For the first time, the tall ship Pride of Baltimore II will be racing in the Annapolis to Bermuda Ocean Race (A2B) in June.
The A2B covers 753 miles, making it one of the longest ocean races on the East Coast. The challenging course combines inshore and offshore racing tactics down the Chesapeake Bay, across the Gulfstream, and on to Bermuda.
The race has a number of class divisions, allowing serious racers and cruisers alike to find good competition. For its 22nd running, A2B has added a Privateer class.
“The visuals, a traditional wood tall ship in a fleet of modern racing vessels, will be extraordinary,” said Jeff Buchheit, executive director, Pride of Baltimore, Inc.
Pride II‘s entry to Maryland’s only international sailing race is thanks to a partnership between the local host Eastport Yacht Club and Pride of Baltimore, Inc.
Pride II is considered a floating ambassador for Baltimore’s clipper ship history. She’s based on Chasseur, one of the privateers that captured British merchant ships in the War of 1812, eventually leading to the Royal Navy’s attack on Baltimore in 1814 and Francis Scott Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner” moment.
“Pride represents the true sailing heritage of Maryland and will be a welcome addition to the fleet,” said Michael Lehmkuhl, chair of the Bermuda Ocean Race Association, which organizes the event. “Racing to Bermuda on Pride will recreate some history, set some records, and awaken an old rivalry or two!”
It’s not the first stab at an ocean race Pride II has taken.
“In 2017, Pride II raced from Charleston, South Carolina, to Bermuda in conjunction with the Rendez-Vous 2017 tall ships event. The winds were strong and favorable. It was a very fast trip with Pride averaging nearly 10 knots, making Bermuda in just three days and a few hours. Hopefully, she will have a similar trip to Bermuda in the A2B this year!” said Captain Jan Miles, Pride of Baltimore II.
Those not fortunate enough to be on Pride II or another vessel for the A2B will be able to track Pride and the rest of the fleet in real time. For more information, visit http://www.annapolisnewportrace.com/.
-Meg Walburn Viviano