On June 17-19, 2016 Chesapeake Bay’s classic wooden and fiberglass Dickerson sailing yachts returned to their birthplace on Maryland’s beautiful Eastern Shore. Over 70 sailors and 15 boats participated in the 51st annual Dickerson Owners’ Association (DOA) Rendezvous. Events included a parade of Dickersons up the Choptank River, and a Commodores’ Cook-Out at the Cambridge Municipal Marina, on Friday June 17, followed on Saturday by a breakfast at the Richardson Maritime Museum (which hosts the Dickerson Historical Exhibit), a traditional Dickerson race to Oxford, and the Annual Awards Dinner at the Tred Avon Yacht Club. Richardson Maritime Museum Executive Director Jane Devlin and Maryland Senator “Addie” Eckardt welcomed the hungry Dickerson sailors at the Museum breakfast and discussed the importance of keeping boat building craftsmanship alive on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and the expansion of the Museum and its Ruark Boat Building Center. The Dickerson Owners’ Association presented Director Jane Devlin a model of the Dickerson ketch LLIA FAIL on behalf of the Association and the late Lynn Stearns, a long time DOA member.

The race from Cambridge to Oxford of 35, 36, 37, and 41 foot Dickerson ketches and sloops ended up being a “drifting match” in a 2-3 knot northeast wind. Sanity prevailed however, and Commodore Bill Toth shortened his chosen course “Jennifer’s Choice” from 10 to 3.5 miles so the sailors would have time to cool off in the pool at Brewer’s Oxford Marina.

Highlights of the festivities included a delicious dinner of fillet of beef and crab imperial, a talk by Dickerson Captain Tom Pfeifer, who courageously sailed his 37 foot Dickerson sloop JoySea across the North Atlantic from Annapolis to Ireland. What an adventure. Tom lauded his Dickerson for ably handling mountainous waves and gale force winds. The ceremony was topped off with a special award to retiring Secretary Dick Young for 18 years of dedicated service and racing trophies for first in their class to: John Freal Rainbow, 35/36 ft class; Barry Creighton, Crew Rest, 37 ft class, and Jeff Stephenson, CAVU, 40/41 ft class. The overall winner and our new Dickerson Commodore is Jeff Stephenson. Congratulations Jeff!

Thank you Commodore Bill Toth and all who made the Dickerson year so memorable.

For more photos and info, see July newsletter.

Joe Slavin, Irish Mist

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