Fall 2018 Articles

Over Labor Day weekend, the news broke that Oliver Hazard Perry will not sail this winter. Instead, she will be tied to the dock while her parent organization, OHPRI, goes back to the drawing board to try and figure out a sustainable business model.

In the five years that Marlinspike has been published, the failure of sail-training programs has been a recurring theme. Bounty was sailed into a hurricane and sank. Ocean Classroom Foundation went under after 20 years at the forefront of the industry — prompting a 7,000-word analysis that stands as this publication’s raison d’etre. Amistad was placed in receivership, and the recently-built schooners Virginia and Spirit of South Carolina went belly-up and were sold. Pride of Baltimore II was forced to restrict its summer programming to Chesapeake, also due to lack of funds.

This winter, Pride II issued a public appeal for donations after another financial crunch threatened their summer programming. When that call went unheeded — at least in the short run — Pride II ended up not sailing at all in 2018.

All these announcements were painful, but the predicaments of OHP and Pride II in particular sent a wave of dismay through the sail-training and tall-ships communities...

Subscribe to read more

The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race was founded to promote public awareness of the Chesapeake Bay’s maritime heritage and encourage the preservation and improvement of the area’s natural resources. Proceeds of the race — $172,624 to date — are donated to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and a variety of local organizations in both Hampton Roads and Baltimore that work to to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay.

The race begins in Baltimore, Maryland, and ends 118 nautical miles down the Chesapeake Bay in Portsmouth, Virginia. Entry is open to all schooner-rigged vessels. Thirty-one schooners participated in the 28th annual race. The race and all race-week activities are run by volunteers, and donations keep the race going strong.

Marlinspike spoke in September with Race Chair Nan Nawrocki.

Marlinspike: How did you get involved in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race?

Nan Nawrocki: That was back in 1992 — I was a member of the Fells Point Yacht Club, which was the Baltimore host of the race, and I got involved as a volunteer.  Yvonne St. George and Captain Lane Briggs ran the race.  

MS: What do you recall about the early years of the race?

Subscribe to read more