hinckley returns as race to oxford partner
There are many reasons why The Hinckley Company is the ideal sponsor for the Spring Race to Oxford that is organized by Annapolis Yacht Club and Tred Avon Yacht Club.
First and foremost is the fact Hinckley sailboat designs have been synonymous with point-to-point racing on the Chesapeake Bay for almost a century. It is also quite fitting considering Hinckley Yachts boasts full-service facilities on both ends of this popular new distance race from Annapolis to Oxford.
“This race is a natural fit for Hinckley. Our yachts have been racing on the Chesapeake Bay for generations and we have a long-standing commitment to yacht care in the region with yards in both Annapolis and Oxford,” said Peter Saladino, Chief Marketing Officer for the Hinckley Company.
This year, Hinckley expanded its yacht care business on the Chesapeake with the addition of a state-of-the-art Annapolis yard located on four acres in a sheltered area of Whitehall Creek that is capable of storing and servicing up to 200 boats. That expansion builds upon Hinckley’s existing Eastern Shore location in Oxford and gives the company a presence closer to the major metropolitan markets of Baltimore and Washington.
“Our new Annapolis yard brings us closer to the major markets of Baltimore and Washington D.C.,” Saladino said. “The Annapolis facility is also a center of excellence for outboard servicing and repowering in the area.”
The Hinckley Company produces highly innovative, owner-driven, power and sailing yachts ranging from 29 to 55 feet. Hinckley Yachts, based in Portsmouth, Maine, builds boats one at a time to each individual owner’s specifications. No two Hinckley products are alike.
Hinckley is unique for providing a robust yacht maintenance business, which takes the complexity out of the ownership experience. Owners of Hinckley Yachts and other premium brands can receive the highest standard of care at 10 locations along the East Coast.
Last spring, Hinckley agreed to sponsor the inaugural Race Oxford on somewhat of a trial basis. Both the Hinckley Company and Annapolis Yacht Club were so pleased with the partnership they agreed to a three-year extension.
“I could not imagine a more perfect pairing between sponsor and event,” event chairman Robert Shapiro said. “Hinckley has such a rich tradition and has produced so many classic blue water sailboats.”
Shapiro, a longtime Annapolis Yacht Club member, will be racing his 1972 era Hinckley Pilot 35-footer named Susie in the Spring Race to Oxford’s non-spinnaker class. The inaugural event in 2018 attracted close to 90 entries.
Annapolis Yacht Club is expecting a good-sized fleet for this year’s race, which gets underway on the morning of May 11 near Thomas Point Light. After rounding Bloody Point Light and Black Walnut Point to port, the course takes the fleet up the Choptank River to a finish off Tred Avon Yacht Club.
Boats in the Multihull, Chesapeake Racer-Cruiser Association, J/35, PHRF (Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker), and CHESSS (Chesapeake Shorthanded Sailing Society) classes are invited to participate in the 26-nautical mile race. Tred Avon Yacht Club will once again host a powerhouse awards reception and competitors party at its beautiful facility.
“Racing from Annapolis to Oxford is one of the oldest traditions on the Chesapeake Bay and so is a terrific party ashore at Tred Avon Yacht Club,” commodore Ed Cassidy said. “Here at TAYC, we applaud Annapolis Yacht Club’s initiative in launching this new annual event, which is already becoming a must-do on the racing calendar.”
Cassidy said the post-race party will begin as soon as boats arrive in the harbor. Things will really get rocking around 7 p.m. when the popular band British Invasion Experience begins playing. TAYC still has plenty of slip space for participating boats while a tender service to and from the club will be provided for those that anchor off the strand.
Annapolis Yacht Club has implemented several provisions for possibly shortening the course if conditions dictate. Before the course, the race committee can shorten the course by displaying Flag L then move the starting area further south. After the start, the race committee may shorten the course at Choptank River Light if poor winds impede the progress of the fleet.
AYC plans to have a race committee vessel accompany the fleet along the course to monitor conditions in real time. If the race committee shortens the course in accordance with Sailing Instructions 10.1 or 10.2, an announcement will be made via VHF radio and an email will be sent to all registered boats.