ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. (Aug. 7, 2008)—Under a brilliant Milky Way, participants of the 35th St. Mary's College of Maryland (SMCM) Governor's Cup Yacht Race began to make their way down the Chesapeake Bay Friday night, August 1, ending at the shores of St. Mary's City on Saturday, August 2. Minneapolis, Minnesota, skipper and SMCM senior Jeremy Hutchinson was awarded first place for his win aboard Meridian, a Taylor 40, in the PHRF A-O class, with a corrected elapsed time of 0/12:42:30.0. This is the first time in over a decade that a student boat has entered the Governor's Cup Yacht Race, as well as the first time a student boat has won the A-O class, which is made up of the largest and fastest boats.
Meridian was entered by the College's Off-Shore Sailing Club. "It was a good race for us," said Hutchinson ('09). "We were fortunate to sail with Teddy Turner, Jr. He brought a lot to the team, really gave us some good advice and was an invaluable part of the team." As the A-O class "underdog," Hutchinson was "really pleased to win."
Turner, a former member of the St. Mary's College Board of Trustees, crewed aboard Meridian and was impressed with the skills of the collegiate sailors.
"I think it's fantastic that a St. Mary's team would win this race," said Turner, a Charleston, S.C., resident and son of the former America's Cup champion of the same name. Turner also commented, "It was an upwind race and fortunately (Meridian) happens to go upwind very well."
St. Mary's College of Maryland's Sailing Team has won 13 national championships and produced more than 100 collegiate All-American sailors since 1991. The college has a long tradition of sailing, and sailing classes have been offered continuously since 1962.
Hutchinson and crew on Meridian also won the Alumni Trophy. Participating alumni included Justin Bates ('06), Colin Woods ('05), Mark Allegrini ('05), Walter Prause ('99) and Tyler Keyworth ('08). To be eligible for the Alumni Trophy, two or more members of the boat's crew must be St. Mary's College of Maryland alumni. The award is presented to the yacht with the highest percentage score, which is computed by dividing the number of boats defeated in a class by the number of boats registered in the same class.
The Governor's Cup Yacht Race is the oldest and longest overnight race on the Chesapeake Bay, running from Maryland's current capital city to its first capital in St. Mary's City. Approximately 134 boats were entered this year. The race began Friday, Aug. 1, at the entrance of the Annapolis Harbor and finished Saturday, Aug. 2, on the shores of St. Mary's College of Maryland with a post-race party. The schooner Adventurer served as the start boat in Annapolis, with the Maryland Dove, a replica of a 17th-century square-rigger from Historic St. Mary's City, as the finish boat at St. Mary's College of Maryland.
The Governor's Cup was founded in 1973 by three St. Mary's College of Maryland students with the support of then president Renwick Jackson. It has been sailed every summer since. The first race, held in 1974, attracted only 47 boats. The start gun was a sawed-off shotgun, and the start shapes were handmade out of cardboard boxes covered in plastic and beach towels.