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Special Olympians Race own Yacht at 37th Governor’s Cup

Race Results Below
August 7, 2010
Press Release #10-141


The Morgan 41 classic sailboat drifted for two hours only two miles from the finish line, with the tide even pulling it backwards at times. The crew of seven began to recite the Special Olympics pledge: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt,” when the winds picked up and carried them cross the line of the 37th St. Mary’s College of Maryland Governor’s Cup Yacht Race.

For the first time in the race’s history, Special Olympics sailors and their partners sailed their own vessel, the Voyageur. Caroline Rodon, 28, and Lauren Leavitt, 22, alternated skippering and sleeping. “I’d never been on a boat overnight, and it was pretty cool,” said Rodon. “And so many stars. It is the first time I was behind the wheel of a big boat,” added Leavitt.

Sailors aboard 123 yachts started out at 6 p.m. Friday, August 6, in Annapolis, and began arriving in St. Mary’s City at dawn Saturday. The faster boats met some great wind conditions that allowed them to sail with their spinnakers 80 percent of the time for much of the race down the Chesapeake Bay. The slower boats, however, had to deal with calmer conditions during the day Saturday as they turned from the Bay and came up the Potomac and St. Mary’s rivers.

“We had just fantastic conditions for our boat,” said Brad Kauffman, of Annapolis, skipper of Mummbles, which came in second in the

A-1 class. Dave Peters, of Baltimore, aboard Aftershock, also welcomed the conditions: “They had forecast a northwest wind, but it started out coming from the southeast, swinging to the east, then back again.”

In the A-O class, Charles Engh came in first on Stray Dog. Heron came in first with Greg Leonard as skipper in the A-1 class. Skipper Clarke McKinney on The Riddler, was first in the A-2 class. Skipper Ed Tracey, on Incommunicado, was first in the B class. In C-D, Michael Cone on ACTAEA was first. In the N class, Vagabond skippered by Jack Lusby, was first. In the multihull class, Timothy Layne brought in Wild Card first. Best in fleet, the Waldschmitt Award, went to Greg Leonard on Heron, in the A-1 class, for having the smallest corrected time interval between first- and seventh-place finishers. All results are preliminary and subject to modification.

In the special awards, Lady Grey skippered by Joe Laun won the Bickell Award, named for a racer who lost his life sailing in the 1994 Governor’s Cup. The trophy is awarded to the skipper and crew whose finish position shows the most improvement over last year. The Alumni Trophy went to skipper James Muldoon on the Donnybrook. To be eligible, two or more of the boat’s crew must be St. Mary’s alumni. They are Sara Morgan Watters ’10  and Justin Long ’08. The Patuxent Partnership (TPP) Trophy was awarded to Invictus skippered by Peter Gibbons. A boat’s crew must include two employees from a TPP-member company, active duty military, or Department of Defense civilian personnel, and have the highest class finish by a TPP boat.

There were other firsts in the Governor’s Cup: Sailboats were tracked live by GPS. The GPS system displayed the race in real time, continually tracking the location of each boat by name throughout the race.  “The GPS was really cool for our family and friends to watch the race during the night,” said Kauffman.

There were some first-time Governor’s Cup sailors: Jack Lange, 11, of Baltimore, was crew on the Aftershock. “Dad promised I could do it. My favorite part was the sunset and the phosphorescence that came off the stern.” And of course the dolphins. Right before the Key Bridge, two dolphins jumped right over the bow.

It was only the second time Chris Schaefer, 23, of Baltimore, had even been on a sailboat. Aboard the Torch, he liked the seclusion. “When you are sailing, you are away from the distractions in our modern-day society,” he said.

For final race results, go to

St. Mary's College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best public liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger's, and The Princeton Review. Founded in 1840 as Maryland's "monument school" commemorating the state's first capital, St. Mary’s is the state's only public honors college.

More than 2,000 students attend the college, which has the highest four-year graduation rate for all Maryland public colleges and universities. The school's waterfront campus along the St. Mary's River in Southern Maryland is home to the 2010 National Intercollegiate Sailing Association Team race champions.

Category: Governors Cup