NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The Schooner Virginia is celebrating a victory! She participated in the 34th Annual Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race (GCBSR) and placed first in the AA-Class.

Following a busy summer season in Hampton Roads, Schooner Virginia spent most of September in Connecticut for maintenance, but she returned to the Chesapeake Bay last week just in time to serve as Nauticus’ representative in this year’s GCBSR.

According to the Nauticus Foundation, the GCBSR is focused on promoting awareness of the Chesapeake Bay’s maritime heritage and encouraging preservation of its resources, topics at the forefront of the foundation’s mission.

This year, the Schooner Virginia and its crew of 22 was led by Captain Michael Fiorentino. The race got underway last Thursday morning, departing from Annapolis, Maryland. Light wind throughout the race added to the challenge and complexity of this year’s event.

“Virginia’s first-place win was made possible by the effort of our volunteers especially through the busy season. Their passion for sharing sailing with our community—be it an education day-sail or a race down the Chesapeake Bay—is what allows our program to succeed. It’s a labor of love, and we’re grateful for their commitment,” said Sarah Linden-Brooks, Director of Sail Nauticus.

Since coming to the Nauticus Foundation in 2016, Schooner Virginia has taken the top prize at the GCBSR twice, including earning the all-time course speed-record in 2018.

Schooner Virginia will be on display as part of SailFest, the annual fundraiser to support Sail Nauticus, on Saturday, October 21, 2023. Click here to purchase tickets.