CBMM to pub­lish book on log ca­noe rac­ing

Sunday Star - - LOCAL -

ST. MICHAELS — The thrill of log ca­noe rac­ing — four to 18 peo­ple in chore­ographed mo­tion, balanc­ing the strain on the rig, calling out puffs and lifts, eye­ing the com­pe­ti­tion, sail­ing low on the wa­ter with enough horse­power to ex­ceed the­o­ret­i­cal hull speed in op­ti­mum con­di­tions — is ex­plored in a new book, “Tra­di­tion, Speed and Grace: Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Sail­ing Log Ca­noes,” set for re­lease this May by the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Mar­itime Mu­seum.

The hard­cover 150-page book was writ­ten by John C. North II, and it in­cludes more than 140 color and black-and-white il­lus­tra­tions and pho­tographs.

North re­counts his per­spec­tive on the sport from his 70 years of log ca­noe­ing. The book also in­cludes in­di­vid­ual pro­files of the re­main­ing 23 ca­noes in the fleet, along with a chronol­ogy of log ca­noe rac­ing and line draw­ings of ca­noes from the CBMM col­lec­tion.

North was born and raised in Tal­bot County, and ser ved as state’s at­tor­ney for Tal­bot County, judge of the district and cir­cuit courts, and chair­man of the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Crit­i­cal Area Com­mis­sion. He was one of the founders of the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Mar­itime Mu­seum, be­came its first vice pres­i­dent and later its pres­i­dent. His fam­ily now owns and cam­paigns four Ch­e­sa­peake Bay sail­ing log ca­noes, and he cap­tains

Is­land Bird, built in 1882 by his great-grand­fa­ther.

“This book gives the reader an on-board, in­ti­mate ex­pe­ri­ence with Ch­e­sa­peake Bay sail­ing log ca­noes,” said CBMM Chief Cu­ra­tor Pete Lesher. “Aboard the ca­noe, in the club­house and dur­ing long tows, the judge has re­counted many won­der­ful sto­ries about log ca­noe rac­ing in a va­ri­ety of per­sonal set­tings. Now with this book, Judge North shares his ex­pe­ri­ence, his knowl­edge and his pas­sion with read­ers from all over the world.”

“Al­though count­less ar­ti­cles on log ca­noe sail­ing have ap­peared in nearly ever y pe­ri­od­i­cal cov­er­ing yachting gen­er­ally or the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay re­gion, sail­ing log ca­noes have not re­ceived a book-length treat­ment since M.V. Brew­ing­ton’s 1963 ‘Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Log Ca­noes and Bugeyes,’ which reprinted his ear­lier 1937 vol­ume on the sub­ject,” Lesher writes in the book’s Fore­word. “Much has oc­curred in log ca­noe rac­ing since 1937, so a book on this sub­ject is over­due.”

Lim­ited, first-edi­tion books will be sold at CBMM’s Mu­seum Store for $65 start­ing Satur­day, May 12, with North sign­ing books there from 2 to 4 p.m. Ad­vance, signed copies can be re­served in the store or on­line at bit.ly/log­ca­noes. All of the book’s pro­ceeds will ben­e­fit the chil­dren and adults served by the mu­seum’s year-round ed­u­ca­tion, restora­tion and ex­hi­bi­tion pro­grams.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www. cbmm.org.

The cover of “Tra­di­tion, Speed and Grace: Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Sail­ing Log Ca­noes,” by John C. North II, is shown.

John C. North II is the au­thor of “Tra­di­tion, Speed and Grace: Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Sail­ing Log Ca­noes,” set for re­lease in May by the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Mar­itime Mu­seum.

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