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Happy 100th on the Chesapeake

The Miles River Yacht Club in St. Michaels, Maryland, celebrates its centennial with a summer of events on the bay.

March 19, 2021
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Chesapeake Log Canoes
The Chesapeake Log Canoes, many over 100 years old, still enjoy an active race schedule on the bay. Courtesy of Miles River Yacht Club

In the early 1920s, as the story goes, a group of men playing poker in St. Michaels, Maryland, decided it was time to revive the traditional log canoe racing that once took place on the Miles River. The first race took place on a July 4th weekend and attracted three boats, Sam, Island Blossom and Mary Rider. And with that, a club was born and soon became “The Home of the Log Canoes.”

As the Miles River Yacht Club grew, so did the racing. In fact, MRYC boasted that it sponsored races for “anything but rowboats.” Its biggest regatta, in 1946, attracted some 2,000 boats. The last of the power regattas was in 1971, but sailing continues, including four weekend races a year for the log canoes, many of which are more than 100 years old themselves.

A large crew keeping a log canoe upright.
Large crews are needed as ballast on the hiking boards to keep the log canoes upright, even in a light breeze. Courtesy of Miles River Yacht Club

For its birthday bash, the club has a busy summer of regattas scheduled, including the Centennial Cup Regatta June 26, and the Governor’s Cup Regatta July 31. Details on all the on-water events, the Chesapeake Bay Log Canoes and other centennial festivities can be found online.

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