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Scenes From the Inaugural Lewes Cup Distance Sailing Race

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Photos by Sue Ingram Keller of Lewes

The Lewes Yacht Club hosted the first annual event, which saw contestants race from Delaware’s coast to Cape May, New Jersey.


 While many events have been forced to cancel or postpone due to the coronavirus pandemic, one Delaware beach event set sail earlier this month.

On Aug. 7 from 2-3 p.m., the Lewes Yacht Club hosted the inaugural Lewes Cup Distance Race, where competitors contended for the grand prize of The Lewes Cup.

The race itself, which is slated to be one of a handful of Mid-Atlantic Region offshore events recognized by the Mid-Atlantic Yacht Racing Association, was introduced to allow contestants to take their vessels out into the ocean and race from Lewes to Cape May, New Jersey.

Sue Ingram Keller

Sue Ingram Keller

Sue Ingram Keller

And, with COVID-19, taking a breath of fresh air is what these boaters needed, as requirements prevented contestants from further interaction between one another throughout the course of the race, particularly for the ending ceremonies at the Lewes Yacht Club or the Corinthian Yacht Club of Cape May.

“The mandated rules restricted us on both sides from contact, so we changed our plans,” says Nick Carter, associate broker and member of the Race Committee for the event. “For the Cape to Cape on Saturday, we turned around and sailed back after the finish rather than staying overnight in Cape May.”

With a corrected 0.529 Offshore Racing Rule time, the first-place title of the eight Lewes boats competing ultimately went to the Iris for a recorded 157.13 corrected time; Allegro came in second with 159.36; and Shredder came in third with 160.73.

Sue Ingram Keller

Sue Ingram Keller

Sue Ingram Keller

Despite the health and safety circumstances surrounding this year’s exhibition, the Lewes Yacht Club and its board committee hope for this oceanic event to continue in the coming years, allowing for those itching to get their boats out on the water to join across the Lewes and Cape May shorelines and beyond.

“The Lewes Cup will be the same as this year, an offshore event covering between nine to 12 nautical miles from the Delaware Bay out to 8A or A buoy and/or around the inner and outer breakwaters and ice breakers,” Carter says. “The Regatta will be open to all vessels near and far and scored on Yacht Scoring, it will be held on a different weekend than the other 3 events [including] the Leukemia Cup (Ocean City, New Jersey), the Avalon Cup (New Jersey) and the Cape to Cape XIII (New Jersey and Delaware).”