Chesapeake Bay Skipjack
The skipjack, Ida May, won the 2018 Choptank Heritage Race for the second year in a row. Thanks again to Capt. Shawn Ridgley and his able first mate and brother, Wes Ridgley! Congratulations also to owners Elbert and Gordon Gladden.
We wondered how we would fare in today's race with much heavier winds than there were in Deal Island a couple of weeks ago. The experts said that the Ida May was just a small wind boat, but we proved them wrong after today's victory. The winds were light at the beginning of the race and they picked up steadily as the race progressed, gusting up to 15/20 knots. Capt. Ridgley had a plan from the start of the race and he followed that plan. We crossed the starting line in the back of the pack, but instead of sticking with the other boats, we went our own way. We took a long, lonely tack to the west, heading for the shoreline on the far side of the bridge from Cambridge. All of the other boats were headed down the river towards the first buoy. They would all have to tack at some point; none of them could make the marker on a straight line. Once we started to hit shallower water, Caps. Ridgley turned the Ida May about and we marched down the river in pursuit of the other boats. The Ida May loves this tack and she sailed it so well. We thought that we might be able to make the marker without tacking, but we had to make one short tack to round the buoy. Our tactic worked like a charm, and we sailed ahead of the other boats when they had to make their turn. The only boat that could possibly have caught us was the Rebecca Ruark, but we actually put distance between us and her on the last legs of the race. The day was a perfect sailing day and we had a great time!!!! Unbelievable!!! I have to pinch myself.