Owners of these iconic and beautiful Bay-built
boats never say die—they just keep rebuilding
and sailing and rebuilding and sailing . . .
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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
The ninth Western Shore Round Up hosted by Randy and Barb Bruns on September 18-19, 2015 was a huge success with over 30 sailors in attendance and 8 Dickersons racing. Events started on a beautiful Friday with beverages and Cook -Out at the West River Sailing Club and included a competitive race on Saturday followed by a lively reception at the Club and dinner at Pirates Cove.
Eight Dickersons varying in length from 35 to 41 feet raced on Saturday in a light southeasterly breeze. A golf type handicap system was used to level out the playing field.
Congratulations to Jeff and Sandra Gray Pleasance II on their first Dickerson event. They finished second on overall time and won the 37 fleet trophy. Sandra Gray remarked they didn’t quite figure out the rabbit start and were a bit behind at the start. She now knows that it took most of our Dickerson sailors several years to get it straight.
It took eight years but the hosts Randy and Barbara Bruns Rhythms in Blue finally won the race and the skipper is the Sheriff of the Western Shore for this year. The main reasons for this unexpected outcome is the skipper didn’t screw up for a change and he had some very good sailors Mary and Dick Cusick of the Maryland Yacht Club as crew.
It was a good race for everyone; we mostly finished within about 10 minutes of each other. Previous Sheriffs; Joe Slavin, Irish Mist and John Freal Rainbow had their typical close duel and Parker Hallam Frigate Connie was there as usual and finished third.
Randy Bruns, Rhythms In Blue