Penwell, crew turn Governor’s six-peat
Team shakes off rough start to complete three-race sweep
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.
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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.