April 23-May 3
Event in Annapolis
Volvo Race Village at Annapolis City Dock, is open Thursday, April 30, through Saturday, May 2, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday, May 3, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Volvo Race Village at Sandy Point State Park is open Saturday, May 2, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday, May 3, 10 p.m.-4 p.m. free admission.
April 19-May 11: Annapolis Salutes Its Maritime Heritage Festival. The festival features historic outdoor exhibitions, storytellers, live historic recreations, operas, art gallery exhibits, historical homes and more.
April 30: Parade of Sail from Baltimore to Annapolis honors Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 10:45 a.m.-3:15 p.m. City of Annapolis Welcoming Ceremony: Tribute to Chessie Racing, 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Spectators are invited to welcome Chessie at Naval Academy seawall and Annapolis City Dock.
April 30-May 3: Volvo Race Village at Annapolis Salutes Its Maritime Heritage Festival at Annapolis City Dock features a display of the Whitbread yachts, entertainment, Tandem's Cyber Cafe, Maryland microbrew beer garden, antique boat displays, historic homes tours and the Maryland State Hot Air Balloon. Whitbread crews prepare for the start of Leg 8 to La Rochelle, France.
May 1: Whitbread restart news conference, Race Village, 9 a.m. Entertainment, Race Village, noon-6 p.m. Celebrate Whitbread: Annapolis Salute. Eastport Yacht Club and Severn Sailing Association host a benefit for Whitbread Chesapeake, 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Tickets, $10, at Eastport YC, 410-263-0415.
May 2-3: Volvo Race Village at Sandy Point Water Festival at Sandy Point Park, Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Parking on Saturday only.
May 2: Severn Sailing Association's Children's Whitbread Regatta, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Entertainment, Race Village, noon-8 p.m. Children's Whitbread Regatta Awards Ceremony at Volvo Race Village, 3:30 p.m. Eastport Yacht Club's Harbor Illumination, 8:15 p.m. Greater Annapolis Chamber of Commerce's fireworks display, 9 p.m.
May 3: Blessing of the Fleet by Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore, 10:10 a.m. Parade of Whitbread yachts, escorted by historic Trumpys and other classic boats, starts 10:30 a.m. from Annapolis City Dock to start area off Sandy Point Park.
Restart of the Race one-half nautical mile north of the Bay Bridge, 1:45 p.m.
The restart, Bay Bridge walk parking
The Whitbread race will resume Sunday, May 3, with Leg 8, a 3,390-nautical-mile journey from Annapolis to La Rochelle, France. The best place to watch on land is Sandy Point State Park. There will be areas on the bay where spectators on boats can watch.
Annapolis City Dock send-off:
Festivities begin at Annapolis City Dock at 10 a.m. The racers, at 10:30 a.m., will depart one by one, in reverse order of the Leg 7 finish. Historic vessels will escort the racers to the start.
Leg 8 start: The restart, which will occur one-half mile north of Bay Bridge at 1:45 p.m., coincides with Bay Bridge Walk and Sandy Point Water Festival. More than 200,000 people are expected.
Parking, watching at Sandy Point: There is no parking at Sandy Point Park for Bay Bridge Walk or Whitbread. Spectators must park at lots off Riva Road in Annapolis. Shuttle buses will transport spectators to Sandy Point. From Route 50, take Exit 22 and follow signs to parking (see map below).
Parking, walking for Bay Bridge: Bay Bridge Walk begins at 9 a.m. Bridge walkers will be able to watch the fleet, but they won't be permitted to stop. Walkers must park at Anne Arundel Community College and Navy Marine Corps Stadium. Shuttle buses will transport walkers to Sandy Point. From Route 50, take Exit 24 and follow signs to lots (see map below). Parking and shuttles also are available at Chesapeake Bay Business Park on the Eastern Shore.
Watching on the water: The U.S. Coast Guard will set up a small boat anchorage and a spectator fleet exclusion zone. Exclusion zone will be in force 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. from Sandy Point Light to Thomas Point Light (see illustration at right). An enforcement fleet of up to 250 vessels will line the exclusion zone. Unauthorized vessels are not permitted in the zone. Violators are subject to arrest and a fine of $25,000. In the anchorage, west of the start line, sailboats must keep their sails down. Boats with high cabins or superstructures are prohibited.
Spectator vessels may move about outside the anchorage and the exclusion zone, but may not come closer than 250 feet of Whitbread boats.
VHF radio Channel 22A will carry information broadcasts on Whitbread and commercial vessel activity. Use VHF Channel 9 for hailing and Channel 16 for distress traffic only.
The race to France
Leg 8 from Annapolis to La Rochelle, France, promises to deliver a Spectacular Chesapeake Bay start
If the wind is coming from any direction other than south, the fleet will barrel down the bay flying colorful spinnakers. If the wind is from the south, the sailors will engage in a tense tacking duel. Either way, it's a must-see event.
The first challenge for the sailors will be to navigate 120 nautical miles through the bay, sniff out the best wind and avoid contrary currents and shallow shoals.
Once in the Atlantic, the fleet will latch on to the Gulf Stream, which will carry it northeast with the benefit of a 2- to 5-knot current. The expected route will take the fleet around the northern edge of the Atlantic high pressure, which normally puts the wind at sailors back and would propel the sailors toward France. But the crews will have to keep their eyes open for "growlers," chips of icebergs that don't show up on radar and can sink a ship fast.
As the fleet approaches France, it will have to contend with the Bay of Biscay, known for taking sailors by surprise with its sometimes stormy weather. The fleet expects to arrive in La Rochelle on May 16.
A week later, the fleet departs for a two-day sprint to Southampton, England, and the finish of the 31,600-nautical mile circumnavigation.
Pub Date: 4/19/98