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Schooner Virginia Sails into First Place at the Great Chesapeake Schooner Race

Norfolk, Va. (October 11, 2021) – The 122-foot-long Schooner Virginia sailed her way to victory last Saturday in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race (GCBSR). The windy journey took just under 40 hours at 39:45:18.

On Thursday, October 7, 16 sailing vessels lined up just south of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Annapolis, Md. 119 nautical miles later in Portsmouth, Va. on Saturday, October 9, the Virginia and her crew triumphantly claimed first place in the AA class over the Pride of Baltimore II.

Helping to take this year’s title were 22 crewmembers who worked tirelessly to make the race a success. Among the crew was her captain Erik Lohse, who helped set the current race record in 2017.

“We had an amazing crew that navigated all the different weather conditions we faced this year,” captain Erik Lohse said. “Our crew had a great mentality that kept everyone happy and want to work hard. We can’t wait to compete again next year.”

While waiting for the race in Baltimore, the schooner participated in a parade and hosted expeditionary learning experiences aboard where local students toured her and connected to past and present life aboard a working vessel.

“As one of the largest gatherings of schooners on the East Coast, and an event dedicated to the maritime heritage of the Chesapeake, it dovetails beautifully with the Virginia’s mission and purpose,” Sail Nauticus’ manager Sarah Linden-Brooks said. “We were able to engage students in Baltimore through the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race’s education fund. Sail Nauticus benefits from increased awareness through Virginia’s participation in the race.”

Over the 25 years of the annual GCBSR, the Virginia has raced 10 times and broken several records, including their own. The race brings focus to the maritime traditions of schooners on the Chesapeake and brings attention to the environmental issues facing the Chesapeake.

About Schooner Virginia
The Schooner Virginia is a program of the Nauticus Foundation and is used as a vital resource and tool to engage the Hampton Roads community. Programming emphasizes STEM education, maritime history, tall ship training, workforce development and the conservation of our local waterways. For more information, visit

About Nauticus
The Nauticus Foundation is the nonprofit, 501©3 that supports the mission and activities of Nauticus. Nauticus’ mission is to benefit the community through education, impactful experiences, and sharing access to maritime resources. For more information, visit