Urbanna Cup Regatta is Saturday
by Tom Chillemi
These sleek boats, home-built of plywood and fiberglass, measure about 8 feet in length and weigh between 75 and 95 pounds. There are two engine classes, 6 or 8 horsepower, with a top speed of about 18 and 26 miles per hour, respectively. Weight is added to boats with lighter drivers to equalize the competition.
The boat races are the main attraction of a day-long event in Urbanna that concludes with live music in Taber Park. “Jumbo Lump Daddy and the Backfin Boys” will perform classic rock from 7 to 9 p.m. in the first concert this season in the “Music Under the Stars” series.
The Urbanna Creek Cocktail Class fleet formed this winter and seven race boats have been built. About 35 other boats and more than 40 drivers are expected to compete in the races, some coming from as far away as Arizona, Illinois, Connecticut, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, South Carolina and Georgia. In addition 7 Smith Island crab skiffs, with much larger engines, will race.
“Our courses are generally small, perhaps 100 yards long and wide,” said Bluefeld. “We try to size the course so that a race lasts 2.5 to 3 minutes.”
The preliminary “heat” races consist of three races in each class with six boats in each heat, he explained. Each heat lasts about 15 minutes, then six new boats come out to race. It takes about 10 minutes to clear the course and get new boats in position to race. (See race schedule.)
In addition to the Cocktail Class races, Smith Island Crab Skiffs, which are longer and have much larger engines, will compete in separate races.
Lawrence Fuccella, a race organizer, said the U.S. Coast Guard has approved the Urbanna Cup Regatta race venue. USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 62 of Deltaville will send three boats to assist in the on-water activities.
Spectators in boats will be directed to viewing areas. There will be a safety perimeter around the course and spectator boats must stay out of this area.
The official event sponsor is Dozier’s Port Urbanna Town Center Marina.
Another race organizer, John Milby, said a limited number of tables and chairs will be provided and he recommends spectators bring lawn chairs.
Souvenirs, including Urbanna Cup Regatta t-shirts and drinking glasses, will be on sale at the marina.
Food catered by Something Different will be available at the marina, and there will be a “brewery hospitality” area with wine and beer, operated by the Urbanna Business Association.
An information brochure will be available at the town marina.
There will be no spectator parking at the marina or at Oyster Harbor Condominiums. However, there will be golf carts to shuttle spectators from town to the marina.
- Starting at 9:30 a.m. the women’s division will be the first on course in 6 horsepower (HP) boats.
- From 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. the 6 HP “heavy” division will run.
- From noon to 1 p.m. the “open” 6 HP will battle.
- Competing from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. will be the Smith Island Crab Skiffs, with their larger engines and longer boats.
- From 3 to 4:30 p.m. the “open” 8 HP will be the final races of the day.
- The awards ceremony and social hour will be at 5:30 p.m.