Two Somerset County organizations, the Deal Island-Chance Lions Club and Skipjack Heritage., are gearing up for the 62nd Deal Island Skipjack Race and Festival.
Scheduled for Labor Day Weekend, festival committee members hope to attract locals and visitors to Deal Island.
As for the past 61 years, 2021 will feature a skipjack race on Labor Day -- Monday, Sept. 6.
his year, however, the committee is working to bring back another local favorite -- a boat docking competition, specifically for working watermen and waterwomen.
This year, the draw is $10,000 in prize money, donated by Scott’s Cove Marina and Tohatsu Outboard Motors.
The first-place winner will take home a $6,000 prize. This is the largest purse on record for this event.
The committee hopes to attract contestants from Deal Island, Wenona, Crisfield, Rumbley, Smith Island, Tangier Island, Hooper’s Island, Solomon’s Island, and other Chesapeake Bay communities.
Led by David Horseman, Somerset County locals including Harold “Stoney” Whitelock, and Robert “Noosie” Webster, met recently to discuss contest guidelines and rules. A key requirement is that contestants must be licensed commercial watermen, in a licensed commercial vessel designed to harvest crabs, oysters and other seafood.
Boats will be docked by a team of three, including the captain and two mates. First, teams will participate in a qualifying run. Qualifying teams will work together to dock their vessel, with the captain at the head and two mates in position to tie the lines.
The team that successfully docks their boat in the shortest period of time, takes the prize. Additional prizes will be awarded to those who take 2nd and 3rd place.
As co-owners of Scott’s Cove Marina, Eldon Willing and Bobby Kemp said they are excited to support the traditional boat docking event and were happy to bring Tohatsu in as a sponsor, too.
Deal Island Skipjack Race and Festival committee members are looking for additional sponsors, volunteers, vendors, parade entries and more.
For more information, follow Deal Island-Chance Lions Club and Skipjack Heritage on Facebook or contact Sandie Marriner at firstname.lastname@example.org.