The 2011 Santa Maria Cup is fast approaching. The program has been published as the centerfold of the September SPINSHEET magazine which is available in hard copy throughout the Chesapeake Region and online at There are many opportunities for families, students and adults to be involved in this world class regatta.

While the match racing begins on Wednesday, September 28, Tuesday the 27th is filled with Santa Maria Cup excitement. The Boatyard Bar & Grill PRO-AM has a 4 PM gun for those who wish to SAIL against the Santa Maria Cup stars. This is a fleet race between the Santa Maria Cup teams and regional challengers from industry, sailing clubs, colleges and high schools (entries are still open). If you would like to get out on the water to WATCH the Pro-Am and have personal commentary by WNAV’s Dave Hanson, sign up for the Watermark Spectator Boat departing from City Dock. Tickets may be purchased online at Families will not want to miss the OPENING CEREMONIES at 6 PM at Susan C. Campbell Park at City Dock. Bring your folding chairs for this colorful 30 minute ceremony. Competitors and umpires will be led in by flag bearers with their country flags and welcomed and introduced by Eastport Yacht Club Commodore Rick Jackson. Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen will welcome them to Annapolis and proclaim “Celebrate Women in Sailing” week. Boatyard Bar & Grill owner and Board President of the National Sailing Center & Hall of Fame, Dick Franyo will give the Pro-Am awards.

On Wednesday, September 28th the competition begins at 9 am. At 4:30 that afternoon, students from 12-22 have the opportunity (by REGISTRATION - number limited) to be the guests of the Eastport Yacht Club Foundation at EYC for “Sailing Olympians…2008…2012…You’re Next!” They will meet the competitors, hear about what it takes to compete at this high level, learn about match racing and the 2012 Summer Olympics. Snacks and beverages will be served and participants will receive an autographed Santa Maria Cup poster.

Match racing will continue Thursday and Friday as the competitors work through their round robin competitions. One of the most exciting aspects of match racing is that every team races every other team one on one and they rotate through the boats. This is the great “equalizer” with the race results being based on skill and strategy rather than on equipment.

Friday evening from 6:30 - 9 BoatUS will host the “Meet the Champions” Reception at Paca House and Garden. This is an adult event opened to the public by ticket ($25) which includes beverages and finger foods. Guests are encourage to buy their tickets online as the numbers are limited.  This is the perfect opportunity to chat with both the competitors and umpires. A special bonus as part of “Celebrate Women in Sailing” week will the the opportunity to view footage of the 1995 America3 all women’s America’s Cup Challenge team. We are hoping to have several other outstanding female sailors with us that evening.

Saturday is the final day of competition for the trophies and the most International Sailing Federation points. The day will conclude with the Prizegiving & Farewell Party at Eastport Yacht Club. The festivities will begin at 6 PM. Tickets for this open event are $10 and can be purchased online. This event will run from 6 - 8 PM.

All Santa Maria Cup event tickets and registrations are available on the Eastport Yacht Club website Santa Maria Cup pages along with additional information about each event.  Please go to On the Water at to find those pages. The Santa Maria Cup Committee and the Eastport Yacht Club encourage Annapolitans and folks throughout the Chesapeake, Washington and Baltimore regions to join in the excitement and fun of the 2011 Santa Maria Cup!