managing Editor Lydia Mullan breaks down everything you need to know to get started. ...read more

image00001

From the Editor: Keeping the Hands in Hands-On

SAIL Editor-in-Chief Wendy Mitman Clarke enjoys a sunny autumn cruise in her Peterson 34 on the Chesapeake Bay. It was late afternoon just after the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis when I climbed aboard the last boat on the schedule. I and others who review and sail boats for ...read more

P1580711

B&G Announces New Zeus S Chartplotter

B&G has long been putting out top-of-the-line electronics, but the new Zeus S Chartplotter is a new take on the best way to give sailors the exact information they need, when they need it. “So many more people sail shorthanded these days, whether as a couple or when they’re ...read more

00-LEAD-DSCF1601

Charter: Mission to Mars

In the wake of the pandemic, many sailors are seeking adventure and grabbing onto a vision of their best lives. For some, that may mean sailing across the Atlantic with the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) while for others, it could be a yacht charter in the Caribbean. The ...read more