Pen­well, crew turn Gover­nor’s six-peat

Team shakes off rough start to com­plete three-race sweep

Record Observer - - Sports - By CHRIS KNAUSS ck­nauss@star­

ST. MICHAELS — A rough start for Is­land Blos­som skip­per Corbin Pen­well dur­ing the Gover­nor’s Cup sailing race Sun­day morn­ing re­sulted in a wet land­ing. His crew got even with him in the af­ter­noon by toss­ing him into Long Haul Creek. Ac­tu­ally, they were cel­e­brat­ing Is­land Blos­som‘s sixth-straight vic­tory in the most pres­ti­gious race of Gover­nor’s Cup week­end hosted by the Miles River Yacht Club, the “Home of the Log Ca­noes.”

Pen­well and his 12 crew mem­bers re­bounded from a rough start to com­plete a three-race sweep of the week­end’s log ca­noe races.

They com­pleted the 7.9-nau­ti­calmile cir­cuit on the Miles River on Sun­day in 2 hours, 3 min­utes, and 11 sec­onds to best 11 other boats in the

Gover­nor’s Cup fi­nale. The cor­rected time for the win­ners was 1:57:16, com­fort­ably ahead of sec­ond-place Bil­lie P. Hall (2:02:04) with skip­per Sean Cal­la­han.

Mys­tery, cap­tained by Mitch Grieb, claimed third with a time of 2:02:25.

Pen­well, an 18-year skip­per of Is­land Blos­som, cred­ited his long-stand­ing crew for his team’s suc­cess. They were Bill Hough, Eric Wag­ner, Alex Bur­ton, Will Chap­man, Jeff Cox, Han­nah Schmidt, Carl Langkam­merer, Noah Ma­cielag, John Ma­cielag, Se­lena Wag­ner, Pa­trick Pen­well, and Dar­den Pick­all.

“We ac­tu­ally had a ter­ri­ble start; we had to restart the race; we were over early,” said skip­per Pen­well. “Most of the fleet were head­ing off to the left and we headed off to the right. We were able to re­cover within the first wind­ward mark. We were able to cover and we went around that mark in sec­ond.

“And then we had a long reach and we were able to pass Mys­tery, a much big­ger boat, and that was it. We didn’t re­lin­quish the lead. For an­other five miles we stayed in front.”

The race featured mod­er­ate to light winds on a sunny, muggy sum­mer day.

With the vic­tory, Is­land Blos­som claimed the Gov. Al­bert C. Ritchie tro­phy, which is a per­pet­ual tro­phy with a de­pic­tion of Is­land Bird em­bla­zoned on the cup.

The awards cer­e­mony in the af­ter­noon was packed with rac­ers, fam­ily, friends, and yacht mem­bers with an added in­cen­tive as Gov. Larry Ho­gan was ex­pected to present the win­ner’s tro­phy. But Satur­day’s se­vere flood­ing in the El­li­cott City area cre­ated the need for his pres­ence in Howard County.

The gover­nor’s staff was rep­re­sented none­the­less with Jean­nie Had­dawayRic­cio, Gov. Ho­gan’s deputy chief of staff, in at­ten­dance along with John Woben­smith, Mary­land sec­re­tary of state; Del. John Mautz, R-37B; Sen. Ade­laide Eck­hardt, R-37; Ge­orge Owings, Mary­land sec­re­tary of vet­er­ans af­fairs; and Jen­nifer Wil­liams, Tal­bot County Coun­cil.

The Gover­nor’s Cup is the most cov­eted of the 23 tro­phies awarded dur­ing the four Miles River re­gat­tas from June through Septem­ber hosted by the Miles River Yacht Club. There are ad­di­tional races in July on the Ch­ester River and in Au­gust on the Tred Avon, but ar­guably none is as fiercely prized as the Gover­nor’s Cup.

Is­land Bird, pic­tured on the per­pet­ual tro­phy, was built in 1882 by Wil­liam Sid­ney Covington in Til­gh­man. The boat is pri­vately owned by the de­scen­dants of Covington and has been rac­ing ev­ery sea­son since 1949.

Fol­low me on Twitter @csknauss Email me at



Corbin Pen­well, skip­per of Is­land Blos­som, gets tossed into Long Haul Creek by his crew after they won the Gover­nor’s Cup log ca­noe sailing race Sun­day on the Miles River.


The Is­land Blos­som crew gather with their Gover­nor’s Cup tro­phy Sun­day af­ter­noon at the Miles River Yacht Club in St. Michaels. Crew mem­bers are skip­per Corbin Pen­well, Bill Hough, Eric Wag­ner, Alex Bur­ton, Will Chap­man, Jeff Cox, Han­nah Schmidt, Carl Langkam­merer, Noah Ma­cielag, John Ma­cielag, Se­lena Wag­ner, Pa­trick Pen­well, and Dar­den Pick­all.

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